With the creation of online marketplaces where people can meet up to make a transaction or sell something, comes the added drawback of setting yourself up to vulnerabilities and to be attacked while you’re just trying to buy or sell something. These sorts of stories make the news from time to time, with the most recent coming to mind of a father and daughter going to a meet up at someone’s house a few months back to make a cellphone transaction.
The end result was that the duo was the victim of an attempted robbery, and the father shooting at the robber as he fled the scene of the crime.
There are things you can do to ensure your safety as you conduct these transactions on Facebook’s Marketplace, Craigslist, and others. This article is meant to help you stay safe and stack the deck in your favor so you don’t become a statistic as you attempt to buy or sell whatever it is you want. Read more about the importance of carrying a gun on our blog.
Public meetings are best
When it comes to the place where you choose to do a private party transaction, as in the briefly mentioned cellphone story above, it’s never a good idea to meet at someone’s house. It doesn’t matter if it’s your house or another, either can have potentially bad ramifications.
If it’s your house, the person now knows where you live and at least a few things about you. Some criminals are brazen as they ask for info on your neighbors, your car, etc. This is a bad situation to find yourself in, and it’s essentially a criminal casing a neighborhood for crime.
If it’s at their house you may be walking into an ambush that you never saw coming.
The best bet is to meet up at a public place. Public places where there is a healthy amount of foot traffic from other people is the safest because criminals are less likely to commit a crime where there are many witnesses.
Even better is when you can conduct your business under surveillance or near police or security.
Bringing another person as backup should deter a criminal from attacking you. Though, if there are more of them, it may not work as a deterrent. Still, bringing another person is a good idea because your odds of surviving go up even if they do still attack, because there are more of you to fight against.
You don’t want to just bring anyone, though, and don’t bring a child. Bringing someone who is willing to fight and have your back is the best person to bring. If they have their own concealed carry gun and know how to use it, even better.
Remaining aware of your surroundings is always a good idea, but meeting someone to buy or sell something is more dangerous than your average activity. Because it is more dangerous, an extra amount of vigilance is needed to stay safe. Having someone stay vigilant with you is a good idea if you’ve got someone you can bring.
Carry your self-defense tool
The entire purpose of this blog of ours is to talk about concealed carry and self-defense. So, it makes sense that this is on our list of ways to stay safe during a meet up. Your gun should only be used as a last resort when you legitimately feel your life is in danger, but having the option to equalize a threat is the best option when it’s needed. To be discrete you could carry an IWB Holster without bringing any attention to yourself.
If they can’t meet your requests, cancel
There is a point before the transaction even really starts where you can cancel it once it starts to smell fishy. If the person is unwilling to meet in a public place because “they don’t have a car” or any other reason, your life is worth more than the object you’re buying or selling. Cancel the transaction.
If the person is giving off any other bad vibes, again, cancel the transaction. It’s not worth it.
Don’t go to the bank with the person
This one may sound stupid, but there are people who have brought criminals to the bank with them to make an ATM withrawl. Why did they bring them to the bank? Because of a classic bait and switch.
When selling something, the bad guy might list a certain price only to say that the price was wrong or a typo and that if you want the item, it’s actually going to cost you this much money. People who don’t see this coming and are generally very trusting fall for it, bring criminals to the ATM with them, and then get robbed for whatever amount the bank allows them to withdraw at once.
Simply confirming the price before leaving should help mitigate this, but criminals are creative.
You should always take every precaution to be as prepared for a self-defense incident as possible, especially when you’re walking into a situation where you’re opening yourself up to potential crime. Staying vigilant, bringing backup, and carrying your gun are just some of the ways you can stay safe during a meet up.
We have tons of resources on our blog that can help you with common questions regarding many topics surrounding your concealed carry weapon. Take a look and learn more about every aspect from caring for your gun, to best practices when carrying.