Police Offer Online Sale Meetup Safety Tips

Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 21:10:53-05

Numerous people have been robbed while meeting to buy an item they found online through Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp or other methods, prompting police to remind people of how to better protect themselves during a meetup for an online sale.

"I'm sure the large majority of people selling things on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are on the up and up," Jamie Owens, community services director with the Hendersonville Police Department, said. "It only takes a few to make it go really bad." 

While Hendersonville hasn't experienced the problems the rest of Middle Tennessee has, the department wants to make sure their residents take the necessary precautions to avoid any issues. 

"You're making a transaction and you're meeting someone in person who you know nothing about. So at the end of the day, you really just need to, unfortunately, almost assume the worst and prepare for that," Owens explained. 

Police said there are many steps you can take to better protect yourself, such as getting a picture of hte person you're meeting beforehand or a copy of their ID sent to you to ensure their identity, but more than anything else, it's about where you meet.

"We suggest the busiest place possible, the most secure place possible, and without a doubt, just really try to stick to daylight hours and definitely without a doubt, have someone with you," Owens said. 

In Clarksville, the police department is working on creating a location at one of their police stations for people to make exchanges and finalize sales, hoping that providing a location at a police station can help protect both parties involved.