A man who was selling iPhones on Craigslist was carjacked early Wednesday morning in a San Diego neighborhood.
The victim, 50, told local authorities that he had put three iPhones up for sale on Craigslist. He then arranged to meet a buyer at an apartment complex in the Mission Valley area of San Diego.
He got to the apartment complex around 12:45 a.m. As he arrived, a man walked up to the driver’s side window while another man approached the other side of the vehicle.
That’s when the second suspect had stuck what the victim believed was a gun to his back and ordered him and his dog out of the vehicle.
The two robbers then got into the victim’s gray BMW and drove off with the iPhones, police told local media. A second vehicle reportedly followed the first out of the complex.
The man and his dog were not hurt during the incident.
While no one was harmed during the incident, it does illustrate some of the dangers of buying and selling things on marketplace apps and websites like Craigslist.
How to Stay Safe While Selling iPhones on Craigslist
Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe while using marketplace platforms.
- Don’t meet at odd hours. It may not be the best idea to meet a buyer or seller at an odd time at night or in the morning. Try to meet someone in broad daylight or when more people are out and about.
- Meet the seller in a public place. Don’t give out your home or work address. Meet prospective buyers or sellers at a public, well-populated place like a coffee shop, restaurant, or even outside of a police station.
- Don’t give out your contact information. Use a proxy email address if you can. If you’re willing to put a bit of effort and money in it, you can also use a burner number or a Google Voice number to keep your real phone number anonymous.
- Bring a friend. It’s always smart to bring a friend or family member when you meet anyone from a marketplace platform. At the very least, make sure someone knows where you’re going and at what time.
- Avoid these common scams. While this isn’t necessarily a safety tip, always make sure to see a product before you buy it, and receive payment before you send something through the mail.