FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 19-year-old man is fighting for his life in the hospital after an online meet-up took a turn for the worst.
Police say he planned to sell jewelry using the OfferUp app and met up with two strangers at a central Fresno apartment near Dakota and Hughes.
"When they arrived, the shooting victim had gotten out of the car to get the jewelry when he was approached by two suspects," says Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley.
According to police, the victim was shot multiple times during the exchange Monday night.
"There is an awful lot of uncertainty when dealing with folks over these different apps, however, you can choose the location and you can choose the time," Lt. Dooley said.
Police departments across Central California have created what they call "Safe Exchange Zones" to give online buyers and sellers a sense of security when they meet.
In Fresno, each policing district has a well-lit parking space with surveillance cameras.
"We recommend folks for either child custody, for the sale of goods to go to a police station, go right up to where the cameras are and do your exchange right there," Lt. Dooley said.
Law enforcement officials say if you're going to buy, sell, or swap anything online, here are some things you can do to keep yourself safe.
"Tell the person that you want to go to a police station to do the exchange," Lt. Dooley said. "If they don't want to meet you at a police station, that might be a clue. That might not be someone you want to go meet with. Do all of your transactions during the daytime where you have nice lighting. Don't invite anybody inside your home. Whatever you do, go to an off-site place, don't bring them. Don't let them see where you live. Finally, if by some chance you arrive at a location where you might be selling or buying and it doesn't feel right, drive away. You're not obligated to stay there."