Albany police urge community to use exchange zones for in-person social media transactions

Albany police urge community to use exchange zones for in-person social media transactions

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - After a recent exchange went bad, the Albany Police Department (APD) wants people to be cautious about where you meet strangers to buy or sell items.

When buying or selling items online, Albany police want you to be aware and be vigilant during the transaction.

“We want people to know that if they have an opportunity to sell their personal merchandise, to an individual that they are unfamiliar with, that they not do that in an unfamiliar environment or an unfamiliar place,” said Phyllis Banks, the public information officer for APD.

Phyllis Banks, the public information officer for APD
Phyllis Banks, the public information officer for APD (Source: WALB)

Police want people in the Albany area to know that using apps like LetGo and other social media outlets to exchange or buy items is OK but you should use the APD exchange zone.

“Unfortunately, last night’s incident turned out to be one of those incidents that turned pretty bad for the victim,” said Banks.

According to APD, Thomas Paramore was the victim of an exchange that went wrong.

The incident happened in the 500 block of South Gate Drive. Police said he was attempting to sell a 4-wheeler but was shot in each leg during the exchange.

“I sold a little bit of gameplay or something like that, posted it on the app itself. It’s a free application. You set up a free account, basically, they will ask you, ‘Hey, can you come to me?’ If you can’t go to them what they’ll do is you will agree at a spot to meet up at,” explained Ruben Lugo, who has used apps like LetGo.

Ruben Lugo
Ruben Lugo (Source: WALB)

Lugo said he always meets at a place where the exchange can be seen.

“Public place, it has to be light out, you don’t want to do it in dark, 'cause sometimes I’ve heard horror stories where sometimes, you will meet up with a person at nighttime and they will have a bunch of people around the corner. They’ll hit you and take all of your stuff,” said Lugo.

Paramore is currently in the hospital getting treated for his wounds.

APD is working on locating two men believed to be responsible.

“Currently, detectives are working to confirm the suspect’s information. They have some great leads, they are just working to confirm those,” Banks explained.

APD has two exchange spaces that can be used for social media transactions.

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