Craigslist has become a popular spot for buying, selling, and trading goods or services.
Whether you are looking for furniture, car, or even a job, Craigslist is the website that many frequent on a regular basis.
With the rising popularity in Craigslist, comes a rising rate in crime occurring related to a Craigslist purchase.
One of the most prominent Craigslist crimes occurred in 2009 when a man lured a masseuse into a hotel room and then murdered her. This man was dubbed the “Craigslist Killer”. Just recently three job seekers in Ohio were murdered. These job seekers all responded to a post they saw on Craigslist.
Murder is not the only crime occurring due to Craigslist. Robberies are also on the rise. Last month in Milwaukee’s District 7 six Craigslist-related robberies occurred. This lead police to issue heightened warnings for those conducting business on Craigslist.
Police are now telling people to conduct their Craigslist business at police stations around the country. Police hope by offering a safe place to do business, crimes can be prevented.
“If they don’t want to meet you at a police district, that should be a red flag, an indicator: Don’t do business with that individual” said police officer, Lisa Staffold.
“This is nothing new. It’s happening all over the country,” she said in the Journal Sentinel. “The media has deemed it ‘robbery by appointment’ because you’re posting ads, you’re selling your iPhones, your iPads, your vehicles, and when you go to a meeting location, you’re being robbed.”
Cops are now issuing tips to prevent Craigslist-related crimes. These tips include:
- Using eBay instead of Craigslist for items that can be shipped. The online auction site, eBay, requires no personal contact. Transactions can be made using Paypal, a third-party business.
- If something on Craigslist sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The item may be stolen or a potential setup.
- Meet all potential buyers and sellers during daylight hours. If you are unable to meet during the day, then find a well-lit public location.
- Always bring someone else along with you. Also, always bring your cell phone and arrive early.
- You do not have to contact police in order to business on their premises.
- You can meet in front of police station or even in the lobby without contacting police prior.
- Lastly, don’t give out your personal information. If you are able to, try to find out as much about the other person before doing business with them.
By adhering to these tips you can have a safe and successful Craigslist transaction.
By: South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer Pete Strom