Fayetteville police this week are warning residents about a scam that’s occurring in the area involving online marketplaces.
According to police, the suspects will post about buying or selling cell phones and then agree to meet the buyer or seller somewhere around town. Once at the site, the suspects ask to hold the phones or the money and then steal the items and flee the scene.
The Fayetteville Police Department has set up a safe exchange area located in the parking lot and lobby of the police station at 100 W. Rock Street. Both areas are monitored with video cameras. The “Safe Zone” is designed to make transactions safer for those who are buying or selling items.
The station’s lobby hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The parking lot is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Victims of scams should contact the police immediately, and save copies of all text messages and social media interactions with the suspects.
Police offered the following safety tips for conducting transactions:
- Insist on a public meeting place (preferably the police station).
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
- Be especially careful when buying/selling high-value items.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going to meet someone.
- Consider having a friend accompany you during purchases.
- Write down the serial number of the phone you are selling before you meet.
- Trust your instincts.