Police warning over online sales

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham police have advised people selling mobile phones and electrical goods online to take precautions when meeting up with potential buyers.

The warning comes after a series of robberies reported to police last month.

Wyndham police Inspector Marty Allison said the incidents involved people selling mobile phones, laptops and other goods, including vehicles, on social media or internet market places.

When the sellers met up with someone who they believed was a potential buyer, they were robbed and sometimes assaulted.

“They [the sellers] were meeting buyers in various locations that didn’t offer much security,” Inspector Allison said.

Inspector Allison said Wyndham police posted a warning about the crimes on their official Eyewatch Facebook page on August 14, and have received no more reports about the incidents.

“Either the offenders have seen the post and gone, ‘Oh no, the police are onto us, perhaps we should stop,’ or people have seen the post and are taking precautions when meeting online buyers, or a mix of these two things’,” he said.

Inspector Allison said the robberies and assaults were still being investigated.

Police are urging anyone selling goods online to meet up with potential buyers in a well-lit public place with CCTV cameras, such as shopping centres or fast food outlets, at a time of day when there are lots of people around.

Inspector Allison said it was also a good idea to take a friend or family member along while meeting a buyer or seller, and to arrange the meeting via a phone call rather than text message.

He said people selling vehicles should request to see a copy of a potential buyer’s driver’s licence prior to giving them access to the keys or vehicle.

Inspector Allison said potential fake buyers and sellers also sometimes changed an agreed transaction time and location at short notice or presented themselves as a female over the phone but were actually male.