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5 Tips to Protect Yourself When Using Craigslist

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

Craigslist is an amazing do-it-yourself tool for everything from selling your car to renting a house. Unfortunately, Craigslist users must also stay alert to protect themselves from criminals and lowlifes who run a variety of clever scams on the website.

As our blogs have explained, Craigslist scams have included unscrupulous buyers using counterfeit checks and even a brazen tenant allegedly selling someone else's home online.

Whether you're buying or selling, there are some easy steps to take to help protect yourself from becoming the victim of a Craigslist scam. Here are five tips to consider:

For Buyers...

  • Deal locally with people you can meet in person. According to Craigslist, following this one rule allows you to avoid 99 percent of scam attempts.
  • Never buy anything sight-unseen. If you haven't seen what you're buying, there's a good chance it might not actually exist.
  • Don't divulge too much personal information. A Craigslist seller requesting personal info, like your bank account number or credit card number, should be a red flag. Fake Craigslist ads may lead to identity theft.

For Sellers...

For Victims of Craigslist Scams...

If you've been the victim of a Craigslist scam, don't hesitate to call the police. In some situations, you may also be able to take the fraudulent party to court. To learn more, check out our pages on Fraud and Consumer Scams.

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