How to stay safe while purchasing items off internet sites

Although Phoenix police isn't creating safe havens of residents completing internet purchasing transactions, officers have some helpful tips to keep you safe when using sites like Craigslist.

Most common items stolen during an internet based transaction:
Nike (or other, brand name/high value) shoes
Smart phones

Precautions to take to avoid becoming a victim of a robbery when buying or selling items from on-line agreements:
-Perform all transactions in a public area with known video surveillance, such as a bank.
-For smaller high value items, perform the transaction inside of a public business like a café.
-Try not to perform transactions at your residence.
-If the item you are selling is too big to reasonably transport to a public location then limit exposure of your residence and other belongings to the buyer.
-Do not accept calls from restricted or blocked numbers.
-Call the number back to ensure it is real.
-Have other people with you during the transaction.
-Trust your instincts…If it does not feel right end the transaction and leave.
-Check with your local police department to see if the item is reported stolen (guns, vehicles and other items with serial numbers).  Get the serial number ahead of time.  Just asking for the serial number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will make a person with a bad motive nervous.
-Perform the transaction in front of a police station or in the immediate area.
-Do not perform a transaction late at night.
-Get the license plate of any vehicle driven by the buyer/seller or any other suspicious vehicle you see. Having too much information is better than having none.
-Be extremely careful when selling high value items.
-Keep your cell phone hidden but readily available as phones are a common item targeted by suspects.
-Tell a friend or family member where you are going.

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