The Dangers of Craigslist

The Dangers of Craigslist

Jordan Myers, Entertainment Editor

Craigslist is an American advertisement website with sections devoted to advertising jobs, housing, items for sale, items wanted, services, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums. Craigslist has been around for 24 years, and with it has come robberies, murders, and pretty good deals. It’s basically the online Goodwill, except you have a higher chance of being killed on Craigslist than you do at a thrift store…unless you start a fight with a hobo.

Usually, in a Craigslist purchase or exchange, the buyer goes to the seller’s home, so if the seller is a serial killer, they’re so dead. The website also gives the option of showing the seller’s exact location.  Of course, you can set up an approximate radius around your home, but I don’t think anyone would recommend setting it exactly on your home.

Fun Fact: Over 90 murders have been linked to Craigslist

Murders and robberies aren’t the only things Craigslist is used by criminals for. Craigslist has also been used in the past for straight up assault, sexual assault, fraud, and prostitution.

So, what are the odds of being the unlucky victim of a Craigslist crime? Each year, approximately 573 million ads are posted to the site and about 0.00005% of those posts are associated with crime. So that’s around 290 posts related to crime on Craigslist yearly.

A great example of a murderer using his online resources is “The Craigslist Killer.” Philip Markoff was a medical student at SUNY Albany who was charged with the armed robbery and murder of Julissa Brisman in a Boston hotel on April 14, 2009, and two other armed robberies of a masseuse and an escort. He never did make a post to Craigslist but was able to respond to his victim’s ads, which means that if you are going to stay safe, you’re going to need to look out for suspicious responses to your posts.

Ways to be safe:

  1. Set up a public, secure and safe meeting place and time so it’s harder for crime to take place.
  2. Bring a friend to this meeting place.
  3. Keep your eyes peeled! Stay suspicious! Always be skeptical too because if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  4. Bring cash, but not too much or else…
  5. Do NOT give out personal info!!
  6. And always trust your instincts.

Stay safe, cheapskates!