In recent years, fewer residents have garage sales and instead opt for the more impersonal Kijji or some other online sale/buy platform.
But there are risks involved and last year 31 residents in Brampton and Mississauga were robbed after listing products for sale online.
Six victims got away with minor injuries and the most common products that criminal elements took off with without paying were cellphones and small but valuable items, last week that included a puppy. In this instance, the seller was pepper sprayed by three men who then made off with the pup.
In April, two Brampton men were charged after two puppies advertised for sale on Kijiji were taken at gunpoint in separate incidents in Toronto.
This is not to say people should avoid listing their items online for sale, but they would be well served to display some caution. After all, thousands of sales happen each day around the world of items listed online by private sellers and no one gets hurt.
Peel Regional Police suggest the following safety tips for buying or selling anything online through classified websites:
• Be aware of fraud
• Meet in a public place
• Use the buddy system when meeting
• Don’t disclose personal or banking information or carry large sums of cash
• Don’t leave the initial meeting place to go to a secondary location