Craigslist.org may be edging toward infamy as a digital haven for hucksters looking to defraud the unwitting, or sell stolen goods and sex, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This month, a Seattle woman was groped by a man she had invited in to look at a microwave oven she posted on Craigslist. A few weeks before, a man was badly beaten by an escort and her male companion whom he’d hired through the popular Web site. The incidents are the latest in a litany of sometimes-bizarre crimes linked to Craigslist, which is used by about 30 million people each month
Craigslist spokeswoman Susan MacTavish Best says nearly all of its users enjoy the site safely. Seattle Police Officer Jeff Kappel says buyers and sellers can limit their risk by conducting business in public places. If the meeting has to happen at a private home, Kappel said, it’s a good idea to have a friend or neighbor around for the sale. Sex and violence linked to Craigslist tend to grab the spotlight when it comes to crime on the site. But fraud remains the most common violation linked to online sales sites, according to federal statistics.