After a pair of recent robberies involving people who were trying to sell items online, police are reminding residents to be on guard when finishing online transactions in person.
The robberies happened last week in the Silver Spring, Maryland, area.
In one incident, a person trying to sell tennis shoes was robbed of the shoes and money. In the other, a person trying to sell a cellphone was robbed of the phone, said Montgomery County police spokesman Officer Rick Goodale.
The safest place to meet is at one of the county’s police stations, Goodale said, where “exchange zones” have been set up. The next best option is meeting in a busy public area, such as a shopping center, he added.
Often, people will meet at intersections or on the side of the road, which Goodale cautioned against. If someone backs out of a deal upon hearing of plans to meet at a police station, that is a “huge red flag,” he said.
Police also recommend telling someone where you will be going and bringing someone with you.
“If somebody has intent on maybe wanting to commit a crime and sees somebody else there, that may be enough of a deterrent,” Goodale said.
Other tips include not inviting strangers into your home, and not giving out personal or financial information.
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