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Advice: Be vigilant when buying and selling online

August 7, 2017
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Buying and selling online can often seem like the easy option but not if you fall victim to a scam or theft.

More and more websites enable people to buy and sell items at the click of a button. These include:

- Facebook

- Gumtree

- Ebay

- Preloved

Most of the time, they are totally legitimate but we have been made aware of incidents where:

- the seller has been targeted when they have arranged for the buyer to collect an item which has resulted in a theft.

- the buyer has been conned by paying for an item first then finding out it doesn't exist.

Our officer’s priority is working to target offenders and catch the people who exploit these websites before anyone becomes a victim. However there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and become a bit more savvy online. Our general advice would be:

When selling an item:

- speak with the person first, make sure they are genuine.

- avoid meeting at your home address or in a secluded location

- note down some contact details

- ask to see some form of ID

- make sure you are not on your own at the time of the meeting

When buying an item online:

- try and make sure that companies are genuine. If you're not sure, contact them first

- when making online purchases, make sure the connection is secure by looking for the padlock icon at the top or bottom of the Internet browser. Secure web addresses should also begin with 'https'.

- don't part with large sums of money unless you've seen the item in person

- use a secure payment method such as Paypal or credit and debit cards

Please remember, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

Please report any online scams to Action Fraud as soon as possible on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

If you fall victim to a theft, then report it immediately to Nottinghamshire Police by calling 101. If it's an emergency, always dial 999.

101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls cost 15p, no matter how long the call lasts.