Buy and sell online? High Point police reveal how you can dodge crooks

HIGH POINT, NC (WGHP) – This holiday season criminals are looking to steal the items you sell online. It can happen in seconds when you meet for the exchange.

“Sometimes there are people who take advantage of situations,” said High Point Police Captain Patrick O’Toole. “They are opportunistic and look for a quick or easy snatch and a score.”

People sell smartphones, game consoles, furniture, and more online. This means more opportunities for criminals to strike.

“You don’t really know who you’re buying from or who you’re selling to,” said Earnest James, who sells items on Facebook Marketplace.

It’s a lesson James learned the hard way when he started selling items online 10 years ago. One sale left him $ 150 aside.

“They sent me a screenshot of PayPal, and I never received the money, and once I already shipped the product, I found out later that they never had had a PayPal account, ”James said. “The money was never transferred.”

Whether it’s online or in person, there are many ways to protect yourself.

Do not go to someone’s house and bring him or her to your house.

“It’s important to do this in a public place where there may be cameras recording things to get information,” O’Toole said. “Perhaps it shows us in your mind that you are making a legal purchase and that you have this documentation to prove it.”

There are two secure internet shopping exchange points outside High Point Police Station on Westchester Drive. There are security points similar to the police department of the Piedmontese triad.

“The more witnesses there are, the less likely it is that this exchange will have problems,” O’Toole said. “If you meet someone on a one-block street or in a house, you don’t do it if that person actually lives there or if it’s a montage. “

Search for the person you meet, including their online profile or reviews.

When the time comes to meet, make sure it’s in a public place during the day. Bring a family member or friend with you. Ask the person accompanying you to record the exchange on your mobile phone for added security.

If you are purchasing a product, be sure to check the item before handing over the money. Also note the serial number of the product.

Keep a note on who you met and the details of the sale. O’Toole said it will protect you in the long run.

“By doing some of this documentation it helps, you have a bill of sale, you see their identification, they see yours, you make this exchange, print a copy of the bill of sale as received,” he said. -he declares.

Before he left, James told FOX8 that there was one more thing you didn’t end up on the wrong side of.

“You want to make sure you have the cash on hand,” he said. “Often, money works. ”

Always remember to call 911 if you feel unsafe or if the sale goes awry.

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