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The risks of too good to be true online deals

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Felony Charges |

Finding low-priced designer goods, gadgets and other high-ticket items on online marketplaces is enough to make you double-take. The thought of snagging such a steal can be irresistible, but making the purchase could have consequences.

For some time now, goods stolen from major retailers have been making their way to various e-commerce platforms. In Missouri, buying stolen property falls under the receiving stolen property statute. If charged, you could face serious consequences.

Think before you buy

The thrill of discovering unbeatable deals can sometimes overshadow critical considerations. In the rush to secure a seemingly incredible offer, it becomes easy to gloss over the unrealistic pricing or question where it came from. Or perhaps you run an online shop stocked with items from a supplier of high-value items at low prices but never looked into their background.

Transactions based on stolen property can put sellers and buyers at risk of legal penalties. It is unlawful to receive, retain or dispose of property you know is stolen or believe is stolen.

The value of the item will determine the severity of the penalty. Buying or selling stolen property valued below $500 is a misdemeanor. If the item exceeds this value, it could lead to a felony charge.

What happens if you purchase an item not knowing it was stolen?

When it comes to stolen property, not knowing may not be enough of a defense. If the state accuses you of receiving stolen goods, they could use a history of purchasing stolen goods or circumstantial evidence to argue that you knew about the property’s unlawful origins.

Receiving stolen property is a serious offense. Handling such charges alone can lead to mistakes that negatively affect your case’s outcome. Seeking legal representation could save you from a world of trouble.

If you aren’t facing charges but are concerned a seller might be peddling selling stolen goods or simply want to ensure your transactions are lawful, consulting an attorney can also help. They can help you report suspicious activity and protect your rights if necessary.

When considering an offering that seems too good to be true, it is often better to be safe than sorry.