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At least 13 people have lost their lives following Facebook Marketplace meetups in the last 18 months – including a nurse who was 'stabbed to death' when she tried to buy a 'cheap fridge'.
Facebook Marketplace has seen over one billion users since its inception in 2016 and uses artificial intelligence to check listings before they are published.
A team of about 400 employees also serve as a backup to the AI system but it has sometimes been unable to prevent fraudulent or dangerous transactions.
One such example is from earlier this year in June, when Edward Stokes, 17, was charged with murder for killing a man who was trying to purchase an ATV he saw listed on the platform, reports WIS-TV.
Alexander Presley, 34, was allegedly shot in front of his wife and two kids as they were robbed while trying to buy the ATV.
Another crime reportedly linked to Facebook Marketplace that also took place in June was the death of Kyle Craig, 26, who was also killed while trying to buy an ATV quad bike he saw listed on the site.
According to police, the 26-year-old took a big sum of money to the meetup with him and was robbed and shot multiple times.
Newsweek reports that a juvenile boy who had not been named was arrested, while a second suspect, Montavious Landfair was on the run.
A month earlier in May, brothers Casey and Tyler Parten were allegedly trying to buy a dirt bike from 16-year-old Ashawn Adams, when shots were fired.
Adams died at the scene while Casey Parten died later at a hospital, WGCL-TV reports.
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Another death in May saw Melissa Miller, 54, lose her life after posting a computer for sale on Facebook Marketplace.
WNKY reports that Aaron Aiden Rodriguez is accused of shooting Miller in her apartment when he showed up to buy the computer.
Another victim of similar circumstances was 54-year-old Denise Williams, from Pennsylvania, who was allegedly stabbed to death in April when she went to pick up a “cheap refrigerator” she had seen listed on the platform, WJAC-TV reports.
The nurse’s body was found in Joshua Gorgone’s, 26, apartment after her family reported her missing.
A month earlier, in March, Joseph Vindel’s, 29, was found shot to death in his car in New Orleans, shortly after he went to meet up with someone who had expressed an interest in buying his dirt bike.
Jalen Harvey, 20, was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice.
Experts recommend that anyone selling or buying anything online does not meet at someone's house for the transaction, but instead uses public space as the meetup spot.
To be even safer, they suggest bringing someone along.
Many police stations have "exchange spots" in their parking lots specifically designed for these types of meetups, reports CNET.
Even if the nearest police station doesn't have an exchange spot, they are still the safest place to meet a stranger.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Knife Crime
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