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Police online fraud warning after East London car buyer is stabbed

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:45 05 October 2010

POLICE are warning website shoppers about an online fraud following a near-fatal attack on a man responding to a Gumtree.com car advert. The 42-year-old underwent life-saving surgery after being stabbed during a robbery attempt while responding to an online car ad

POLICE are warning website shoppers about an online fraud following a near-fatal attack in East London on a man responding to a Gumtree.com car advert.

The 42-year-old was flown 10 miles to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where he underwent life-saving surgery after being stabbed during a robbery attempt at North Street in Barking.

Witnesses described seeing him on the ground trying to hold on to a bag while two thugs punched, kicked, and finally stabbed him.

He was on his way with cash to buy a VW Golf car he had seen advertised on Gumtree.com.

But the registered keeper of the car was unaware it had been offered on the website.

Det Chief Ins Ellie O'Connor said: "This was a brutal attack on an innocent man who was responding to an ad in good faith.

WRONG

"Millions of successful transactions take place on the internet every day.

"But there are times when transactions go wrong, although incidents resulting in injury are rare."

Now police have put out guidelines for website shoppers not go to a meeting point alone, to meet in a busy area, never be lured away from a safe place and not to carry large amounts of cash.

A 20-year-old and a 16-year-old were arrested after the incident at 3.50pm on July 3, both on bail until October 7.

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the attack in North Street to call Barking CID on 020-8217 5535, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800-555111.

The Met Police are running a Fraud Alert on their website. There is also an online vehicle Safe Trading advisory group.

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