SAVANNAH, GA (Tuesday, August 15, 2017) –  Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department is reminding residents to put safety first when conducting any transactions with people they meet online.

Sales arranged through online sites, like Facebook, Craigslist and online yard sale sites, have grown in popularity, but meeting a stranger to conduct a business arrangement poses safety risks. The most important thing buyers and sellers can do to prevent themselves from becoming a victim is to arrange to meet in a safe, public location, such as a police precinct. Never meet in a dark, isolated area or at anyone’s home. Always bring a buddy with you or make sure you have told someone where you’re going and how long you estimate you’ll be gone. Also, never leave that location with the other person, such as driving the person to an ATM to get money.

Things to remember when arranging a transaction in the online marketplace:

  • Meet in a public location, like a police precinct, or a place that has security cameras.
  • Never invite someone to your home or go into someone else’s home.
  • Always bring a buddy with you or tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone.
  • Trust your instincts. If something feels off, then leave.
  • Do not go anywhere, such as an ATM, with the other person.
  • Be cautious in all sales but especially when it involves high value items.
  • Take your cell phone with you.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash.
  • If you believe you have been scammed, contact police immediately.