Phelps CountySheriff's Department
Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to buy and sell items locally. You can find all sorts of great deals and make some money on the side. But, the world of buying and selling can be a scary place if you’re not careful. Over the last few years, we’ve seen multiple incidents of buyers and sellers who suddenly found themselves in danger. Here are some tips to making buying and selling safer:
Meet at a law enforcement agency
Beyond the usual advice to meet in a public place, meeting in the parking lot of a law enforcement agency to make your transaction only adds an extra layer of security.
Try the product out first
If you are trying to buy an electronic item or something that could be broken, ask for a demonstration. If the seller hesitates, this probably isn’t the deal for you.
Be cautious of purchasers attempting to use cashier’s checks from out of state or outside the country. These may be counterfeit.
Never meet someone you don’t know by yourself. Bring a friend or family member with you. This lessens the likelihood of being attacked.
Only bring enough cash for the purchase
If a seller demands an online transfer or payment before you meet to get the product, don’t do it. Also, never carry large amounts of cash with you.
Don’t give out your information
Since you will be meeting someone at a public place, there is no need for a buyer or seller to know your home address. You can furnish an email address if you are comfortable.
Trust your gut
Probably the most important. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, if anything the seller or buyer says raises a red flag, it’s probably best to go with your instincts and move on.
Sheriff Michael Kirn
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