An NYPD officer and father of two, who was just 26, planned to meet a man about buying a car on Facebook Marketplace and is now on life support after being shot in the head when that man attempted to rob him and a family member.
A billion people use Facebook Marketplace each month to buy anything from a cheap $5 snow globe to big ticket items like a car. Many of these exchanges take place in public spaces for cash, and, increasingly, criminals are using Facebook Marketplace to target victims.
NYPD Officer Adeed Fayaz, 26, a five-year veteran of the force and a father of two, died Tuesday, a spokesperson for the NYPD told Inside Edition Digital.
He had been shot in the head three days earlier on Saturday by a man who posed as someone selling a car on Facebook Marketplace and then instead attempted to rob him and his brother-in-law, officials said.
Randy “Popper” Jones, who police say shot Fayaz, is now expected to face murder charges, police officials told the New York Post. Jones was arrested Monday at a Rockland County hotel using Fayaz's handcuffs, the Post reported.
In Houston, a man selling his car to a potential buyer was greeted instead by a group of armed robbers who took off with the vehicle. Joseph Vindel, 26, a realtor from New Orleans, was shot dead when he went to buy a dirt bike from a man he met on Facebook Marketplace.
And in Chicago, a gang has carried out 19 Facebook Marketplace robberies in one neighborhood, officials said.
So how does once stay safe?
Hundreds of police departments across the country have set up safe exchange zones.
"This is monitored by our surveillance cameras 24 hours a day seven days a week and it is recorded," Michael Bramhall of the Fanwood Police Department in New Jersey tells Inside Edition about his town's safe exchange zone.
That is just one of the many safe exchange zones around the country, a list of which can be found here.
If a safe exchange zone is not available, Bramhall advises to meet in a public place during the day and never meet a buyer or seller at home.
"I would never go into someone's house," says Bramhall. "I likewise I wouldn't want a stranger coming into my house to engage in this type of transaction."
And if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, says Bramhall.
Facebook says they encourage people to report suspicious behavior.