Trust your instincts.
That's one of several tips Coquitlam RCMP is urging the public to consider when it comes to selling or buying items online and meeting in person to complete the transaction.
And in some cases, the person on the other side could resort to criminal actions just to get what they want.
In a release issued today (March 2), Mounties explain recent personal robberies have involved the use of pepper spray.
In each case, one or more suspects used the prohibited weapon to "incapacitate the victim" before running away with the items originally up for sale on social media.
According to spokesperson Const. Deanna Law, the Coquitlam detachment's robbery unit is actively investigating the reported robberies.
She adds victims of personal robberies can be both the seller and the buyer.
"Online buy/sell applications enable criminals to arrange face-to-face meetings with their victims (buyers or sellers), who they know will be in possession of cash or high valued items."
Anyone with more information about a robbery is encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 or 911 right away if there's a crime in progress.
TIPS TO AVOID PERSONAL ROBBERY
RCMP lists trusting your instincts when arranging a meet-up to buy or sell items as a tip to avoiding a robbery, especially if a deal "seems too good to be true."
Other key advice includes:
- Obtaining as much information as possible about the potential buyer prior to arranging a meet
- Name, phone number, etc.
- Letting family or friends know of your plans or have them come with you
- Meeting the potential buyer in a well-populated, well-lit area and in view of others
- Ensuring there is camera coverage where you are meeting
- Calling 911 if you think you see a crime in progress
- Reporting all robberies to the police as soon as possible
- Taking extra precautions when buying or selling high value items