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  • Buying Items Off Craigslist? Stay Safe with These Tips from Our Charlotte Home Security Company

    Let’s be honest: No one gets everything they asked for during the holiday season. In fact, most of us receive a couple gifts that we didn’t ask for, usually from well-intentioned coworkers and acquaintances who don’t know us very well. If you’ve got a couple items you’d like to exchange for some quick cash, local sites like Craigslist are a fast, convenient way to declutter. Just make sure to follow these Craigslist safety tips, and you’ll be able to protect yourself and avoid scams. 

    Never Enter Someone’s Home

    You already probably know the #1 safety tip when meeting a stranger online: Always meet in a public place. This very simple tips can prevent most abductions and crimes from occurring. However, many sellers refuse to meet in public due to frustration with no-shows (potential buyers promising to meet at a certain place, and never arriving.) If you have no choice but to meet a buyer at his or her home, never set foot inside of it. If they invite you in, politely say that you are more comfortable waiting in the driveway or on the porch. And if you’re buying an item that’s too big for the seller to carry outside, like an appliance or dining table, make sure to bring a friend or two who can help you inspect it and then move it. 

    Always Use Cash 

    Only purchase items from sellers who will meet in person and accept a cash payment. If you encounter a seller who insists on some type of money transfer or online payment, take it as a red flag that it’s a scam. If you are buying a very big item, like a car, one great tip is to offer to meet at a bank parking lot. The bank has plenty of security and surveillance cameras, and if you like what you see, you can simply go to your ATM and withdraw the amount you need. This is much safer than walking around with a few thousand dollars in cash in your pocket. 

    Never Give out Any Personal or Financial Information

    Some scammers post job listings on Craigslist and say that they need to run a “credit check” on responders. Don’t fall for this—it’s a ploy to steal your personal information and obtain credit cards in your name, or commit some other kind of identity fraud. This goes for personal information, too, like your real email and phone number. Craigslist provides a proxy email and phone number which you can use, or you can use a third-party app such as Burner

    Remove Geotags from Pictures Before You Post Them

    This tip of is for sellers: When posting pictures of an item online, be careful, especially if you have taken them on your phone or tablet. Photos taken with a GPS-enabled smartphone often have the physical location where you took the picture embedded in the EXIF metadata. While you can’t see the GPS geotag information, thieves using an EXIF metadata viewer application can—and use the information to find you. 

    Get Charlotte Security Solutions from James Access Controls 

    James Access Controls wishes our Charlotte clients a wonderful and safe holiday season. If you would like to protect your home or business in the coming year, call us today to learn about our Charlotte access controls, gate operators, security cameras, and other security solutions. Keep trespassers, solicitors, and criminals away from your home or commercial facility, and sleep easy at night knowing everything is secure!