Physical Threats from the Digital World   

 

In internet can be great tool for our daily lives, providing a wealth of information never previously available with such ease, allowing people even in remote areas to purchase goods that stores in the area don’t carry, and allowing individuals to connect to people in their areas that they would otherwise not be likely to meet.  But with this comes a variety of physical threats.  When most people think of threats from online interactions they think about the threats to children, or in exposing too much information on social media, but there is an increasing trend of armed robberies that initiated through person to person online sales.  After all, you can limit your children’s online access, and you can be careful about what you post on social media, but if you are selling your iPhone on craigslist.com you are going to have to meet with the buyer sooner or later, and that is where the threat comes in.  Here are some tips on how to stay safe when buying or selling online.

When most people think of threats from online interactions they think about the threats to children, or in exposing too much information on social media, but there is an increasing trend of armed robberies that initiated through person to person online sales.  After all, you can limit your children’s online access, and you can be careful about what you post on social media, but if you are selling your iPhone on craigslist.com, you are going to have to meet with the buyer sooner or later, and that is where the threat comes in.  Here are some tips on how to stay safe when buying or selling online.

 

  1. Never meet the potential buyer at an address of their choosing. Always meet them in a public area.  In many areas, the local police allow you to sell your items at the police station to increase your safety.
  2. If you are selling an item that is large, like a refrigerator that you have to sell at your home, don’t give your address out in advance. Set up a time when for the sale, or showing to take place, let them know that just prior to that time you give them your address.  This will keep them from casing your address, or setting up an ambush.
  3. If you are buying an item you are not completely safe either. The “seller” will know that you are likely to be carrying cash, and the ad may just be a setup.  Be cautious when dealing with high dollar items or items that are specifically for women.  Take someone with you when meeting the potential seller and always ask as many questions as you can prior to meeting them to gauge as best as you can whether or not it is a scam or a setup.

With a healthy amount of skepticism and caution, there is no reason why you can’t take advantage of the opportunity the internet offers for savings and income through person to person sales.  But be safe, no deal is so good you should risk your life for it.

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