CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Shopping online in the convenience of your home may be the most comfortable way to shop, but you run the risk of getting scammed for a product that looks nice on the webpage, but entirely different in real life.
3NEWS spoke with Corpus Christi police Lt. Michael Pena about the red flags you should keep your eye on.
"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is," Pena said. "Follow on your instincts."
Pena advises that if you're going to purchase an item from an individual to meet them during the daytime.
"Never give out your your address," Pena said. "If you're going to meet somebody to purchase an item that you found on their marketplace, or anywhere else, meet them at one of those safe exchange points."
Safe buying and selling locations are the La Retama Central Library, the Ben F. McDonald, Owen R. Hopkins, and the Anita & W.T. Neyland Public Libraries.
"Definitely let somebody know where you're going, you know, if you do go by yourself, but again, I wouldn't recommend it," Pena said.
Pena also said you should trust your intuition when purchasing items online.
"It's something different if you're purchasing on a legitimate site, you know, those places are secure," Pena said. "But you know, especially a marketplace, you don't want to give somebody credit card information over the internet."
He adds that if you're having reservations about an item, then you probably shouldn't buy it.
"You're not buying it from a brick and mortar or an online shop, you're going to take that chance with not getting what you want, or it not being what you expected," Pena said.
Pena stresses to residents that the buddy system is essential when buying or selling anything. He recommends that residents don't go alone, and use one of the four exchange sites. The sites also have 24-hour surveillance.
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