Using Craigslist and Keeping Yourself Safe

Published February 22nd, 2017 | By

Craigslist may essentially still have the same minimal layout as when it started, but with 50 billion page views per month, the classifieds website shows no signs of slowing down. An overwhelmingly large majority of transactions that take place on Craigslist are done so by honest people simply looking to acquire goods and services. However, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to be complacent about the safety of yourself or even your home when it comes to interacting with someone on Craigslist.

There are a slew of measures that you can take to make sure that you safely engage with someone on Craigslist, ensuring that you are not jeopardizing anyone’s well-being. Take into consideration the following tips.


1. Insist on meeting in a public place

This should be a given whether you’re the seller or the buyer. Meeting in a heavily used parking lot during the middle of the day is often best for goods that are easily mobile.

If you’re selling something that is difficult to transport, this is where you may run the risk of dealing with someone with a little less honesty. If someone must come to your home, do everything you can to hide all other expensive goods in your position. Close your garage doors, pull the curtains on all of your windows, and if possible, transport what you are selling outside before the buyer arrives.


2. Keep your location ambiguous on your post

When you’re looking to sell something, the most that anyone should really have to know is the general city or town that you reside in. Avoid giving out any address (even down to just the street name) in your post. There is often little to no reason why your address has to be made public on your post. Think basic home security.

This even goes for if you’re listing your home or apartment on Craigslist for rental purposes. Only the neighborhood or apartment complex needs to be specified to start. More details can be exchanged as you speak with interested parties.


3. Look out for red flags when interacting with someone

Craigslist transactions should always happen with local people—or with someone who is close enough to drive to you. Determining a trustworthy individual is sometimes tricky, but a good rule of thumb is that they are those who provide relevant information regarding the interaction that you two are engaging with, are quick to respond to emails, and are willing to speak with you over the phone before you meet.


When talking with someone via Craigslist, there are several things that you want to keep a lookout for. Anyone who provides ambiguous answers to questions or asks suspicious questions themselves (about your home/personal life) is probably someone that you want to avoid doing any business with.

There are addition red flags that you should be cautious of when dealing with someone, these include:

  • An individual who refuses to meet with you at a neutral location or they want you to go to their home.
  • An individual who requests that you provide financial information, such as: bank account numbers, credit card numbers or PayPal information. Never release any of these to anyone!
  • Someone who wants an item that you are selling to be sent to Nigeria (or another country) and that they’ll pay an additional fee to have these items shipped to that country. These individuals will not meet in person and will try to pay you via a fake PayPal account, money order, etc. These are notorious for being scams. Drop all communication with these individuals.
  • Transactions that they want to be carried out by an escrow service, money order, cashier’s check, Western Union or another wired carrier. Never proceed with these!


4. Use SafeTrade Stations if possible

SafeTrade Stations started up in 2015 as a program to help Craigslist users have a safe space to conduct their exchanges. SafeTrade Stations are often in the parking lots of police stations, and can sometimes happen inside of the police station themselves. There is no charge for using the service, and hundreds of stations exist across the country.

More information about SafeTrade Stations can be found here:


5. Go to the exchange with a friend

It always helps to go to a Craigslist exchange with other people present, especially with someone that you already trust. Find someone willing to take an afternoon to go with you for peace-of-mind. Good friends will likely care about your safety, and rather go with you without you even having to ask.

It’s important to stress that you shouldn’t feel scared to use Craigslist. Hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions happen everyday with no harm done to any of the parties involved. It’s simply important to remember to remain vigilant about your safety as you conduct any exchanges through the website. Keep yourself visible to others and keep your own address secret if possible.

General: For all offers, the form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account, satisfactory credit history is required and termination fee applies. Certain packages require approved landline phone. Local permit fees may be required. Certain restrictions may apply. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. For example, Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Emergency Alert devices and are an additional charge. Additional equipment may be purchased for an additional charge. Additional charges may apply in areas that require guard response service for municipal alarm verification. Prices subject to change. Prices may vary by market. Some insurance companies offer discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance. Please consult your insurance company. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided.

*$99.00 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99* per month ($1,007.64). 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $27.99* per month ($671.76) for California. Form of payment must be by credit card or electronic charge to your checking or savings account. Offer applies to homeowners only. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Certain restrictions may apply. Offer valid for new ADT Authorized Dealer customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. The $27.99* Offer does not include Quality Service Plan (QSP). Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT’s Extended Limited Warranty

**ADT 6-Month Money Back Guarantee: Money back service guarantee only applies after ADT has made attempts to resolve a system related issue and has not been able to resolve that issue within the first 6 months of your contract. Equipment must be fully removed before a refund will be processed. Conditions preventing normal system operation cannot be caused by the customer.

All plans include standard, manually-operated fire panic button on system panel, which must be depressed to alert ADT of smoke or fire. For automatic notification to ADT of smoke, fire or carbon monoxide, a smoke communicator and/or carbon monoxide communicator must be purchased separately. Not available in all states.

††Gift card provided by SafeStreets. Visa gift cards issued by MetaBank™, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Neither MetaBank nor Visa is a sponsor, endorser or participant in this promotion. Monthly inactivity fee of $2.95 after 12 consecutive months of inactivity. Lost/stolen replacement card fee of $5.00. See the cardholder agreement for more details. Some restrictions apply.

‡‡ADT Theft Protection Guarantee: The Customer presenting ADT with this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of up to five hundred dollars ($500) of Customer’s homeowner’s insurance deductible (if any) if, and only if, ALL of the following requirements are met to ADT’s reasonable satisfaction: (i) the property loss was the result of a burglary that took place while the security system installed at Customer’s protected premises was in good working order and was “on,” and while all of Customer’s doors and windows were locked; and (ii) the intruder entered the residence through a door, window or other area equipped with an ADT detection device, and such detection device was not “bypassed”; and (iii) Customer is not in any way in default under the ADT Residential Systems Customer’s Order; and (iv) Customer files a written claim with their homeowner’s insurance company, and such claim is not rejected or otherwise contested by the insurer; and (v) Customer reports the burglary loss to the appropriate police department and obtains a written police report; and (vi) Customer provides ADT with copies of the insurance claim report, the police report within sixty (60) days of the property loss and proof of settlement by insurance carrier; and (vii) Customer certifies in writing to ADT (by signing this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE and presenting it to ADT within sixty [60] days of the property loss) that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Customer understands that presentation of this ORIGINAL CERTIFICATE signed by Customer is required and understands that ADT reserves the right to reject any application for reimbursement that does not comply with ALL of the requirements. Photocopies or other reproductions of this Certificate will NOT be accepted. By signing below, Customer certifies to ADT that all of the foregoing requirements have been satisfied. Please mail to: ADT Security Services, Account Management Support Center, Attn: Theft Protection Guarantee Claims, 14200 E. Exposition Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012.

^Same day installation not available in all areas.

Choose Home Security is a high quality professional review site. The customer reviews you see here are the result of direct feedback from SafeStreets customers. We do not pay customers for reviews. If they participate, reviewers do have the opportunity to enter various contests to be randomly selected as a winner. We do not reward reviewers based on whether their written analysis is positive or negative. Rather, we publish full and complete reviews from individuals with no alterations. We do select which reviews will be published excluding reviews due to language, inappropriate or irrelevant content.

In accordance with the FTC guidelines concerning use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, please be aware of the following: Testimonials appearing on this site are actually received from consumers via text, audio and/or video submission. They are the individual experiences, reflecting real life experiences of those who have used the products and/or services in some way or another. However, they are individual results and results do vary. Choose Home Security does not claim that they are typical results that consumers will generally achieve. The testimonials are not necessarily representative of all of those who will use our products and/or services. Testimonials displayed (text, audio and/or video) are given verbatim. Choose Home Security is not responsible for any of the opinions or comments posted on this site. Choose Home Security does not share the opinions, views or commentary of any testimonials on this site, which are strictly the views of the reviewer.

Safe Streets License # CMPY.0002025, AK 1074625 | 136835, AL - BA13-99 AESBL #993, AR BAE20110029, AZ 302967 | 19898, CA 5685; CA 1031324 | ACO7817, CO 015-BFN-0008204, CT CLELC.0185208-L5 | HIC.0652291, DC BL602511000104, DE BA11-201, FL BAEG13000404, GA BLLVA205866, IA BAAC0129, ID RCE-40579 |037665, IL BA127001452, IN BALAC000190, KS 2020-42748, KY 9365222, LA F2164, MA 192442, ME MS60021441, MD BA107-1680 | 16368955 | 1352811, 01981855, MI BA3601206276, MN BATS02343, MS BA15013023 | 10429325, MT PSP-ELS-LIC-30523, NC BL624CSA, NE 3017, NH 0463C, NJ BA34BF00018800 | 13VH06160200, NM 387294, NV G66-02835 3000009891, NY BA12000302109, OH 53.89.1866, OK AC440557, OR 208546 - CCB, PA CL PA024334, SC BABAC 13455, TN BA0000-1611, TX B18742 B06239001 ACR-2072317, UT 9439243-6501, VA BA11-6617 | 2705139266, WA SAFESSU854P8 | EC SAFESSU846BO, WV BAWV047939