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Wed Mar 2 2016 22:57:47

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

By: Ina Steiner

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In Thursday's EcommerceBytes Newsflash newsletter, we describe how police departments are setting up safe trading zones for people nervous about meeting Craigslist buyers in person to complete their transactions.

Meeting in the police station lobby or parking lot where there is 24/7 surveillance is a deterrent to would-be criminals. 

The issue is important, as there have been robberies and attacks by people posing as buyers on Craigslist and other classifieds services - and there are a growing number of mobile apps becoming popular as well.

Where do you meet to conduct in-person transactions? Does your town offer any safe trading zones at police stations or sheriff's offices, and have you ever used one?

What practices do you follow in staying safe when buying and selling with strangers in person?




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Mar 2 23:48:27 2016

I ONLY take phone calls (no e-mails) when selling locally.

This eliminates overseas scammers. And if the phone number doesn't show up on my caller ID, I will not even answer.

If someone was so bold (or stupid) as to try and rob me, I have their phone number where they can be traced.

A thief can hide behind an e-mail address, but it is more difficult to have multiple phone numbers that are untraceable.


Never have had any troubles with local buyers, and do all my business at my home. Will not meet anywhere in public. Ever.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 01:24:00 2016

Wow!  I've both bought and sold a lot on CL with no problems.

Heavy items I move to my detached garage and meet people there.

Others I meet at neighborhood convenience stores where the clerks all know me..

I bought a computer from a seller and we met in the house so he could plug it in and show all the features to me.

My male friends are concerned for me though.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 3 07:21:10 2016

If I could not make the sale at a police precinct I would not make the sale. Robberies, assaults, murders, scams....no thank you.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 08:20:43 2016

You can stay safe on Craigslist the same way you can stay safe on Fleecebay.


BUT ELSEWHERE AS BOTH SITES CATER TO THE THIEVES WITHOUT REMORSE OR CARE.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 08:24:52 2016

Responding to the thread about the Boca Raton PD advising C/L sellers to conduct biz at their cop shop, I can only say: "Has it come to this? We know have to do biz under the watchful eye of Big Brother?"

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Thu Mar 3 09:13:16 2016

My Police Station lobby consists of an outside door opening to a 10x10 painted cinder block room with one small window & the clerk/officer glaring at you. I had to go there to pick up some paperwork. Not exactly people friendly. No thanks.

Actually the CT State Police does encourage exchanges in their lobby.

But, it depends on the item. Anywhere there is CCTV (convenience stores, retail malls, dark underpasses) is usually a good place. The best way is to bring a scowling friend like Mike Ehrmantraut.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 10:34:12 2016

I have met up with a few buyers in the past, but it always makes me nervous. I try to let people know where I am going and how long I will be there and try to take someone along with me if they are available. I don't have a conceal carry permit so I take my stun gun with me instead. Our local Police Station just recently set up a safe spot in the parking lot. It's equipped with 24 hour surveillance, though I'm not sure how much this will help considering the response time of our Police Dept.!  

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Mar 3 12:10:48 2016

Since everything I have for sale can be easily mailed, there would need to be a really compelling reason for me to meet with someone to do a merchandise/money exchange.

A couple years ago I got an email from a man who was interested in one of my items (mint, in factory sealed packaging) but stated he wanted to "inspect" it and could we meet at a Starbucks. I told him I don't drive so it's very hard for me to meet him at a Starbucks, and I didn't want people to think we were doing a drug deal. I also explained that all the photos were shot by me, were not stock photos, and that the item in the photos was the item he would be receiving so there wasn't much he could inspect since it was still sealed. Then he asks me what my return policy was, so I told him for items new in original packaging there was no returns accepted, and that I wasn't in the rental business. That was the last I heard from him.  

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Mar 3 15:18:16 2016

BEWARE : Buying laptops can be FATAL to your personal economy :
I bought a laptop from an unknown guy in a parking lot.
Price was right. It is still working just fine today.
Good thing when I got it home I went right to the Network settings. He had it all setup to take control of everything from his location. He could have seen everything I punched in, every place I went online. He could have stolen my identity.
I simply eliminated all remote manner of entry into the computer.
AND : Always hit : Ctrl - Alt- Delete (all 3 at the same time)> Start Task Manager, go to "Processes" tab, and get familiar with everything running on your computer. Google stuff you don't know. Also go to "Programs > Uninstall"  to get rid of any invasive software that may have been planted.
Download SPYBOT Search & Destroy. Run it. It will pull out any spywares. the paid version will also pull out malwares. Malwarebytes will do it for Free.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Thu Mar 3 16:55:14 2016

In St. Louis last year we have had uncounted people robbed; one confirmed murder; a few disappearances.  All were related to Craigslist & all were selling or buying cars & all had told family or friends where they were going.  I cannot imagine that anyone would think large money available for the types of items I sell, but I am still cautious.  Many police stations around town have invited FB groups, C/L, Want Ads, etc to exchange in their lobbies.

If I had some transaction involving large amounts of cash, I would do that transaction in a police lobby now a days.

Precautions I have taken in the past when meeting strangers: meet spot is well-lit and has obvious cameras and lots of people; I do not bring my purse; I have pepper spray in a pocket; I wear running shoes: I bring a friend who stands near by but not with. Never had a problem yet - crossing fingers. No one has ever made me nervous enough to signal a friend over or pull the spray out :)

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 3 17:27:57 2016

meet in a neutral place where other people are, bring someone with you

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 4 12:05:48 2016

Have had no issues. I have cameras , & a toy in plain site. Hmmm , a fair fight, scares most would be away. Everyone I have dealt with on craig s , has been smooth sailing.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Fri Mar 4 17:39:53 2016

I usually meet at McDonald's, Burger King, or Hardee's.  If the other person doesn't show up, I can eat at least.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Mar 4 23:49:44 2016

With the exception of the laptop deal, every time I go to buy something on Craig's List, the people either bale out with a stupid excuse, or they start running an auction. I don't get it.
So, Craig's List is useless.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 5 09:42:38 2016

I'll give you one easily verified fact: dealing on C/L is a Heck of a lot SAFER than using The Hoe and Devil Wingnut as your selling partners! I get CASH in my pocket and that's where it STAYS - no SNAD's, no INR's, no chargebacks!

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Mar 6 01:08:52 2016

Volvo351:

AMEN!

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 7 01:25:28 2016

I meet potential buyers inside the facility where my storage lockers are, which has video surveillance, and the exit from which (for a vehicle) requires a gate code.

How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?   How Do You Stay Safe Trading on Craigslist?

by: MissyS This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 23 00:24:40 2016

I met someone in the lobby of the local library to give him a cable modem he bought from me on CL. Felt pretty safe there.



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