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How to stay safe using Craigslist.

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If I read this article, will I be safe on Craigslist?

In all Honesty, I can not answer that question with a "yes".

Someone online once compared craigslist to a flea market, I thought about this and it's true, Craigslist is exactly like a big online flea market.  If you have ever been to a large open air flea market, you will see that some people are selling junk, others are selling really cool things, and others are selling new items.  As you walk around a flea market you get a feeling about the person who is selling their items, most feel trustworthy, some feel like they are trying to scam you.   Well it's the same way on Craigslist, most of the people are good decent sellers but some are just trying to get what they can from you.

It's these scammy people you need to watch out for, and they come in many forms ranging from simple items they never intend on delivering to attempting to get you to rent property that they have no rights to rent.

Although is an awesome place to find many really cool things and millions of people have found great deals on many items at craigslist, there are many stories that come out of craigslist, there are two in particular, which are the "I got this awesome deal" stories, and the "I got totally scammed" stories.

We here at Craigslist Search Engine, want you to come away with the awesome deal story, and it is because we want you to have the best craigslist search experience ever, that I compiled this list of safety guidelines to follow while searching through craigslist.

Never use your real contact info on Craigslist:

Although Craigslist offers an email address to use for people to respond to your ads, it fails to protect you when someone responds to your ad and you reply to their response.

You should always use a disposable email address when dealing with ads on Craigslist, this is true for buying and selling on Craigslist.

There are many good reasons for using disposable email addresses on Craigslist, the two biggest reasons are: Spam, there are many spammers out there on Craigslist and if you use your primary email address, then you may attract Spam to your inbox.   The second good reason to use a disposable email address for Craigslist is that your primary email address is usually linked to your Social Media account, do you want people trolling on Craigslist to go over and look you up on Facebook?

There are many good disposable email address sites out there that you can use, some are free and others charge.

We are currently working on an article which will go in depth into some of these sites, we will examine them for you and tell you what we think.

Don't give out your real phone number when dealing on Craigslist, you should use a service like Google Voice or other phone number provider to get a phone number that will forward to your phone.  Google Voice is free and allows you to use your GV number to make and receive calls and text messages.

We are also working on an article for phone number providers.

How do I keep from getting scammed on Craigslist?:

When you look at all of craigslist as a whole, it's a really big place with millions of ads running nationwide and millions of people meeting and exchanging money for goods without incident.  But, with all these ads and transactions going on, there is a percentage of bad people trying to get your money without having to give anything in return.

Here are some basic tips to help when using Craigslist.


If it looks too good to be true:

If something seems too good than it just might be, if you have found the best deal ever on an item then you need to do a bit of checking before you bite at the ad.

If it's an item that can be traced via, serial number or VIN, then request that information from the seller and check to see if it was stolen or flood damaged, right now there are thousands of flood damaged vehicles being sold that were damaged by the recent hurricanes.

If you are looking at a rental or sale property, look up the address and owner of the property, make sure the person representing the property actually has the right to sell or rent that property.

Hurricane flood damaged cars and trucks.

Hurricane flood damaged vehicles are currently being sold to dealerships, people, and people who buy and sell cars without having a dealership.  These flood damaged cars and trucks are insurance write-offs because they are flood damaged.  Almost all of these hurricane damaged cars should be listed as flood damaged, so do some research before purchasing cars and trucks on Craigslist.

Many people who purchase cars and trucks to resell them on street corners or on Craigslist will most likely not inform you that the vehicle was flood damaged, you may not experience problems caused by that damage for months after the purchase.

When inspecting any vehicles for purchase off Craigslist, always look for suspicious water marks, dirt, sand, rust, or other indications that the car has been submerged in water.

Look under the seats, up under the dash board, in the engine compartment, in the trunk and anywhere someone would miss when cleaning a car.

If a car or truck has been in a flood, you should see a line where the water level was at.

Bring a good flashlight with you to help with inspecting under the dash and in the engine compartment.

Also get a written statement that the car was not in a flood.

Remember, there are thousands of hurricane damaged cars and trucks coming onto the market in October, November and December of 2017.

Never use sources given by a seller to check on a item or seller.

If someone gives you a web site address or phone number to check the validity of an item on Craigslist, do not blindly use that information to confirm the seller or item.

If they give you a web site address to verify their identity or an item's legal status, then they may be simply getting you to pay for a search, this can either be their site and are trying to get you to pay them to look up their info, or, they could be affiliate marketing and they want a commission on your search.

Even worse, they could direct you to a site they created just to collect your credit card information and any other information they can get about you so they can either sell your credit card info or make purchases online with your credit cards.

It is important to research any web site address as a legitimate information source and you should not pay for that information.

If they give you a phone number to call and check on them, a property, or other item, they could be setting you up to call them or a co-scammer who will gladly tell you everything is above board.

You should check out every phone number, make sure it belongs to a legitimate company or person.  There are many web sites on the Internet that will allow you to search phone numbers without having to pay for it.

Also search for alternative sources for contact, businesses that deal in property, car sales, or other items usually have a legitimate business location, so research everything.

Be very careful when purchasing high dollar items.

Always have high dollar items verified by a third party.

Get jewelry, rare books, precious metals, rare documents, antiques, and other high dollar items appraised before purchase.

Make sure it's not a fake.

When dealing with a lot of money, always insist on meeting at your local police or sheriff's station.

The greater the amount of money being transacted, the greater the chance of a crime happening.

Always bring someone with you and never agree to meet in a parking lot or some other secluded location.

Never arrange to transfer a high dollar item at your house.

Research the seller and the item thoroughly before agreeing to meet.

If you are the seller, many of the same rules apply, so take precautions before meeting with a purchaser.

Bring someone with you to make your Craigslist exchange.

It's always a good idea to bring someone with you when dealing with money and someone you have never met before.

Bringing one or more people to a craigslist exchange is always a good idea, especially when you do not know the person you are dealing with or their character.

Even when you do bring someone with you, never meet after dark and always meet in a highly public area, a Safe Trade Station at your local Police or Sheriff's station is best.


Read up on all of the craigslist scams out there.

Knowledge is power, and the better informed you are about scams on Craigslist, the better you can spot them.

There are many good articles on the Internet which describe the various Craigslist scams and how they work.   Simply knowing how scams work and what they look like will help you spot and avoid them while buying or selling on craigslist.

Never give out financial information on Craigslist.

When dealing on craigslist you should use cash or some other method where you do not give out your credit card number or your bank account number.

Absolutely never, give out your social security number, ever!

You should never give out your physical address.

Scammers on Craigslist try to get as much information about you as they can and for many reasons, such as: Identity theft, access to your credit cards or bank account, to sell your identity and financial information on the Internet, to open accounts in your name, and other reasons.

Never enter your information into a web site supplied by someone on Craigslist, it could be designed specifically to collect your financial information and personal information about you.

Never click on links in emails from Craigslist.

Also, beware of web links in emails you receive, they could point to malware sites, it is very easy to show you one link in an email but have it go to a dangerous web site.

Never click on links in an emails, you can hover over them with your mouse to see where the link will go to, your email application should show you where the link is going.

If you want to go to a link provided in an email, then type that address manually into your browsers address bar, clicking on a link can be very dangerous.

Probably the best solution to clicking on links is to search them on Google and then click on the Google result.

Do not wire money through a wire transfer service.

You should never wire transfer money through a service like Western Union or other wire transfer services.

Wire transfer is the service of choice for scammers and it is more than likely that you will loose your money.

Wire Transfer is one of the oldest methods for scammers to receive money and it is just a bad idea to wire money to people you have never met before.

If someone requires you to make a transfer through Western Union or a similar service, don't do it.

Meeting people to transfer Items.

If you are the seller, it is perfectly alright to state in your ad that you will only transfer items at a Safe Trade Station.

It is always a good idea to bring someone with you to an exchange.

Never, meet people at your house.

Never carry excess cash with you.

Never meet after dark.

You should always transact your business at a "Safe Trade Station" (Please see article by clicking on the link)








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