How to Stay Safe on Craigslist

With over 40 million new classified ads published on Craigslist every month around the world and over 20 billion monthly page views, the American classified advertisements website remains a preferred means for finding jobs, housing, employment, for sale items, and community events.

 

While the vast majority of transactions made over Craigslist are done safely, precautions can be taken by both vendor and consumer to best avoid scams, false advertising, and threats to personal safety.  Here are the top 5 ways to use Craigslist safely:

 

  1. Go with your gut.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe or shopping centre.  The Vancouver Police Department encourages people to meet in front of the police station as an added security measure.  Do not meet at your home.
  3. Tell a friend or family member where you’re going or have them accompany you.
  4. If purchasing the product, ask the vendor as many questions as you like.  Do this over email so there is a written record in case the product is falsely advertised.
  5. Be especially careful buying or selling high value items.

 

Your best asset is common sense.  If an advertisement lacks clarity in the form of limited photos, misspelled words, or a vendor who is unwilling to provide many details, your best bet is to move on.

 

Taking these precautions will allow you to use Craigslist as safely as possible.  For more information about personal safety online, refer to the following resources:

 

  • Talk to us at the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre (604-717-8584)
  • www.staysafeonline.org
  • www.onguardonline.gov                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       – Lishan Sharples
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