A warning to preppers, or anyone who buy items on Craigslist:
Over the last couple of years, the number of people being robbed or killed when responding to Craigslist ads has been on the rise. The news is filled with people being either seriously injured, or killed when responding to an ad on Craigslist.
From Police in Houston warning the public of an increase in Craigslist robberies, to the 18-year-old couple who was robbed and killed in San Diego, Craigslist is becoming a dangerous place to find and buy goods. Criminals are placing fake ads in hopes of luring people with large amounts of cash to their location, where they can then rob them.
If you’re going to buy something on Craigslist, there are a couple of safety precautions you should take.
- Check out the seller’s information: Ask for a phone number and an address. Take that information, and then check the names of the seller online to find out who you are dealing with.
- Ask a lot of questions: Ask as many questions as you can before going to buy the product. If the seller can’t answer your questions, there is a good chance that he doesn’t actually have the product, and could be setting you up.
- Don’t buy from sellers who only list an email address: This is a HUGE RED FLAG. If they don’t list their phone number, the seller usually has something to hide.
- Meet in a public place – Criminals don’t want witnesses; meeting in a public place like a coffee shop or cafe can help ensure your safety. Most of the criminals on Craigslist are looking for an easy target and are not very likely to rob you in a cafe full of people.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is: A lot of these Craigslist scams are pretty easy to spot. If the deal sounds too good to be true, you are better off passing it up.
- Never go to a second location – If you arrive at the predetermined meeting place and the seller asks to go to another place, this should raise some serious red flags. There is no reason for a seller to ask you to go somewhere else.
- Don’t go alone. You should always have someone with you who can watch your back.
- Show up early: If you are meeting in a public location, show up early and scope out the area. Watch for the seller, and make sure everything looks legit. If you have even the slightest concern that something seems out of place, trust your instincts and leave.