How to Be Safe on Craigslist- for buyers and sellers

craigslist

In light of a recent tragedy which involved Craigslist.com, I’d like to list the best precautions to take when utilizing this sale site.

First, I want to take a moment and ask for prayers for the family who has lost two amazing, godly people. A husband and wife were unsuspecting victims of a seller on Craigslist. The seller posted an ad to sell a vehicle and communicated with the couple for them to drive to southern Georgia to see it. The couple were heavily involved in their church and helping the community. I know they will be greatly missed by so many. Please pray for their family in the coming months as they endure such a great loss.

Now I’d like to discuss the best precautions to take when dealing with a craigslist related transaction, whether you are the seller or buyer.

  • 1.) Never be alone. If you are elderly, consider asking a younger adult to accompany you. Seeing a more “able-bodied” person could deter anyone from trying to take advantage of you.
  • 2.) Always meet in the daytime.
  • 3.) Always meet in a public place. The more people around, the better. Never let anyone lure you into a secluded area, or their home, under any circumstances.
  • 4.) Tell people where you’re going. If you’re traveling a long distance, make sure everyone knows where you’re going and what’s going on. Especially when you’re going to a place that you’re not familiar with, make sure to bring as many people along with you and make sure many people know. If you arrive somewhere and it doesn’t actually meet the criteria of #3, leave. You can communicate with the person and choose a different place. Most people who are legitimate will completely understand your concerns.
  • 5.) Go with your intuition. I strongly believe that this little unsettling that happens within us is God telling us something. We need to listen. If it doesn’t feel right, sound right, or look right, it’s not worth it. Stop.

I know it’s hard not to get excited if you’ve been looking for something and craigslist has a seller with the perfect price. It’s tempting to compromise some of these precautions for a good deal. But don’t do it. It’s not worth it. I also know that if you’ve been trying to sell something for months and you finally have an interested buyer, that it can be tempting to meet on their terms. Don’t. Anyone who is genuine will understand and want the same.

Please share this message with anyone you know, especially if you’ve found Craigslist as helpful as I have. Just follow these simple precautions and you’ll be much safer. God bless.

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