Buffalo Police say people are being robbed at gun point while trying to buy or sell smartphones. It’s a scam that’s popping up in Buffalo again.
Officers say thieves are using sites such as craigslist to lure people into neighborhoods to rob them.

It all starts with someone trying to buy a smartphone using websites like craigslist or even the LetGo app. They set a time and a place to meet the seller in person. But Buffalo Police say it’s during that meeting in person that the buyer is attacked.
They are dealing with a website that basically you can remain anonymous on the site,” said Captain Jeff Rinaldo with the Buffalo Police Department.
Captain Jeff Rinaldo says that can make it tough to track down the people responsible, but police have made some arrests.
He says people are using apps and even Facebook Marketplace to buy or sell smart phones.
But it’s a set up.
“Either the phone that they’re trying to sell is stolen for them along with other personal belongings. Or if they’re trying to purchase a phone the money is stolen,” said Rinaldo.
Rinaldo says police are investigating several cases in the last few weeks. People have been held at gun point and even assaulted in some cases.
“We’re seeing a couple where people are lured down into residential neighborhoods, you have situations where it’s people who are unfamiliar with those neighborhoods going to them,” said Rinaldo.
Rinaldo says these robberies are happening in different areas throughout the city and he doesn’t think it’s the same people committng these crimes.
“It tends to be on side streets or in the densely residential areas where it’s a lot easier to disappear,” said Rinaldo.
That’s why police are warning people with these tips:
– Don’t go to an unfamiliar neighborhood
– Meet in a public place
– Choose a well lit area.
– Don’t go alone

“There’s no phone worth purchasing or selling that the value of which puts your life in your hands,” said Rinaldo.