Stay Safe on Classified Sites
by Following These 6 Tips

Craigslist, the global classified ads website, is responsible for so many hook-ups, both gay and straight. Seriously, it is the go-to place for singles looking to hook up, have short term relationships, or long-term relationships for that matter.

If you’re looking for a connection with members of the opposite sex, or members of the same sex, it doesn’t matter, classified websites can deliver. This website is no exception. With that said, there are, of course, dangers that you face whenever you put yourself in a situation where you’re interacting with complete and total strangers you haven’t met before, all bets are off.

You might be dealing with somebody who is a church volunteer, who has the best intentions in the world, and would treat you like the royalty that you really are. On the other hand, you could be dealing with somebody who might be a chainsaw murderer. Believe it or not, Craigslist has had issues in the past where people use that platform to murder people. In fact, there was a medical student who found women through Craigslist, and he harmed them.

Crazy stuff. This happens all the time. This is not speculation, or stuff of imagination. This actually happens on the ground every single day. The good news here is that you don’t necessarily have to become a statistic, suffer injury, or possibly face death in the hands of a crazy stranger because you pick that person for a date.

Here’s how you stay safe on classified ad sites. A lot of these are common sense, but unfortunately, considering how Facebook and social media in general have reduced our attention span and essentially turned us into scanners and skimmers instead of readers, all bets are off. It’s better for you just to swallow your pride and read what would seem like common sense and obvious advice to you than forget or overlook them and pay the price later on.

Keep in mind the following 6 safety tips.

Tip 1: Look for inconsistencies

If the person who posted the personal ad is obviously lying or gives you reason to suspect this person is blowing smoke your way or trying to trick you, be very careful. This is a red flag. This person is trying to hide the ball. This person obviously is uncomfortable with certain facts, to the extent that they’re trying to hide it, then this means that whatever interaction you have with that person is based already on a lie.

Be on the lookout for inconsistencies. Read between the lines. If something is off, call it off, or don’t consider that person as a date in the first place.

Tip 2: Copy and paste the ad to see where it's appeared before

This is actually a lifesaver. A lot of people out to harm other people actually are not new to the online dating game. In fact, a lot of them are veterans, and since they do this all the time, a lot of them cut corners by copying and pasting stuff.

This is where they give themselves away. However, they would only give themselves away, and give you a way to avoid them if you know what to do with copied and pasted information. So, take snippets of their ads and load them into Google. If they have the habit of copying and pasting their ads, those other ads will show up.

If you notice this pattern that they’re copying and pasting, be very suspicious. Something’s up. This person is playing the volume game, and either this person is a spammer, or this person has an agenda. When in doubt, leave that person out. Skip that person.

Tip 3: Insist on a picture

When you are chatting with somebody via email or in actual live chat, but not webcam, insist on the latest picture they have. Also, insist on different picture sets.

You want to do this is because there are all sorts of guys pretending to be girls who would get a picture set of a woman shot at one time in a particular setting. It’s a picture set, so they can give you different pictures, but if it involves the same place and at the same time, that person could still be possibly lying to you. That person may not be the person they’re holding themselves out to be. So, ask for different pictures, different angles, different settings and different times.

Ask for kid pictures of them. This way, you can at least get some level of assurance that this person is real.

Tip 4: Talk on webcam first

If you escalated the exchange from email to LAN chat, the next step is Skype face-to-face webcam. Insist on this because maybe they faked you out by getting their hands on a picture set shot of a model at different stages in her life. That does happen, so get them on webcam, and ask that person about details that she or he revealed in your previous email and social media conversations. Try to track that person’s consistency.

Tip 5: Do not do anything you will regret on webcam

I’ve got some bad news to report. There are organized scammers and extortionists based in places like India, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and other parts of the world who would get you to engage in certain auto-erotic activities, in other words, masturbation. They would then screenshot that sequence, or if you’re talking to them on webcam, record that information without your knowledge. Later, they use it to blackmail you.

This happens quite a bit. In fact, there was a story out of an operation in the Philippines where the Scottish or British victim committed suicide because of that extortion. The blackmailer would ask the victim for their Facebook profile, and they would then threaten the victim with spreading the compromising photos on the Facebook pages of the victim’s family and friends.

Crazy stuff, right? Don’t take any chances. Don’t engage in any overtly sexual behavior on webcam unless you know you can trust this person, or better yet, you’re already in a relationship with that person.

Tip 6: Meet for the first time at a public place

When you’re meeting for the first time, always make sure that it’s in a public, well-lit, well-documented place. Ideally, it should have a lot of CCTV cameras. Also, meet for lunch in the middle of the day.

So, the key here is to avoid psychos. In addition, if you notice that this person is sending out some really weird signals, feel free to cut it off because staying alive is a good thing.

Consider yourself warned. These are the 6 tips that you need to follow to stay safe when going on a date that you found through classified sites.