State troopers in the Garden State are passing along important tips as more and more people are buying things online, especially as the holidays approach.

Two words: stay safe.

Law enforcement agencies across the state have seen an increase in incidents related to online transactions leading to theft, scams, and even violent crimes.

One example happened on November 26th when state troopers responded to a report of an armed robbery in Hainesport Township, Burlington County.

New Jersey State Police - Photo: NJSP / TSM Illustration
New Jersey State Police - Photo: NJSP / TSM Illustration
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Dangers of Facebook Marketplace

According to troopers, a victim planned to meet an individual he was in contact with from Facebook Marketplace to purchase an Apple Watch.

Upon meeting, the suspect removed $100 dollars from the victim’s hand and began to walk away without giving him the Apple Watch. When confronted by the victim, the suspect displayed what appeared to be a handgun to the victim and continued walking.

After reviewing video surveillance from a nearby store, troopers identified the suspect and determined where he lived after finding his Facebook page. The suspect was charged, processed, and transported to an area jail pending a detention hearing.

Online shopping using credit card and laptop.
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Here are a few safety tips to remember when meeting with a buyer or seller

  • Look for Community Safe Trade Spots - a list can be found at safetradespots.com
  • Meet in a public, well-lit area such as a police station, public library, or shopping mall where there are people around
  • Don't go alone -- bring someone with you
  • Verify the seller's identity
  • Avoid sharing personal information

Website Suggests You Should Never, Ever Move to these 15 New Jersey Cities

Rankings baed on violent crimes per 10,000 people.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

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