Selling stuff online? Here's how to stay safe when meeting up

Bianca Holman Image
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Selling stuff online? Here's how to stay safe when meeting up
Law enforcement urges consumers to stay alert when selling goods online and some offer a safe place to conduct transactions.

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- With a recent shootout this week over an online purchase gone wrong, law enforcement wants sellers and buyers to beware. Officers want consumers to stay alert when selling goods on sites such as Offer Up, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.

Earlier this week, Raleigh police officers responded to a shooting call on Peter Court. A man was there Wednesday night for an arranged sale when two men came up to him in the parking lot. Police say both parties pulled out guns and shot at each other.

"Some of the dangers is people get scam, some assaults," Corp. Bobby Wilder of the Garner Police Department said.

Officers recommend conducting the exchange in public places such as the Garner Police Station, which has a designated spot. Public places add an extra layer of protection.

"With online sales, you never know what's going to happen," said Wilder. "Sometimes people, there's a lot of scammers out here. So it's very important to come to the well-lit area."

Designated spots at the police station have cameras, emergency call boxes, and signs stating there are no weapons allowed. Wilder also said that if the online offer sounds too good to be true, it could be a scam.

Other tips include: Don't carry a large amount of cash, avoid giving your personal information such as your address, and also have a trusted family member or friend with you.

If there is an assault or violence, that second person can call 911.

These locations are also ideal for custody exchanges.

"And I would also recommend if a citizen's request, they can request officer standby. We can set up in a parking lot just to make sure the transaction goes smooth," Wilder said. "Same thing with child custody exchanges. We can, we'll be glad to come out here and sit and monitor."

Though there isn't a designated exchange spot in Raleigh, there are other safe exchange sites at the Wake Forest Police Department and the Apex Police Department.