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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
A new warning from Charlotte Mecklenburg Police. Con artists - targeting unsuspecting victims on Facebook and other social media sites. The hot commodity they're using to do it: sneakers.
CMPD said they have recently seen a trend of armed robberies, common law robberies, and larcenies where victims are being robbed of their sneakers.
There is a group on Facebook called The Sneaker Head Society of North Carolina. People who are members can go to this site and sell, purchase, or trade used or new sneakers that are usually higher priced and hard to find in a store.
Sgt. Keith Caviness told WBTV it's a quick, easy hustle.
"People now are desperate to make cash and they see this as a easy lick by taking in sneakers and they're main goal is to rob you," he said.
The buyer and seller normally agree to a price on this site and may or may not exchange telephone numbers to come up with a designated meeting place, officials said.
That's a red flag, said Sgt. Caviness.
"If you call the person, and the phone number is no longer there, then that's a sign something is getting ready to occur," he pointed out. "If they're changing the meeting location, over and over again before you actually get there, that's also a sign."
The Robbery Unit would like to educate the users of Facebook, Craigslist, and other private sector sites and forums on some safety tips to keep them from being a victim of a robbery when using one of these sites to make a purchase of sneakers or any other item:
After you agree to meet the buyer or seller and that person's profile is no longer on the site do not do business with them.
If the buyer or seller changes the meeting place that is agreed upon this should make you very suspicious.
Always meet the buyer or seller in a public place where there are plenty of people. Never agree to meet on a side street or a place that is not well lit.
Always take someone with you and let the buyer or seller know you will be bringing someone with you to the meeting place. If you decide to go alone advise someone of your location and return time prior to the meeting taking place.
If the agreement for the sneakers you are buying/selling seems too good to be true then it is probably a scam.