WACO, Texas – As social media has gained popularity – so has buying things off of social media.
When using online platforms to buy and sell items – police say to use caution.
Police say the best place to exchange an item is at the police department because there are people there 24/7 and security cameras.
If you can’t go to the police station, Hewitt and Waco police advise people to go to a public place where there are security cameras during the light of day.
Overall, Waco and Hewitt police say it is important to use your best judgment whenever dealing with people you don’t know.
“If something in your gut that says don’t do it, move on to that next person, someone will probably be buying or selling something of that similar nature,” Waco Police Department PIO Cierra Shipley said.
Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin says the worst place to go is to someone’s house. But if you have to, go with other people and research the person.
“If it’s a large item such as a piece of furniture it may not be easily transported by the seller, and that may be one of their conditions of purchase,” Chief Devlin said. “So you’re going to have to use your best judgment on how that transaction is going to take place.”
They say if you do get robbed, call 911 immediately and provide as much detail as possible.
Waco and Hewitt police advise people to hold off on paying for the item until you see it or use it.
“Always test it out first or put your eyes on it first before you actually make the purchase,” Chief Devlin said.
If you do get scammed online, make sure and report that.
“The investigation could bring up some leads, especially if it’s somebody that’s local because if they’re doing that to you, they’re doing it to many other people,” Chief Devlin said.