Perhaps you’re not ready to download dating apps, or you want to meet someone in your local area. Whether Craigslist’s personals section is something you use as your sole source of dating or in addition to other methods, no one deserves to be scammed!
Unfortunately, due to anonymized email without photographs and the ability to sign up with any (even fake or temporary) email address, Craigslist is filled with tricks, scams, and spam! Although it might also be a great resource to meet people or buy a couch, don’t be one of its scam victims!
How Craigslist Dating Scams Work
One of the qualities that draw people to Craigslist is anonymity. You don’t have to upload a photograph and whatever your passion, kink, or interest, there is probably someone out there who is interested in the same thing. Enter dating online through Craigslist! People use Craigslist dating to meet someone for a night, a day, or a lifetime.
Unfortunately, using Craigslist is not without risk. While many people use the site with positive results, in 2009, Phillip Markoff (also known as the Craigslist killer) was charged with the robbery and murder of a young woman he met on Craigslist. Worse, he is one of the reported and accused cases. Many other people are scammed, tricked, or harmed by someone they met on Craigslist.
How to Protect Yourself from Common Craigslist Dating Scams
Craigslist is not always risky. It all depends on how you use the site and the safety precautions you follow. The following is a list of scams found when Craigslist dating!
You sign up for Craigslist and post or answer a personal ad. When you log into your email account, you see a redirect to verify your account or post. The lingo and language resemble that of Craigslist, but they send you to a website that you’ve never heard of before.
Verdict? This is a scam. The phishing site you were sent to will download a virus/malware on your computer or try and steal your Craigslist name and password so they can spam through the website. The site may look very similar to the official CL site. Make sure to look at actual the web/domain address. Craigslist will also NEVER write to you asking for your password.
The Request for Money
You begin talking to someone on the site and feel like you have a connection. You exchange your (real) email address or contact information. As you start chatting, they say that they’d love to meet once they’re back from their business trip. The only catch, they encounter some disaster and ask you to borrow money or for a loan or online gift card.
Verdict? This is a scam. Once someone you haven’t met asks for money, that is the only red flag you need. Ordinary people don’t ask strangers for cash or use Craigslist for full dating when they aren’t even in the same city. This is probably a local or foreign scammer. Block them and move on. If you’re already feeling too attached to quit talking to them cold turkey, search their details or pictures on Social Catfish.
The Dangerous Meeting
If you’re interested in dating (whether casual or severe), there is no judgment on our part, but you should protect your safety. Craigslist is famous for NSA (no strings attached) affairs of all kinds. Even if you like the way someone looks or sounds, do not meet them at their home or in a deserted location the first time you meet. Meet for drinks and bring a friend with you, for protection.
Verdict? This can be dangerous. Even if you want something hot and heavy, it is risky to meet anyone in a private location. It is not only women who are at risk. Men have been held captive and even killed after thinking they were meeting a woman or someone they could trust.
You’re bored and lonely. You find a great connection online and have never felt this close to anyone before. Unfortunately, if you haven’t met in person or talked by video chat, you may be dealing with a catfish. Catfish seem like “real” people, as they are. However, they find fulfillment by using a persona.
Verdict? If someone keeps stringing you along and making excuses not to meet, they are probably a catfish.
It doesn’t mean you have trust issues if you’re cautious with new people. It is appropriate and even necessary to have your guard up when you meet someone online. Proceed slowly. Look for red flags. Search Social Catfish any of the information they give you to fact check it and, most of all, trust your intuition!