POLICE are warning internet traders to be on their guard after two people were robbed at knifepoint when a deal went wrong.
In two separate incidents, the on-line traders had arranged to meet someone on Catherine Close, Bulwell - but instead of trading cash for goods, the men were threatened at knifepoint and robbed.
The first incident happened just before 6pm on Friday 29th March and the second at around 11.15am on Tuesday 2nd April.
A 41-year-old Kirkby man had arranged to meet a seller to buy their mobile phone and was led down an alley by a young man and was met by another before being threatened with a knife.
He was unharmed but the two robbers stole cash.
The latest incident led to a 55-year-old seller from Newark suffering slash injuries to his hand from a person claiming to want to buy his laptop.
Officers say the two youths demanded he hand over cash and car keys.
The man was injured in the subsequent scuffle and had to receive treatment at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
In the first incident involving the Kirkby man, the robbers were described as mixed race men in their early 20s.
One was around 5ft 8ins tall and of medium build. His accomplice was around 6ft tall and of an athletic, slim build.
In the second incident, the suspects were described as white and in their late teens. One was around 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build with short blond hair.
Enquiries have been made in the local area and patrols stepped up to deter further incidents and provide reassurance.
Kevin Brown from the force’s pre-crime unit said: “In cases such as this, be careful when it comes to meeting up with people to buy or sell items advertised online. They are, after all, strangers.
“Always take another person along with you to make exchanges and arrange to meet your trader in a busy place.
“Most online traders are genuine, however, there are some unscrupulous people out there who may try to sell you stolen goods, or have no goods to sell.
“Speak to them on the phone before the exchange, ask about the item they have to sell. Do they sound genuine? Trust your gut. If you have any doubts, don’t trade with them.”
If anyone who saw either of the exchanges that turned violent, or suspect someone of dealing in stolen goods contact 101, quoting incident 237 of 2nd April 2013. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.