Police reminding buyers to watch for red flags buying popular electronics

Popular new tech is selling out fast in stores and many people are turning to online marketplaces like Kijiji or Facebook.

Police are warning the buyers to watch for red flags in those sales.

Andrea Hartman's husbands wants a PlayStation 5.

"It's kind of cool," she said. "Not so much cool is trying to find one, because apparently they are impossible to find."

It was only released a few days ago, and is already in high demand.

"A lot of retailers are sold out, the preorders are sold out," tech expert Marc Saltzman said. "There's some online markets that you'll pay through the nose for."

That high demand has led to scams.

Police in British Columbia are investigating multiple cases of sellers being assaulted and robbed for the gaming system.

Investigators said each incident happened after arranging a sale through an online marketplace.

Toronto police are also warning of an increase in violent robberies of game consoles.

There haven't been any reported thefts in Waterloo Region yet, but police advise buyers and sellers to remain vigilant and do their homework before meeting up with anyone.

"Choose a well-lit location that is known to have surveillance video cameras," Const. Ashley Dietrich said.

Police said red flags include changing locations at the last minute, the seller asking for a deposit before a meeting, not seeing an item before purchasing or meeting in a private location.

"It doesn't hurt to make a list of the retailers that do carry the consoles and just keep calling," Saltzman said. "Sometimes you do get lucky."

He said people can also wait until demand dies down.