Sheriff's office warns locals after Craigslist meetups turn violent

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Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Three Craigslist meetups have turned violent this month, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff's Office said they've worked two robberies where firearms were used and in the other case, shots were fired.

Extreme caution should always be used if you plan to meet someone you don’t know from sites such as Craigslist or Backpage, the Sheriff's Office warns.

If you’re going to buy something from an online site, there are safety precautions the Sheriff's Office suggests:

  • Check out the seller’s information: Ask for a phone number and an address. Take that information, and check the names of the seller online to find out who you are dealing with.
  • Ask a lot of questions: Ask as many questions as you can before going to buy the product.
  • Don’t buy from sellers who only list an email address: This should be a red flag that the seller has something to hide.
  • Meet in a public place – Criminals don’t want witnesses. Meeting in a public place like a coffee shop or cafe can help ensure your safety.
  • If it sounds too good to be true it probably is: A lot of these scams are pretty easy to spot. If the deal sounds too good to be true you are better off passing it up.
  • Never go to a second location – If you arrive at the predetermined meeting place and the seller asks to go to another place, this should raise some serious red flags.
  • Don’t go alone.
  • Show up early: If you are meeting in a public location, show up early and scope out the area.

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