Urgent warning about selling items online following spate of robberies

If you’re considering putting something up for sale online in the near future, you may want to be careful.

Queensland police have today issued a warning to sellers to take precautions and be vigilant following a number of recent cases where people have been robbed.

“In the last 24 hours, Ipswich Police have received two reports of people making online arrangements to meet a buyer/seller, and having the items stolen,” police said.


“Recently, police have received many reports of these types of thefts, usually involving mobile phones”.

Officers said personal safety is a priority when arranging to meet up with someone to either sell or buy goods and have urged Queenslanders to remain vigilant.

They have also released a list of tips to avoid being conned when buying or selling items online:

  • Follow online safety advice from sources such as the Australian Cyber Security Centre regarding how to safely purchase/sell online.
  • Look into the buyer/seller before meeting up. Social media pages that have recently been created or only have a few followers may be indications that they’re fake.
  • Look out for pages where the conversation is one-way by the page owner, with little or no engagement from the page’s community.
  • Check online shopping sites for secure methods of payment. Never pay by money order, pre-loaded money cards or wire transfer.
  • Do not accept screenshots as proof of payment.
  • Don’t meet up with strangers at night or in secluded or private locations. Your personal safety is your priority when arranging to meet up. Consider meeting in a public area during day light hours where there is plenty of CCTV and people around.
  • If possible, take a family member or friend with you.
  • Consider your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with any aspect of the sale or purchase, cancel the meeting.
  • Record details of the person you are meeting including name, email address and phone number.