Consumer Alert: Protect yourself during Craigslist-type transactions

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) –  In our consumer alert today, we take a look at safety tips for Craigslist-type transactions.
When it comes to selling or buying something these days, we usually want the process to be two things: fast and cheap. That’s what makes websites like Craigslist so appealing.

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department wants to remind residents to put safety first when making any transactions with people they meet online.

Sales arranged through online sites, like Facebook, Craigslist and online yard sale sites, have grown in popularity, but meeting a stranger to conduct a business arrangement poses safety risks.

According to police, the most important thing buyers and sellers can do to keep from becoming a victim is to arrange to meet in a safe, public location, such as a police precinct.  Try to find a place that has security cameras. The reason why? Let’s take a look at an incident that happened last year at the Savannah Mall when a man tried to sell his laptop. The person who was meeting up to buy it from  the seller snatched it and tried to run away with it, with the seller not too far behind. But at least it was all caught on camera, which can make it easier for police to help you.

Things to remember when arranging a transaction in the online marketplace:

  • Meet in a public location, like a police precinct, or a place that has security cameras.
  • Never invite someone to your home or go into someone else’s home.
  • Always bring a buddy with you or tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone.
  • Trust your instincts. If something feels off, then leave.
  • Do not go anywhere, such as an ATM, with the other person.
  • Be cautious in all sales but especially when it involves high value items.
  • Take your cell phone with you.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash.
  • If you believe you have been scammed, contact police immediately.


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