Craigslist is used by many to buy and sell stuff due to its simple interface. You can find almost anything on it. However, due to the large scale of transactions occurring, it is hard to keep track or even find out the credentials of the parties to the sale or the authenticity of the things being sold.
To help you in maneuvering around the site, here are some tips for a safe and meaningful experience on Craigslist.
Conceal Your Identity
In Craigslist, you are given an option to either use your true email address or use the one provided by the site itself. Choose the latter. It’s safer to use the proxy e-mail as it can prevent scammers from accessing your real e-mail address.
However, when you respond to someone, your true e-mail will then be exposed. You can opt to create an e-mail solely for Craigslist. Use ones from Mailinator, Gish Puppy, etc. to hide your true identity and preserve your anonymity.
In addition, do not reveal your location or residential place. Always remember to remove geotags from the photos before you put them on Craigslist. Thieves and scammers can use programs that can read the information on location that are hidden in the file header. For starters, use the EXIF geotag removal app before posting online.
Aside from contact details, do not also give in to requests that can reveal any personal or financial information. Some scammers will ask you to submit “credit checks” and such is a big no-no since they can get credit card information from it. Money wiring services is also often used by scammers.
The best way to handle Craigslist transaction is by meeting in person and using cash or PayPal as a mode of payment.
To See is To Believe
Never buy something in Craigslist without seeing it personally. Scheming sellers can get photos online of items in good condition when in reality, the one they are selling is not in top shape anymore. You see this a lot when people sell their iPhone’s and you will be disappointed to see a different item when you receive it via courier.
When you do meet the buyer or seller, make sure that you are in a public place. Coffee shops, restaurants, and other places with lots of people are good locations to do the transaction. It is also advisable to bring a friend who will act as a witness to the entire sale. Do not leave your cellphone behind and make sure that at least one friend or relative knows when and where you will meet the buyer or seller.
Craigslist actually recommends that parties deal in person by advising sellers and buyers to deal with people locally whom they can meet in person.
Not A Dating Website
Though some people do it, Craigslist is not the best place to find potential dates. There are other free dating sites like Plenty of Fish and OK Cupid, plus applications like Tinder, that you can use to find a date. These sites and apps have specialized privacy and security settings that are just not available in