has long posted a warning on its site that reads, "Deal locally with folks you can meet in person. Follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts."

Well, now there's a new warning I have to give you about doing business face-to-face with people.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports a woman was kidnapped and robbed in Silicon Valley by criminals claiming they had iPhones for sale. She had made the mistake of arranging to meet the supposed sellers in a Target parking lot.

The criminals knows iPhone buyers will have cash and so they arrange to meet the buyers in a bad part of town in an area that's not well lit. Then when the criminals typically pull a gun on the unwitting buyer and takes their money.

There's a simple rule here: Whether you're a seller or a buyer, always meet in a brightly lit public place in a neighborhood that you know is safe. In front of a police precinct is ideal.

Be careful out there, use good judgment, and you will hopefully avoid the problems that can occur.

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Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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