Public warned over Gumtree scam

Posted on 20/02/2013 by

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Police in Edinburgh are investigating a series of robberies and assaults on people selling electronics online. Two of the thefts involved computers and a third involved a mobile phone – which had been advertised on the Gumtree website – and the robberies took place after sellers agreed to meet potential buyers in McDonald’s car park on Telford Road.

The most recent incident happened on Monday (18 February)  when a 24-year-old man was threatened and robbed of an Apple computer he was attempting to sell. The other two incidents happened on Sunday 20 January and Monday 21 January.

Inspector Mark Rennie, from Lothian and Borders Police, said: “While no victims were injured, all were understandably distressed as a result of their respective ordeals, and we are carrying out inquiries in order to establish whether these incidents are linked. At the same time we are warning anyone conducting any transaction over Gumtree, or any similar website, to take precautions to ensure their safety.”

Lothian and Borders Police have issued advice for anyone who sells goods online, including to meet in a well-lit public place and get full contact details for any potential buyer you agree to meet.

Anyone with any information about these crimes should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131, or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police