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

When talking with someone via Craigslist, there are several things that you want to keep on the 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.

Trustworthy individuals 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.

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: http://www.safetradestations.com.

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.

* $100 Visa Gift Card fulfilled by Protect Your Home through third-party provider, Mpell, upon installation of a security system. Shipping and Handling Fee applies. ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services, which help you manage your home environment and family lifestyle, requires the purchase and/or activation of an ADT alarm system with monitored burglary service and a compatible computer, cell phone or PDA with Internet and email access. These ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services do not cover the operation or maintenance of any household equipment/systems that are connected to the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services/Equipment. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services are not available with the various levels of ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services. All ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services may not be available in all geographic areas. You may be required to pay additional charges to purchase equipment required to utilize the ADT Pulse Interactive Solutions Services features you desire. Installation starts at $199. Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert monitoring requires purchase and/or activation of an ADT security system with monitored Burglary, Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert devices. Fire, Carbon Monoxide and Medical Alert services are an additional charge. Quality Service Plan (QSP) is ADT's Extended Limited Warranty. 36-month monitoring contract required from $51.99 per month, ($1,871.64), including Quality Service Plan (QSP). 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. Local permit fees may be required. Satisfactory credit history required. Additional monitoring fees required for some services. Photos are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect the exact product/service actually provided. $99 Customer Installation Charge. 36-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 per month (1,331.64), 24-Month Monitoring Agreement required at $36.99 ($887.76) for California, including Quality Service Plan (QSP). Form of payment must be by credit card of 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 Premier Provider customers only and not on purchases from ADT LLC. Other rate plans available. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Licenses: AL-15-1104, AK-35221, AR-2008-0014, AZ-ROC217517, CA-ACO6320, CT-ELC.0193944-L5, DE-07-212, FL-EC13003427, EC13003401, GA-LVA205395, HI-CT30946, IA-AC-0036, ID-ELE-SC-39312, IL-127.001042, IN-City of Indianapolis: LAC-000156, KY-City of Louisville: 483, LA-F1914, LA-F1915, LA-F1082, MA-1355C, MD-107-1626, ME-LM50017382, MI-3601205773, MN-TS01807, MO-City of St. Louis: CC354, St. Louis County: 69769, MS-15007958, MT-247, NC-25310-SP-FA/LV, NC-1622-CSA, NE-14451, NJ-34BF00021800, NM-353366, NV-68518, City of Las Vegas: 3000002944, NY-Licensed by the N.Y.S. Department of State UID#12000286189, NYS #12000286451, OH-53891446, City of Cincinnati: AC86, OK-1048, OR-170997, Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number: PA22999, RI-3582, SC-BAC5630, SD- 1025-7001-ET, TN-C1520, TX-B13734, ACR-3492, UT-6422596-6501, VA-115120, VT-ES-2382, WA-602588694/PROTEYH934RS, WI-City of Milwaukee: 0002640, WV-042433, WY-LV-G-21499. 3750 Priority Way South Dr. Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46240