The Regina Police Service is advising the public to exercise caution when selling vehicles via website classifieds and social media platforms.
A recent theft occurrence occurred on April 12, 2018, which involved a used vehicle advertised for sale online. The vehicle owner was contacted by a male who claimed to be interested in buying the vehicle. The prospective buyer arrived, and after discussing details with the owner, entered the driver’s seat and requested a test drive. After handing over the keys, the owner began to walk around the front of the vehicle to access the passenger’s side, but the driver drove off with the vehicle, almost striking the owner with the vehicle while doing so.
Police caution that criminals can falsely identify themselves during online interactions, and do search for used vehicle sales through online classifieds in order to attempt to drive away with the vehicle, or to rob the other person.
When buying and selling with a stranger, arrange to speak over the phone, ahead of the meet up, to determine if they seem suspicious. If they do seem suspicious, you are not required to carry out the transaction. If you are meeting someone you don’t know, do so in a public place, ideally one with video surveillance. If possible, have another person with you, and always inform a family member or friend before meeting with people you don’t know. As an added precaution, take down their license plate number when they arrive at the meeting point.