Police are asking people to be extra cautious when buying or selling expensive electronics online. 

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has noted a rise in violent robberies targeting people buying or selling electronics on buy-and-sell websites. 

Since Aug. 21, five reports of personal robberies in northwest Edmonton involved a person responding to an ad for a tablet or phone. When the victims of the robberies agreed to meet a potential buyer or seller, they were attacked and had their personal property stolen. Minor injuries and the threat of a weapon have been reported in the attacks. 

Police have seen an upward trend of violence in each case. 

These robberies have claimed upwards of $8000, and the assailants seem to focus on people buying or selling high-priced phones and tablets on popular sites like Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace. 

There is reason to suspect that these types of robberies are linked to each other. 

To avoid being a victim, EPS has outlined a few precautionary steps to keep yourself safe when buying/selling products online: 

  • When meeting with a buyer/seller, ensure that it is during the day in a public location. Avoid meeting in secluded places or at a stranger's home. 
  • Bring someone with you when you are going to meet a stranger, or make sure that a friend or family knows the details of where you are going and who you are meeting.
  • Screenshot the buyer's/seller's contact info and all the messages and communications you had with them. Upon arrival, ask for photo ID and other contact info. 
  • If you are robbed, call for help as soon as it is safe and report any suspicious people, vehicles, or activities to the police. 

Anyone who has been a victim of a robbery like this or has any information about these specific crimes, contact EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 on a mobile phone.