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Better Business Bureau urges Craigslist caution
JANS'- In the wake of an- great opportunities for Here are some basic tips yourselfand weigh that against your transaction goes safely • Trust your instincts. If you
other tragic death involving a and sellers to find each other, from the BBB in regard to any extra profit you might and smoothly: don't like the direction things
transaction initiated through but it can also put you at great using sites like Craigslist: make. Is it worth it? • Set up meetings during are taking, walk: away.
Craigslist, the Better Business risk, as you don't know with • Try to deal with local buy- • The following are red flags, daytime hours and in a public "As with most things in life,
Bureau (BBB) is advisingthe whom you are dealing," said ers and sellers. signs you could be dealing with place (coffee shop, restaurant). most of the people you deal
public to practice caution when Bill Moak, President of the • Never wire funds. someone using Craigslist to de- • Consider bringing a friend with when buying or selling
using the online service and BBB Serving Mississippi., • Use caution when using an fraud people: or family member with you if household goods on sites like
others like it. Recently, Mississippi con- escrow service - make sure it's • The buyer or seller is from you have safety concerus. Craigslist are honest," Moak
According to recent news ac- sumers have reported bogus reputable by checking them out another country. • Ifyou're the seller, consider noted. "However, there are
counts, 33-year-old Youa Lor ads for rental homes and mer- at • The buyer or seller not using an escrow service. those who see these sites as an
of St. Paul, Minn. was killed chandise on Craigslist, prompt- • Never give out your Social meet with you and will only • If you're buying an item, opportunity to commit crimes.
after placing to a Craigslist ad ing the BBB to warn Security or personal financial communicate via e-mail. don't pay with cash if the item The BBB advises everyone
to sell his car. 19-year-old Dao consumers about doing busi- information. • The buyer overpays and is more than one hundred dol- who uses websites like these to
Xiong responded to the ad, then ness on the popular E-com- • Don't apply for jobs that re- asks you to wire the extra funds lars; pay with a cashier's check make sure they're doing every-
allegedly killed Lor,then stole merce site. In addition, a quire a payment. back to himlher. and let the seller know in ad- thing they can to protect them-
his car, removed several parts number of high-profile crimi- • Apartment or home rentals The riskiest part ofbuying or 'vance you're paying with a selves."
from the vehicle, and ditched nal cases around the nation (the should be thoroughly checked selling something through cashier's check. (The BBB Serving Missis­
the car. An alleged accomplice most notorious of which is the out and inspected in person be- Craigslist (or other online e- • If the seller insists you sippi acknowledges the work of
has also been charged in the "Craigslist Killer" Philip fore money is put down. commerce sites) is the meeting come to their home or apart- its sister BBB, the BBB of
crime. Markoff) have been linked to • Consider the risks involved to complete the transaction. ment, tell them you will only Minnesota and North Dakota,
"Craigslist provides some Craigslist users. with selling a high value item Here are to ensure meet at a neutral public site. in preparing this article.)