HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A man who thought he was going to buy an iPhone X in Huntsville ended up staring down the barrel of a gun and he was forced to hand over his money.
It happened Wednesday night at an apartment complex in the 6400 block of Old Madison Pike.
The victim was robbed at gunpoint in a deal that was set up through social media.
“He was at a meeting place where he had met someone on Facebook to buy a cell phone from. When he went to this meeting place, an individual got in the front seat of the car and abruptly pulled out a handgun and took cash from him,” explained Lt. Michael Johnson, public information officer for the Huntsville Police Department.
The suspect left and the victim called police. The suspect then blocked the victim’s page on Facebook to prevent any further communication.
Huntsville police encourage people doing business online to meet in a public place.
“When you buy stuff online whether it’s thru social media or however you purchase stuff, it’s always a good practice to think about the venue you’re going to meet someone, the location,” Johnson said. “Plan for the place where you’re going to have this transaction.”
HPD encourages buyers and sellers to meet at their headquarters at 815 Wheeler Avenue. There’s a lobby with 24/7 access and an officer at the desk to provide a safe spot for the exchange.
As for the incident Wednesday night, HPD is still investigating the armed robbery. The victim was not injured.
“The investigator does have leads in this case. And once again, social media was used,” Johnson added. “We’ve had several instances of this over the past couple of years. It’s not prevalent but it usually occurs with victims where they’re not really familiar with the area where they’re meeting and the person they’re meeting with. We just ask people to make wiser choices when they make a transaction like this.”