Have you ever been interested in an item you wanted to buy or sell on craigslist or a facebook for sale site?
You offer the item for sale or contact another person to buy the item. Two people that are strangers, potentially hiding behind a mask known as a profile. These transactions have mostly been safe but the potential danger is always there.
Not long ago we learned about the horrific murder of Danny Diaz-Delgado, a 20-year old Trenton, New Jersey young man who went to meet a stranger in hopes of purchasing a PS 4 video gaming system. Danny saw the offer on an online ad posted on the facebook for sale site.
Danny agreed to meet the seller in the East Ward section of Trenton. Sadly, Danny never returned home that night and his body was recovered the next day. He was discovered deceased near a creek in Hamilton Township. He had been tied up with duct tape and electrical cord and shot multiple times. The police identified the suspect as 29-year old Rufus Thompson, also of Trenton, who posted the ad for the PS4.
Just last night, a person was robbed at gun point in the Bronx after arranging a meeting to purchase a phone from someone via the “Let It Go” app. When the buyer arrived, two females displayed the gun and stole the victim’s money. Fortunately there were no injuries and the suspects were quickly apprehended.
During my Internet Safety - Cyberbullying student assemblies and parent workshops I discuss these dangers. There are so many strangers hiding behind an online mask looking for victims to take advantage of or harm. Often kids and adults let their guard down because they think they are getting a great deal. Over the past few years there have been several incidents where kids and young adults have traveled to trade sneakers or buy items seen online. When they arrived they were robbed at gunpoint.
Safe Exchange Zones
Many Police Departments across the country have incorporated a “Safe Exchange Zone” in the vicinity of Police Precincts in an effort to reduce crimes that originate from online and social media ads. In Staten Island, the front of any of the four Police Precincts would be an ideal location to conduct an online transaction. If the seller and buyer are reliable and trustworthy neither should have an issue with meeting in front of Staten Island Police Precinct.
If you are considering buying or selling an item online and intend on meeting with the seller or purchaser please consider these tips to maintain your safety.
Stay Safe. Don’t be a victim!