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Concerns about Craig’s List

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If you have a computer, chances are you’ve visited Craig’s List. The free advertising service has become one of the most popular venues on the internet, but some people are thinking twice about using the site, after a 26-year-old masseuse was murdered in Boston. She allegedly met her killer on Craig’s List.

Alison Humphreys is a masseuse who advertises her service on craigslist.org, but that free advertisement might come with a price; she says often times, she gets put in the wrong category. “A lot of people post on Craig’s List that are actually sex workers. And they post in the therapeutic section. Which gives people who went to college and got a degree, get a license, it puts them in the same category as the sex workers.”

And sometimes she gets clients who expect more than a massage. “I give them a massage and gentlemen will be like ‘what do you mean that’s it? The massage isn’t over, there’s more you need to do.’ And I’ll be like ‘no I’m sorry, I gave you a therapeutic massage, that’s all the service I provide.”

She’s had some pretty unpleasant experiences, but so far nothing she considered dangerous.

By using craigslist.org, Alison can avoid regulations and overhead mandated in chiropractic offices and spas. Instead, she goes to clients’ houses, and has others come to her home.

Detective Vincent Saponaro warns that can be very dangerous because clients can learn a lot about a person by visiting that person’s home. “Are they single? What they have in their home, what electronics they have, do they have a security system, do they have a dog? Any number of those things are easily picked up just in the first few minutes of being in someone’s home.”

Natasha Johnson advertises her cleaning service on craigslist.com. She’s had a little bit better luck with clients. “Good experiences so far, I hope to not have anything bad happen, but I do watch myself and there’s something to be said for that.”

Both women say they give their significant others addresses of clients and phone home to check in.

Craig’s List reinforces these necessary precautions in the safety section of their website.

Detective Saponaro said it’s important to trust your instincts. “Use caution when dealing with people that you don’t know.”

So far, we haven’t had any serious problems reported with craigslist.com advertisers in our area, but as the Boston case points out, you can never be completely sure of who’s responding to an ad.

But what if you want to buy or use a service advertised on Craig’s List. How do you know the product or the provider is legitimate? And how can you stay safe?

That part of the story tomorrow….

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Story summary

videoIf you have a computer, chances are you’ve visited Craig’s List. The free advertising service has become one of the most popular venues on the internet, but some people are thinking twice about using the site, after a 26-year-old masseuse was murdered in Boston. She allegedly met her killer on Craig’s List.

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