How to stay safe when buying on Craigslist Myrtle Beach

By Marissa Polascak
September 17, 2018

Let’s face it – purchasing items from strangers online on sites like Craigslist has become increasingly popular over the past decade or so as the Internet has become a big part in most people’s lives. And while it is always great to find an awesome deal on Craigslist, it is extremely important to make sure that you always practice safety when meeting up with strangers to make your purchase.

Craigslist.org highlights safety by providing this information to users:

“When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:

• Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.

• Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.

• Be especially careful buying/selling high value items.

• 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.”

These are all important factors to take into consideration, but being sure to avoid scams is equally as important. Craigslist.org gives these tips on avoiding scams:

• “Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.

• Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.

• Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.

• Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

• Don’t accept cashier/certified checks or money orders – banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.

• Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”.

• Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).

• Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.

• Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.”

In addition to these golden rules for safety from Craigslist, the Myrtle Beach Police Department has taken things one step further by creating safe zones for Internet exchanges. These safe zones are located in the parking lot of the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center along Mr. Joe White Avenue (10th Avenue North). There are two designated parking spots marked with signs that say “Safe Zone – Internet Purchase Exchange,” and the area is under 24/7 surveillance to deter any issues or violence. Law enforcement encourages the public to use these safe zones when purchasing from sites like Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and more.