Buying online crime rising alert

USING online websites to buy and sell comes with its own risks and police have reminded people to take simple precautions to protect themselves.

Campsie Police Area Command’s Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Albury, said incidents over the past 12 months, have ranged from reports of snatching items for sale, to robberies where money and/or property is stolen.
He said in one case, the victim was injured and taken to hospital.
“When you buy and sell things online, you do not know with any certainty who people are,” he said.
“Always look at the person’s history of buying and selling. If they have no history or limited/poor history, think carefully through whether the transaction should go ahead.
“Ask for payment ahead through PayPal so there is no exchange of money and disputes can be managed through the online site.
“If you are going to meet, ensure it is in a safe location, covered by CCTV footage, well lit, public location.
“Most important – if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
He also suggested being alert to anyone who attempts to coax you into an apartment building or other location, or if someone attempts to do transactions through the window of a vehicle, as they could just grab your item and drive off.
Police are also urging both buyers and sellers to take a friend or family member with them to any exchange where possible, and never to invite someone to your home.
Urging people to trust their instincts, police say that if you don’t feel safe, take the necessary steps to remove yourself from the situation.