NY Police: LetGo User Robbed and Beaten in Online Selling Nightmare

Dec 10, 2018 | Crime Alert, Safety Smart

It seemed like it would be so easy… just snapping a couple of pictures of an old pair of shoes and listing it on LetGo… but that’s not what happened at all.

It’s supposed to be safer than Craigslist, but it turns out LetGo and other buying/selling apps are another place for criminals to hide behind an online profile. LetGo boasts over 100 million downloads and hundreds of millions of listings. It’s the fastest growing app to buy and sell items locally. It’s simple and easy to use, but, sadly, that doesn’t mean it’s safe…

Of course, this isn’t a story just about LetGo. It’s a warning about how buying or selling online or through any app can go terribly wrong.

And it can happen anywhere, to anyone who buys or sells online.

The kicks in question were a pair of Yeezy sneakers by Adidas, retailing at several hundred dollars. The seller arranged to meet the buyer at his apartment in Brooklyn. Just as the two men were exchanging cash for shoes, two more men showed up… and one had a hammer.

A fight broke out. The seller ended up beaten to the ground with a hammer and the men stole not only the shoes… but $125 from inside the apartment. It was supposed to be a simple 5-minute transaction, but it turned dangerous and bloody. The seller is lucky to be alive!

Now the police are desperately searching for the three men who set this innocent 25-year-old shoe seller up, robbed, and beat him. But it’s likely that the suspects will just go back to LetGo and other sites with a new profile to trick other unsuspecting victims into another dangerous situation. And all for $125.

LetGo exists to give us an easy way to make money getting rid of things we don’t want or need anymore. They didn’t plan to be in the safety business. But things like this happen every day – on every online marketplace. LetGo suggests looking at users ratings and reviews to allow you to determine if you want to meet them offline… but obviously, that just doesn’t cut it. And we know how easy it is for a scammer or criminal to create a fake profile and game the reviews.

We’ve all got a lot of stuff, and after a while, that stuff starts feeling old. Selling your stuff online is a great way to make extra cash from the things lying around your home…like that sweater in your closet that probably still has the tags on. You know you won’t wear it, so why not sell it?

The thing is… the simplicity and ease of selling on an app can be deceiving, and unfortunately, something like the sneaker sale turned nightmare can happen to anyone these days. Where the experience of selling something on LetGo is probably 99% seamless, there will always be people who try to scam others online. For many of these people, it’s like their full-time job, they’re professional criminals, and they’re getting really good at it.

But there is a way to protect yourself from bad people online. It’s the virtual trust badge, SafetyPIN. It was developed with NYPD criminal profilers, the former head of White House Security, and leading psychologists. The outcome was SafetyPIN, a simple tool to help you make sure someone is safe before you meet them in real life.

It’s only $1 to apply for a SafetyPIN – it’s the best way to give – and get – instant peace of mind. Make sure you ask for a SafetyPIN the next time you sell or buy anything online. For $1… Why would you ever take the chance of a simple transaction gone wrong again?

Watch this short video to learn more about how asking for a SafetyPIN can keep you safer:

Additional Posts

Babysitting on the side? Earn DOUBLE when you make this one change to your profile.

Sitters with a SafetyPIN badge reported an average of 17.9 jobs, versus sitters not using a SafetyPIN badge reported 8.4 jobs, over the same period of time. The average amount earned across the board for all sitters was $74 per job. In other words, parents booked SafetyPIN sitters TWICE as often as non-SafetyPIN sitters. Learn More.

But is SafetyPIN fair?

"Isn’t SafetyPIN just one more way to discriminate against people?" We get asked that question...a lot. Following George Floyd's death and the spotlight it put on criminal justice in the US, we hear it even more. And we understand why. Black, brown, and lower-income...

Safety Matters: Looking for a nanny or babysitter?

  Before choosing a babysitting app, make sure you know what “background checked” really means?   In this article: Surprising facts about background checks – and why they don’t always mean what you think App-by-app comparison of trust and safety standards...