News Details

Buying and selling used goods online

Buy and sell websites and mobile apps, such as Craigslist; Facebook Buy, Sell and Trade pages; LetGo; OfferUp; and many more are a convenient way to search for items to purchase and list items to sell.  But as convenient as they may be, they have the potential to be equally as dangerous.   

When buying and selling items online, remember the following tips:

  • If the website or app allows you to use a proxy email address, use it instead of your own real email address to prevent giving scammers access.
  • Always meet locally during daylight hours at a neutral, public place, such as the parking lot of a law enforcement agency or a popular coffee shop. 
  • Always have someone accompany you and let a family member know where you are going.
  • Don't give out your phone number.  If someone has already contacted you via the website or app, they already have a way to communicate with you.
  • Refuse using money wiring services or PayPal in advance, or accepting checks to complete transactions. Accept and pay with cash only at the time of purchase or sale.
  • Always check out an item thoroughly in person before making a deal. Pictures can be deceiving.

Most importantly, keep in mind that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!  Trust your instincts; if you're not comfortable with the person you're communicating with, don't go through with the transaction. If you are browsing these sites and recognize anything you know or suspect to be stolen, contact the Lakewood Sheriff's Station at 562-623-3500.