Brisbane locals are reminded to take extra care when arranging meet-ups for buying and selling transactions online, following the assault of a Darra local who met with an online buyer in Mansburg Terrace.
The perpetrator not only grabbed the watch sold by the Darra man but also managed to assault the victim before running away. The b uyer allegedly said he can only pay part of the arrangement they agreed online and will transfer the rest of the money electronically.
Investigations by the Queensland Police Services are ongoing. According to the QPS, incidents of robbery offences among locals who arrange their buying and selling activities on various online platforms have risen.
The QPS has offered the following suggestions for Queenslanders who are into online transactions:
- Check the profiles of the buyer or seller before agreeing to a meet-up. If their profiles appear to have been created recently, then it may be an indication of a fake user or scammer.
- Check the seller’s public profile and reconsider completing the deal if the conversations appear to be one-way with little engagement from the community.
- Ensure your personal safety when meeting up. Never do this at night in secluded or private areas. If possible, meet during daylight hours in a place where there are CCTV cameras and plenty of people.
- Have a friend or family member with you. According to the QPS, “This increases your safety and provides a potential witness if needed.”
- Record details of the person you are meeting including name, email address, phone number and registration numbers.
- Cancel the meeting if you feel uncomfortable. Trust your gut insticts.
- Never accept a screenshot as payment proof.
- If payments are done online, ensure the security of the payment method. Never pay by money order, pre-loaded money cards or wire transfer.
Additionally, locals are encouraged to follow online safety advice from sources such as the Australian Cyber Security Centre regarding how to safely purchase/sell online.
The QPS encourages reporting robberies online or by calling 1800 333 000.