Law enforcement warns about online resale shopping dangers

Law enforcement warns about online resale shopping dangers

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - People are standing in long lines to get their hands on the popular holiday toys, but local police encourage shoppers to slow down and think before they buy.

Target on Seaboard Street in Myrtle Beach expects to have more Hatchimals in time for the weekend.

Toys "R" Us on Seaboard Street expects to have a truck coming in as well. But neither store can guarantee how long the popular Hatchimals, an interactive egg that turns into a furry creature, will last. The resale price for Hatchimals has skyrocketed, selling for hundreds of dollars.

Sergeant Darren Alston with the Conway Police Department said he worries people desperate to buy a toy they can't find in the store will make impulse decisions that could have costly consequences.

"Everybody is in a rush. So they are making quick decisions on that computer that could jeopardize their financial safety," said Darren Alston.

There is a warning about buying resale items online and on social media. Alston said scammers are waiting on people to make a mistake to steal their money, their personal information or their identity.

"Slow down and understand the dangers you can get into with online shopping if you are not careful," Alston said.

As many people will shop resale during the holidays, Alston encourages residents to use the Conway Police Department, located at 1600 Ninth Avenue. The Safe Internet Exchange Program was created to offer those who make transactions online a safe place to exchange those items.

"We ask that you come during business hours but you also have a parking spot in the parking lot to make an exchange or park. There are cameras in the parking lot and in the lobby," he explained.

"Even if you are going to open up an item to be sure, we've got outlets where you can plug it in to make sure it actually works. And this is a safe public environment," he said.

If the seller or the buyer is not comfortable about meeting in a safe public place, Alston said that should raise a red flag.

"I wouldn't suggest meeting no one at their residence or any location they pick. A public well-lit place would be the best," he said.

Alston said be leery if they want to meet on a road, or they give a fictitious address or a place seems deserted.

Alston says don't let the holiday rush cloud your judgment.

"Don't be in such a rush to get it that you do unsafe practices that make you an easy victim or an easy target," he said.

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