Online shoppers urged to be careful

POLICE are advising caution over deals that are made on internet auction sites.

In several recent cases, purchasers have bought items, typically iPhones, that turned out to be fakes when received. Police are warning members of the public to be particularly vigilant when buying items online, particularly at this time of year with Christmas just around the corner.

In another case in Ballygawley, a purchaser and seller met in a car park to exchange money for a phone. The purchaser later rang to say the phone was not working, and he wanted his money back. When the two met again, the money and phone were exchanged, but the box was later found to be empty.

A police spokesman said: “In this instance, the ‘purchaser’ received not only a properly working phone, but his money back. We are pursuing definite lines of enquiry in relation to the incident.”

He added: “If you need to meet someone to exchange cash for goods, arrange it for a public place, preferably one that is covered by CCTV. Whether you are selling or buying, always check the contents of any boxes before completing the deal.

“The fake phones incidents underline the need to ensure that when dealing on eBay or Gumtree, or any other site; you should always complete the deal within the proper rules. Do not be tempted by any offer that would take the deal outside the official protection offered by the sites.”