Kent Police are warning residents about recent robberies/carjackings that have occurred when people agree to meet and buy/sell items off websites where you meet in person to exchange items/money.
Types of websites include Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, letgo, Craigslist and others.
Police say that in most cases, iPhones were the most frequent item, but anything can be involved.
“In most cases, the item doesn’t even exist,” police said.
Here are a few things you can do to:
- Avoid purchasing items from buy/sell sites; especially electronics.
- If you do arrange to meet, many sites have reviews for sellers/buyers; read those.
- Meet in a busy location and meet close to the entrance.
- Meet during daylight hours.
- If the other person tries to change meet locations at the last minute that can be a red flag.
- Do not sit in your car and let them come to you. Get out and you both meet outside of the cars.
- Have money in pocket ready to go. Do not expose your wallet/purse.
- If the transaction feels suspicious, it probably is. Go to a safe place as soon as possible (inside store, call attention to those around you etc.).
- The Kent Police Department parking lot is a designated meeting spot.
- If you see anything suspicious or are a victim of any crime, call 911 immediately.