Woman trying to buy car from seller on app robbed and assaulted - | WBTV Charlotte

Woman trying to buy car from seller on app robbed and assaulted in Charlotte

(Pamela Escobar | WBTV) (Pamela Escobar | WBTV)

A local woman said she was pistol-whipped and robbed after meeting up with a stranger to buy a car. The alleged incident happened last week in Mecklenburg County. 

We’ve heard of these stories when some people use websites like Craigslist, but the woman in this cased used an app on her smartphone called OfferUp, which allows people to buy and sell items locally.

Police said they do not have any suspects. The victim, who is now out of the hospital but still badly bruised, did not want her identity revealed. She said she was beaten the second time she tried to meet the seller. The first time she was with two men and the seller was a no-show - the second time she was with her mom and had $2,500.

“It's been a very very long weekend, and terrified of everybody and everything,” the woman said. “Should've, would've, could've... I paid a very big price. Thankfully not the biggest one I could have.”

She’s still scared but wants people to learn from the red flags she missed.

“Red flag - I should have test drove the car before I ever got money out,” she said.

She was trying to buy a 2003 Honda after seeing an ad on OfferUp.

“I sent a message that I was interested. They asked if I had questions about the car. Of course, I asked all the normal questions you normally would. I thought I was talking to a woman who's daughter just went to college and they wanted to get rid of it,” she said. The seller, she said, offered many details about the car.

“They were running late. They were picking it up from the mechanic. I should have said we'll come back tomorrow since it's starting to get dark. As soon as it got dark I got a message that 'we're about to pull up.' When I looked down at my phone to read the message, passenger door flung open and I started getting beat with a gun and told I was going to be killed,” she said.

She has the messages from the seller in an email, but she said his OfferUp profile posing as a woman was deleted.

“It can happen with anything, there's so many out there. So many out there now. There's LetGo, OfferUp, Craigslist, Garage Sale - which is like virtual garage sale. I've used all of them, with much success,” she said.

A police report was filed Thursday and the victim said she was contacted Monday by OfferUp and a detective.

OfferUp sent this statement to WBTV:

The trust and security of our users is a core focus for us at OfferUp and we do not tolerate criminal activity. We take any report like this incredibly seriously and we have been in touch with the victim. We immediately blocked the suspect's account and have provided assistance to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

OfferUp also has safety information on its website.

The victim in this case said she wants people to learn from her experience.

“I don't care if you have to take five people with you," she said. "If they don't want to meet at a police station, don't worry about it. If the deal is too good to be true, it's too good to be true."

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