Be Safe When Buying and Selling through Online Apps

We want to remind you to always make safety a priority when buying online and through buying/selling apps.  Unfortunately, criminals have also taken this as another opportunity to victimize others. Always remember, you are meeting a stranger and an online profile can be deceptive. Don’t let your guard down just because you’ve exchanged a few messages. There have been victims of scams, robbery, and even murder during these transactions. Be proactive, plan for a safer exchange.

The Dallas Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies from surrounding cities, wants to remind citizens of safer ways to meet when buying and selling online.

  • When meeting in surrounding cities that may be unfamiliar to you, always research a safe meeting location and familiarize yourself with the area
  • Always meet in a well-lit, public place; preferably a safe zone
  • Never go alone
  • Always meet during the day
  • If it’s a high-priced item, meet in the lobby of a police station
  • Keep your cell phone close and be ready to call 911 at the first sign of trouble
  • Never give out personal or financial information
  • Avoid using money wiring services for these transactions, it is the method of choice for scammers
  • Never buy something without seeing it first
  • Let someone know where you’ll be and who you are meeting
  • Leave if you feel uncomfortable
  • If you are selling a large item that is not easily transportable,  move the item into the garage or entryway, if possible. That way buyers don’t have to come all the way into your home
  • Some police departments and retail locations now offer “Safe Meeting Places”, “Safe Trade Stations” or “Safe Zones”. You can look these up online.