The Lexington Division of Police is asking citizens to use caution when buying and selling goods from unknown individuals.
This warning comes after two victims reported being robbed by individuals they had hoped to buy merchandise from. In both cases, the victims were robbed while trying to make the transaction.
The robbery suspect(s) advertised an iPhone for sale on Craigslist. The suspects arranged a meeting place and time with each buyer/victim. When the buyers/victims arrived at the meeting place they were approached by an armed suspect. In each case, the suspect stole money from the victims and then fled the scene.
In order to lower your chances of becoming a victim of this sort of scam, or others, police recommend the following:
- Get as much information about a seller/buyer as you can upfront.
- Deal with local buyers. A local transaction is easier to manage and gives you more control over how and when you will meet.
- Ask for cash and accept cash. A common internet scam involves buyers paying sellers with money orders or cashiers checks.
- For large ticket items, such as a car, meet the seller/buyer at their bank so that they can get cash directly from the bank.
- Meet in a public place with plenty of people around. Never meet a buyer at your home or theirs. Avoid big open areas like parks or parking lots where other people are less likely to notice you. Do not agree to meet in an area you are unfamiliar with.
- Bring a friend or family member with you, or at least let someone know where you are going and when. Take a cell phone with you as an extra precaution.