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Thieves using Dipleague email classifieds to target their victims

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Dear people,

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Beware of two guys and a woman driving a blue Honda RVR pretending to be buyers. They stole a Toshiba laptop, $500(money) and an iPhone 4s from me Saturday afternoon. Value $2500. They called from the following number +263 779xxxxxx. Woman is short and dark in complexion maybe in her mid 30′s and one of men was tall and looked very frail in health. The driver of the car seemed in his mid 40′s and was short n slim.

That was the message (you will need a login to access) one man recently posted on the popular local classifieds mailing list Dipleague. We exchanged a few emails with him afterwards and he indicated the police are trying to gather as much data as they can so they can make an arrest. He also indicated that he has since learnt there are many more users of the platform that have been targeted by these robbers.

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We are glad that this guy wasn’t injured but that does not imply that the other victims weren’t because it’s common for people to resist a robbery.

Since its early years the internet has been a thriving platform for scammers, rapists, robbers and child traffickers. If Zimbabweans are losing money to con artists over the internet before online transactions go mainstream it means things may only get worse in future. Classifieds websites are a common target for unscrupulous characters. The global Craigslist, arguably the most popular in this category, has recently become a target for paedophiles offering “free” babysitting.

Some safety precautions that should be taken when meeting a potential buyer or seller. This includes meeting them in a public place such as a cafe, and not to have them pick you up in their car. And even when you meet in a public place, once has to take precaution to ensure they are not followed after the meeting.

Do spread the message of awareness. How else can people trade safely?

image via sklartechnology.com

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