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Bayonne police issue PSA on buying and selling items online

This follows two incidents in recent weeks when meet ups to finalize sales went awry

Police are urging caution when selling or buying items on online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, then meeting up to finish the exchange. Image by PixieMe for Shutterstock.

The Bayonne Police Department has issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA) regarding buying and selling items online and then meeting up in person to complete the transaction.

“In this day and age, so many of us have items in our homes that we do not need and try to sell online,” the PSA stated. “Online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, offer an opportunity to reach an infinite number of potential buyers and have proven to be very successful for both the buyer and seller.”

The move comes after a string of incidents in the city where people were robbed after meeting up to buy or sell merchandise after arranging the sale online on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or other such platforms beforehand.

“However, there is a risk that we take when conducting transactions with strangers,” the announcement continued, offering eight tips residents can take to protect themselves and merchandise when buying and selling items on various social media platforms.

Buying and selling online safely

The police recommend to “bring a buddy” and never conduct the transaction alone. Residents should use a level of caution when the transaction is of high value.

Another recommendation is to conduct the transaction during the daylight hours in a populated area, not a secluded area. Police say to always be aware of surroundings.

Additionally, keep friends and family aware of any arrangements, including the meet location and time. Police recommend to never conduct the transaction at home or the home of the other party.

On top of that, police suggest using online secure pay applications such as Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp, to ensure all parties feel safe and secure. Lastly, residents are reminded to trust their instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“Taking these few steps can greatly reduce safety concerns and help to ensure a safe and smooth online sale or purchase experience,” the announcement concluded.

Recent issues in Bayonne

On August 14, an incident occurred that is a prime example of why the announcement is being issued by Bayonne authorities. A robbery was reported at 3:58 p.m. on West 30th Street and is under investigation.

A 20-year-old male victim reports that while conducting a sale of sneakers to two males, which he arranged online, one of the males brandished a handgun. They then robbed him of the merchandise, then fled the scene in their vehicle. The sneakers were valued at $500, police said.

And just last week, a man and a juvenile male were arrested after jumping another man for his PlayStation 5. The victim had arranged online to meet them at the 34th Street Light Rail Station to complete the sale before they jumped him and made off with the gaming system.

The stolen property was later recovered by police following the suspect’s arrest. However, not all are as lucky.

To avoid meeting the same fate, police recommend to follow their tips when buying and selling merchandise online and meeting up to exchange the money and goods.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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