As a transaction in Indiana ends in murder, Craigslist passes its 100th murder victim mark. Not to say the site is to blame for what people use it for, but one ad in Tulsa, Oklahoma thanked the site for access to the poster’s first murder victim, saying it wouldn’t be his last.
Over the years, Craigslist has developed a reputation for meeting unsavory characters. It really isn’t fair since the site boasts billions of ads that, statistically speaking, have less of a chance of ending in murder than a trip to Los Angeles.
Craigslist vs. Dating Sites
There doesn’t seem to be much difference between meeting someone from Craigslist as opposed to meeting someone from a dating site, with a few exceptions. Dating sites allow for lengthy conversations that are geared toward getting to know the person. Craigslist conversations are usually brief, and focused on the product or service rather than the individuals making the transaction. Because it’s less personal, people may be more apt to trust the situation to be safe — just a business transaction.
Murder isn’t the only crime associated with Craigslist. Robbery is the most common, and rape is probably one of the most feared.
No matter how good you feel about the transaction, it’s always best to play it safe — even if that means it’s inconvenient. It’s never a good idea to invite a stranger to your house, especially if they have to come inside. You might really need $100 for that couch, but that’s a small price for a would-be thief or murderer to pay in order to get inside your home and assess your valuables and/or security system.
Set up meetings outside your home, and never go alone. A well-lit public place is best. But what about those big ticket items, like furniture? You may be better off to take them to a consignment shop before posting the ad online. Then, even if the potential buyer doesn’t show up, the item is out of your house and has twice the chance of being sold. If you do go to meet a buyer, treat it like a blind date. If you can’t take a friend with you, at least let someone know where and when you are going and when you will return. Keep pepper spray or another defensive item in your hand, just in case.