AURORA, Colo. – Buyers beware: Police are putting out a warning after an Aurora man responding to an online ad was robbed by the seller at gunpoint.
Smartphone apps like OfferUp, LetGo and Facebook Marketplace make it easy to do business. However, with that convenience must come caution. Aurora police are seeing an up-tick in crime related to the apps.
“With technology, there’s always different opportunity and different ways to commit crime. We do see a lot of these where people are just trying to meet up to buy or sell something, and they unfortunately become a victim of a crime,” Sgt. Bill Hummel with the Aurora Police Department said.
Just last week, a man in Aurora responded to an ad on OfferUp about a truck that was for sale. He began to text with the seller and the two agreed to meet during the day in a local neighborhood. But once the victim arrived, there was no truck. Police say instead, he was robbed at gun point.
“In this case, the suspect did actually use a Facebook picture of his real face and sent it to the victim. That’s why we are pushing that picture out to the public,” Sgt. Hummel said.
Police said the suspect used the name Jessie Frasier. If you recognize him, call Agent Steven Nelson with APD at 303-739-1841.
“Where there’s a will for a criminal, there’s a way. It doesn’t matter the platform that you’re using or the technology we think keeps us safe. Be cautious. It’s up to us to protect our information, to keep ourselves safe, if we’re doing these kind of transactions,” Sgt. Hummel said.
What can you do to protect yourself? Meet the seller inside a police department lobby that’s under surveillance or in the police parking lot. Do not pay in cash. Instead, use a cashier’s check because the higher the price of the item, the higher the risk.
OfferUp has posted suggestions for community meet up locations.AlertMe