I was listening to the radio and heard yet another Craigslist scam. It seems that an Oakland California citizen went to purchase a car they saw advertised on Craigslist. When he met to look at an purchase the car he was robbed at gun point. Years ago when I was looking for a car for my daughter, I saw a great deal for a nice car..but my Spidey senses went off. Days later on the news it was reported that this car posted on Craigslist was stolen.
Craigslist and similar sites like Backpages, or E-bay are the internet’s version of the thieves Market. It is a great place to find great deals and to sale those household items you no longer want. It’s also a great place to find and provide honest services. However, as Craigslist continues to grow in popularity it is attracting all kinds of low lifes. Including and not excluding rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and other forms of jiggery-pokery. These members of our society are ruining the Craigslist experience for honest folks
Like many other industries the owners of Craigslist is working hard to stay ahead of cleaver criminals who are misusing the service for their own criminal activity. The operators of the Craigslist service have done everything it can to protect the identity of its users, but the growing criminal problem is out of their hands. If you watch the news or do an internet search there continues to be numerous stories of trickery, thievery, rape, and even murder which all stemmed from posted listings.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of people who post vehicles for sale on Craigslist, and some of them may be out to scam you. One common scam involves the seller or someone working with them stealing the car back mere days after completion of the sale.
You may be aware of Philip Markoff, the infamous Craigslist killer. Who killed escorts he met on Craigslist.
In another story a man sprayed pepper spray in the face of a 51-year old man who had $14,500 worth of jewelry for sale. The man tricked the seller into driving him to another location where he said the money was at and instead got a face full of pepper spray and his jewels snatched, without any exchange of money.
Here are 10 Tips to Protect Yourself from Craigslist Evil-Doers
Craigslist is much more than a feeding ground for thieves. You can find a lot of treasures on Craigslist and make plenty of sales through its use, but you should rightfully be cautious. Here are some safety tips which might help you have a legitimate Craigslist transaction.
Trust your instincts. Notice how this is almost always one of my safety tips. That strange feeling is your early warning system. If you don’t feel right about something then pass it up. Leave the cheese in the trap. Safety first.
Meet at the Police/Fire Department. What will be more discouraging to the plans of a thief than suggesting to meet at your local authority.
Never EVER bring money. Bringing money for large sales items (such as buying a vehicle) is like wearing a “FREE MONEY” sign. You should be very cautious at these types of transactions, Why can’t they take a cashier check or stand in line at a bank with you? What is their motive? I’ve sold stuff on Craigslist and asked for cash. But the people came to my house, to see what they were buying. So it’s not like I could easily be a scam artist.
Get a callback number. Make sure you have a phone number to contact the seller/buyer. Having a phone number doesn’t mean can’t still con you. In this digital age criminals ten to use throw away cell phones. However, having a phone number does give you a starting point in case something does go wrong.
Ask yourself if this Too good to be true. The people robbed in Oakland went for unbelievable bargains. If it really is too good to be true then it usually is. You should shop for a bargain, but watch out for those steals! Those deals where you’ll never be able to find anywhere else, so you need to react impulsively.
Never Go Alone!. This will not always deter an assailant from attacking you or robbing you blind, but it does give you an edge and can potentially discourage a robbery. Bring a BIG or at least wise friend along for the ride. If you know someone who carries a badge, that’s even better.
Ask lots personal questions first. Over the phone you should strike up a conversation. Ask their first and last name? Ask what school they graduated from? Ask them what street they grew up on? Ask about their husband, wife, or kids? Be personal and chatty. Write down all the information you have. TO be fair, with the rise of identity theft, some people may not volunteer personal information.
Tell someone where you are going. Always let a friend, family member, or co-worker know about your plans to visit a Craigslist buyer/seller. Make sure they have all the information you wrote down including phone numbers, location, date and time. Just in case you are never heard from again, or go missing.
Never make quick judgment calls. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15) Stick to the plan (and the payment), never go outside the plan. Don’t go to another location at the last-minute, don’t get into the car with anyone, don’t change plans, etc.
Carry a cell phone. Make sure you have a fully charged cell phone in hand just in case you need to make an emergency phone call. Also if your phone as a GPS locator, which tells the cell phone companies where you are (or rather the cell phone). Make sure it is activated. It’s a common feature on newer phones.
Have some protection You should always carry some non-lethal self-defense weapons. A stun gun, taser, pepper spray, a telescopic baton are good examples. Each if used will afford you enough time to escape and get help, if you need too.
Just like society itself many of the people you meet or deal with are fairly honest and decent. However, criminals do exist in our society. The same can be said of the people who use Craigslist. Many of them are honest and only want to conduct a fair l business, but for those times when someone is out to con you the tips above may save you either money or your life . Be safe and make the best of your on-line experience
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