The Statesman recently posted information about two men accused of robbing people with the help of Craigslist. Apparently the two men placed advertisements on Craigslist pretending to sell an iPhone. Once the buyer was lured in to a location, such as a parking lot, the men would rob the person. According to police, four different meetings were set up between the robbers and unsuspecting buyers. All of the meetings were set up in business parking lots between the hours of 10:15pm and 11:30pm.
The men, identified as Arthur Anderson and Kent Jenkins, were both 18 years old. They have only been charged with robbery in a Braker Lane incident but police believe that the men were involved in several other similar incidents.
I found this new report somewhat disheartening. Of course we all know to be careful when dealing with individual sellers and buyers on Craigslist but it is despairing to see people use the site in such a negative form. I am personally a huge Craigslist fan and have been lucky to have positive experiences. I found my current job on Craigslist about a year ago and have been very fortunate. However, it seems that trusting Craigslist is not enough when dealing with certain individuals.
Below is a list of tips provided by Craiglist to help ensure safety:
When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
• Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
• Tell a friend or family member where you're going
• Take your cell phone along if you have one
• Consider having a friend accompany you
• Trust your instincts
It is important to note that these tips can apply to any encounter organized via Internet. Many people will often trust social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook to be reliable sources for meeting new people. In reality, individuals must always use caution when meeting people outside the realm of the World Wide Web. Of course this seems like common sense, but many people fall victim to online predators. Remember to always practice caution and safety when communicating with strangers via the Internet and social networking sites. What have been your experiences using Craigslist? Do you have any tips for other Craigslist users?