Stay Safe While Social Media Shopping, Frequent Online Sellers Warn of Dangers

LUBBOCK, TX - Police are looking for Prince Richards after he's accused of robbing and fatally shooting 20-year-old Peter Caballero. LPD believes the incident started as a robbery after a social media sale went wrong. 

Frequent online sellers and buyers warn that robberies happen more often someone might think and that people need to be extra cautious. 

Scotty Elam, who has bought and sold hundred of items on Facebook's Market Place, said safety is his first priority. That's why he always meets a potential client in a public place with plenty of witnesses. 

"It's just for my safety, for their safety," said Elam. "It's less likely for a crime to happen because you're surrounded by more people, you're in a public place."

Elam said he's never been robbed himself. But not everyone is so lucky.

"I have had luck of not having the scary experience but a friend of mine has," said Elam. "They met over at the Flying J over here and he got his cell phone stolen that he was supposed to be selling. Luckily enough, they got it on camera and got it back."

Elam said he believes he's never been robbed because he takes the necessary safety measures to protect himself, including meeting in the right places. 

"Show up to where you're going to meet early so you know your surroundings, so you know where you need to be and what not," said Elam. "Put yourself in a position to where if you needed to get out or you needed help, there's someone there or you have an escape route."

He recommends choosing a well lit spot with witnesses and surveillance cameras. But the biggest piece of advice he has is trusting your intuition.

"If right off the bat, you don't feel comfortable, don't make the deal," Elam said. 

He often meets people at the gas stations connected to busy stores like Walmart and United Grocery Stores.

Elam also recommends using Facebook Market Place over sites like Craigslist. He said that you can usually get a better feel for the buyer or seller by looking at their Facebook page. 


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