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Beware of Craigslist -- Stuff Could Be Stolen!

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When we saw a tweet from a mom who recently bought a MacBook on Craigslist -- and paid for it in cash, at Starbuck's -- we had to say something.

woman using laptop computer

Single Mom Seeking: While both of us are always game for a good bargain -- and Single Mom Seeking especially loves finding good deals on Craigslist -- she has since given more thought to those "finds."

Here's why:

Last year, some guys stole her MacBook. Thank goodness her laptop had been password-protected -- and she'd backed up days before. When the police officers showed up to write a report, she was stewing in sadness and anger.

"So, what should I do?" she wanted to know. "Where should I look for my computer?"

The two police officers were focused on getting the facts down, and they seemed impressed by the fact that she had recorded her MacBook serial number. Unfortunately, the police said that her MacBook had most likely already been posted and sold on Craigslist. For cash.

The police officers said that they regularly check local pawn shops to run the serial numbers on items reported stolen. Robbers, however, know this, so they bypass the traditional pawn shop and fence stolen goods, like computers, on Craigslist.

Here's why this whole experience has made us think more cautiously about Craigslist:

When you see something on Craigslist that sounds too good to be true (like a brand-new MacBook for a small wad of cash?), it probably is ... What might look like a great deal might really have a backstory involving theft.

Don't get us wrong. We both love a bargain. And we know what it means to stretch every dollar.

We'd love to know: Do you shop on Craigslist? Do you do so with caution? How do you use online shopping to stretch your budget?



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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
jana January 28, 2010, 9:59 PM

this happened to a co-worker. his wife’s cell phone was stolen, and a few days later she got a phone call from someone saying they had just bought it off of Kajiji and they thought it might have been stolen.

guenstige uebernachtung in braunlage buchen December 27, 2010, 9:46 AM

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