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Better Business Bureau
cautions Craigslist users
In the of another out at Consider bringing a friend
tragic death involving a trans- Never give out your Social or family member with you if
action initiated through Security or personal financial you have safety concerns.
Craigslist, the Better Business information. If you're the seller, consider
Bureau is advising the Don't apply for jobs that re- using an escrow service.
public to practice caution quire a payment. If you're buying an item,
when using the online service Apartment or home rentals don't pay with cash if the item
and others like it. should be thoroughly checked is more than one hundred dol-
According to recent news out and inspected in person be- lars; pay with a cashier's check
accounts, 33-year-old Youa fore money is put down. and let the seller know in ad-
Lor of St. Paul, Minn. was Consider the risks involved vance you're paying with a I
killed after placing to a with selling a high value item cashier's check.
CraigsIist ad to sell his car. 19- yourself and weigh that If the seller insists you
year-old Dao Xiong responded against any extra profit you come to their home or apart­
to the ad, then allegedly killed might make. Is it worth it? ment, tell them you will only
Lor, then stole his car, re- The following are red flags, meet at a neutral public site.
moved several parts from the signs you could be dealing Trust your instincts. If you
vehicle, and ditched the car. with someone using Craigslist don't like the direction things
An alleged accomplice has to defraud people: are taking, walk away.
also been charged in the crime. The buyer or seller is from 11 As with most things in
. "Craigslist provides some another country. life, most of the pe()ple you
great opportunities for buyers The buyer or seller will not deal with when buying or sell­
and sellers to find each other, meet with you and will only ing household goods on sites
but it can also put you at great communicate via e-mail. like Craigslist are honest,"
risk, as you don't know with The buyer overpays and Moak noted. "However, there
whom you are dealing," said asks you to wire the extra are those who see these sites as
Bill Moak, President of the funds back to him/her. an opportunity to commit
BBB Serving Mississippi. The riskiest part of buying crimes. The BBB advises
Recently, Mississippi con- or selling something through everyone who uses web sites
sumers have reported bogus Craigslist (or other online e- like these to make sure they're
ads for rental homes and mer- commerce sites) is the meeting doing everything they can to
chandise on Craigslist, to complete the transaction. protect themselves."
prompting the BBB to warn Here are some tips to en- (The BBB Serving Missis­
consumers about doing busi- sure your transaction goes sippi acknowledges the work
ness on the popular E-com- safely and smoothly: of its sister BBB, the BBB of
merce site. In addition, a Set up meetings during Minnesota and North Dakota,
number of high-profile crimi- daytime hours and in a public in preparing this article.)
nal cases around the nation i place (coffee shop, restaurant).
(the most notorious of which is \
the "Craigslist Killer" Philip I
Markoff) have been linked to
Craigslist users.
Here are some basic tips
from the BBB in regard to
using sites like Craigslist:
Try to deal with local buy­
ers and sellers.
Never wire funds.
Use caution when using an
escrow service - make sure it's
reputable by checking them