CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are warning the public of the rise in crimes due to people's use of online apps to sell and purchase items.
Detectives want to remind the community to use extreme caution and be extra cautious in taking safety measurements when using the internet to buy/sell personal property.
The public should be aware of the following when using any of these apps and websites such as as OfferUp, Craigslist, LetGo, VarageSale, and additional private sector sites/forums to prevent them from being a victim of a robbery:
- "Too Good To Be True” sales – electronics such as phones or expensive items like shoes offered at substantial discounts from market value (baiting)
- Time of Sales – any sale near or after dark exposes vulnerabilities for victims to see around them (traps)
- Unfamiliar sale locations – away from safe or secure places. If the seller or buyer (of your item) wishes to meet in an apartment complex PVA, or a place where you are not familiar with the surroundings, it could be a trap
- Safe practices – taking a friend or associate with you; having them film the transaction with a cellphone; remaining in a vehicle as a driver to escape if a robbery occurs; never handing over expensive electronics or cash directly to another without showing an ID or verifying identity of person; NEVER unlocking a cellphone to hand to potential buyer
- Recording internet / app information using screenshots of user’s photos, user name, account or other information
- The community is encouraged to utilize the CMPD’s parking lots as safe meeting places as well as other public places