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Be cautious when buying and selling online

Alert message sent 02/08/2021 12:57:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary


Good afternoon,

We thought we’d provide you with a bit of advice with regards to buying and selling things online and over social media.

It’s become a very popular trend in recent times for people to advertise their goods over Facebook, for example, or to meet people they don’t know to buy something they are selling.

It always pays to be vigilant, as you never truly know who you are speaking to or meeting when arranging a transaction over the web.

Some ways you can protect yourself as a buyer or seller online are:
  • If someone’s message or online profile looks suspicious, trust your instincts and walk away.
  • When purchasing smaller items, do the exchange in a safe public place – perhaps even near to 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.
In addition, we want to encourage people to report any incidents to us where perhaps you’ve experienced something suspicious, or have even been a victim of crime.

If you’re meeting someone and you think you are in danger, ring 999.

Otherwise, you can report suspicious activity to us on 101, or by visiting our website: www.hampshire.police.uk

For more information and advice, or to report fraud you can also visit www.actionfraud.police.uk
Message sent by
Jack Backwell (Police, Corporate Communications Officer, Hampshire Corporate Communications)

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