ORANGE — Remember, folks: If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Township police are trying to find the man who sold a woman a $160 box of rocks.

It wasn't rocks she wanted, but a flat-screen television that the man had promised for a bargain price of $160, RLS Media reported Friday.

In recent years, online buy-and-sell groups — including Facebook's Marketplace — have become popular destinations for people looking for deals.

Just as in the days of Craigslist, authorities recommend these suggestions for caution:

  • First, trust your gut. If it sounds fishy — run, don't walk, away.
  • Never pay before exchanging the goods. Even better: Check inside the box before handing over payment.
  • Don't agree to exchange at your home or at the other person's home. Instead, meet in a well-lit public place. In this case, the woman met the seller at a supermarket parking lot, which still didn't prevent her from getting swindled.
  • Tell someone where you are going. Make sure you bring your phone.
  • Some police departments or municipalities invite people to make their online purchase exchanges in their parking lots, which are monitored by security camera. Before the pandemic, some police departments even allowed people to make the exchange in their lobbies. Call or check out your municipality's website to see if they offer this courtesy.
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