Police have responded to several reports in the last few days of people who have been robbed trying to buy or sell on apps, specifically LetGo. Victims went to residential addresses to conduct the transactions.
To prevent becoming a victim, check out these tips when using apps that require buying and selling with in-person meet-ups, such as LetGo, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc.:
* Do NOT accept a last-second change in location under any circumstance. This is a common tactic used to lure people to potentially dangerous areas.
* Be cautious of high-value items (current phones or laptops) that have a “too good to be true” list price. Sellers may use the low price as a reason for you to have to accommodate them, and meet them in a questionable location.
* Meet at a police station or a location with a safe exchange zone. Do not jeopardize your safety for the sake of convenience. People will often meet in the far ends of large parking lots where surveillance cameras don’t reach.
* Always try to bring an extra person when buying or selling.
* Keep all communication with the buyer/seller on the app. Do not give your personal number. It is best if the conversation is linked to all accounts involved.
* Use the app to look at the profile of the buyer/seller. Does the service offer a verified status? If it’s Facebook, is it a new profile with little to no information? Craigslist works with almost total anonymity and offers the fewest safeguards.
* If possible, do not use cash. Apps such as Venmo, PayPal, and Cash have made securely transferring money possible. Carrying cash is a liability and could set you up to be a victim of a violent crime.