Craigslist safety tips - FOX 13 News

Craigslist safety tips

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When a buyer or seller on Craigslist becomes a victim of crime, many people start to worry about the potential danger that comes with responding to ads from strangers. FOX 9's Bill Keller looked into the dos and don'ts of buying and selling safely.

"I don't think a lot of people fathom how often Craigslist is used," said Jay Gabbert, Craigslist user.

Over the past decade, Gabbert has used the site to buy and sell cars, find a roommate, find an apartment, fill it with furniture and run his ticket brokering business.

"It brings people together. It's a wonderful site," he said. "That's the thing. It's a wonderful tool for everybody."

Yet, after a third murder in the Twin Cities was linked to Craigslist, some may be reconsidering using online classifieds.

Dan Hendrickson, of the Better Business Bureau, said the most common scams on Craigslist involve wiring money for fake or hijacked ads. Still, the vast majority of posts are legitimate.

Still, Hendrickson says there are some basic tips buyers and sellers should follow:

  • Meet in a public place
  • Don't go alone
  • Trust your instincts

"Any time you go to someone's house or an unknown location, you don't know every time what's waiting for you," he explained. "The best you can do is keep your eyes open, and there is no way to reduce your risk to 100 percent."

Still, Gabbert says that just as a shooting in a theater won't stop people from seeing movies, people will continue to use the site.

Craigslist does have an F rating with the BBB; however, despite the millions of posts, they only receive about 60 complaints each year.

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