Northampton woman selling old clothes 'violated' by creepy request for worn underwear

Police warning over disclosing personal details while doing online deals

Friday, 7th May 2021, 2:34 pm

Police are warning people buying and selling old clothes online to beware after a Northampton woman was asked for her worn underwear.

Officers say they received a complaint last month from the woman who gave her home address to a buyer after offering two bags of garments using a phone app.

Northamptonshire Police said selling second-hand fashion online has become big business but users of such services should "ensure personal safety is their number one priority".

Buying and selling old clothes online has become big business

The woman, who has not been identified, told Police she agreed to sell clothes to a man who claimed he was interested in branded goods.

She cancelled the sale but is now worried as he knows where she lives.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “Buying and selling items on websites and apps such as Facebook, Depop and Vinted has become big business.

"However, we would strongly encourage users of these sites to ensure personal safety is their number one priority at all times.

“When you’re on these sites, you do not expect to be propositioned as this woman was. It can, rightly, leave people feeling anxious and violated.

“Anyone who receives offensive or inappropriate messages on these sites should cease all contact with that user and report the incident to the platform itself and to police if they believe an offence has been committed.”

Police have issued a checklist of steps buyers and sellers can take to protect themselves online:

■ If someone’s message or profile looks suspicious, trust your instincts and walk away.

■ When purchasing smaller items, do the exchange in a safe public place. If you must do the exchange from your home, do it at the doorstep and if possible, have a friend or family member with you.

■ Use an online payment option such as PayPal, which helps to protect you.

■ If you’re the buyer, never transfer money directly into a seller’s account without viewing the item in a safe secure place in person first.

■ If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

■ Report suspicious activity to police on 101.