Internet-related Crimes… says Carol


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“Robbery by appointment” with Craigslist is a frequently used phrase these days by news writers warning people of Internet-related crimes. These crimes are on the rise nationwide.

How do they work? Someone posts an ad on Craigslist or a similar service for something such as a laptop, jewelry, bikes, etc. The seller and “potential buyer” meet and the seller ends up being robbed, possibly beaten and even worse. Some people have been killed. You would think these robberies happen at night in an unsafe place. Not the case.

After a few such incidents on campus, The Indiana University Police Department sent out safety tips to follow when meeting with someone to sell your items:
  • Meet in a public place where there will be other people.
  • Take someone with you.
  • Arrive early at the meeting place to avoid being ambushed.
  • Don’t allow strangers into your home.
  • Take extra care when selling high value items.
  • Tell others where you are going.
  • Take your cell phone. Be ready to call 911.
Some sellers have felt safer meeting at a police station. If the “buyer” resists any of these precautions, that’s a red flag for not dealing with him.

Craigslist and similar services can be a good venue for selling items. Just be cautious when buying and selling using these platforms.

What experiences have you had buying or selling on the Internet?

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