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Police warning about buying and selling online

Alert message sent 17/12/2020 15:28:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary

We would like to remind residents in Portsmouth to remain vigilant when buying and selling online, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas.

On Monday 14 December it was reported to us that a 20-year-old man from Southsea had been robbed of an iPhone and Apple Watch which he had advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

The seller arranged to meet the prospective buyer at Bransbury Park, but on arrival was approached by two men, who threatened the seller with a knife and stole the items.

The victim was not hurt.

Investigations into this incident are ongoing.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind people to be vigilant when buying and selling via social media.

Some ways you can protect yourself as a buyer or seller online are:
  • If someone’s message or profile looks suspicious, trust your instincts and walk away.
  • When purchasing smaller items, do the exchange in a safe public place, such as a local police station.
  • Use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you.
  • If you’re the buyer, never transfer money directly into a seller’s account without viewing the item in a safe secure place in person first.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Portsmouth South inspector Louise Tester said: “We are asking those buying and selling online to be cautious and report to us if you’ve seen or been involved in anything that has made you feel uncomfortable or suspicious.

“If someone’s message or profile seems suspicious, trust your instincts and walk away. Wherever possible, use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you.

“If you do meet someone to buy or sell an item then make sure you do so in a safe public place, such as your local police station.

“If you have experienced something that seems suspicious, call 999 in an emergency. If you have any information on this crime, please call 101 and quote reference 44200481531.

“If you need to report something that is not urgent, you can do so by visiting our website -”

For more information and advice, or to report fraud you can also visit
Message sent by
Danielle Butler (Police, Communications Officer, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)

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