Stories Of Craigslist Interactions Gone Way Wrong

There's a reason you shouldn't meet strangers from the internet - you never know who's lurking behind the computer screen. You can do everything right, like meet in a public place and never reveal your home address, but creepy Craigslist encounters are bound to eventually happen.

For every time someone has successfully sold a used Xbox or guitar, there are Craigslist interactions gone wrong. When you're strapped for cash, selling extra things to random people on the internet seems so easy. But don't be fooled. It's almost impossible to tell what's legit and what's a ridiculous ad or scary Craigslist story waiting to happen. Are a few bucks worth a crazy encounter?

These brave Redditors tell their Craigslist tales, from the hilarious to the utterly terrifying. From complicated insurance frauds to savvy Redditors running sting operations for stolen gear, what these Craigslist stories all have in common is that none of them went as planned.

  • The Noble Thief

    From Jaydickchest:

    "My friend was trying to buy something off craigslist (Houston if anyone's interested).
    He made arrangements to meet somewhere, agreed on a price, blah blah blah.
    Couple minutes later, the guy calls my friend back and says, 'Hey man, don't come. I was just going to rob you, but i heard some kids in the background when we were talking on the phone.'"

  • It Comes With Free Cockroaches

    From CougarAries:

    "Bought a Keurig on Craiglist. Used it for a couple of days, started noticing coffee grounds in my cup. Ignored it. Saw a cockroach in my kitchen, and found out it was coming from the Keurig. Took a flashlight to the inside, and it was infested with a nest of cockroaches. It wasn't coffee grounds in my cup."

  • The Sting Operation

    From Jetskier2313

    "So here is a good one: My laptop got stolen out of my truck one night. Filed a police report and everything but they weren’t going to do anything. So being pissed off I thought I would check Craigslist and guess what? The guy who stole was trying to sell it on Craigslist two towns over. I had him send me some pictures of it to confirm that it was mine.

    I contacted the police and we set up a sting operation at the local Starbucks and caught the guy. It turned out to be a minor and he had weapons and other stolen crap in his car. I was pretty proud of myself for that! I never thought I would see that laptop again. Guy didn’t even wipe the hard drive."

  • Insurance Fraud Included At No Extra Cost

    This is a reminder to never pay before you have a Craiglist purchase in your hand. Redditor JethanR thought he was buying a used motorcycle. He paid for half of the motorcycle when the owner realized he forgot the title. The owner said he'd be right back with the title in hand, but then he never showed up. Instead, this is what happened:

    "Two police officers show up at the house I'm renting. They bang on my door. I answer, dumbfounded. 'Is that your motorcycle in the driveway, sir?' They ask. I start to explain the situation. After telling them that the guy will be back soon with the title, they say, 'Well, sir, this bike was reported stolen two days ago. The person who reported it stolen said he drove by here and saw it, and called us. Did you steal this motorcycle?' I'm freaking out. No, I didn't steal it."

    The Redditor eventually figures out that he's been framed for auto theft. The police tell him that they have video of him stealing the bike, and he asks to see it. They agree, as long as he comes down to the station:

    "So I get to the precinct. I get taken to this cop's desk. He asks me a few questions, then asks me to watch the video. It's on a cd. He pulls it up. Sure enough, it's me getting on this guy's bike. But the guy isn't in the frame. It was then it really became clear to me how detailed this whole facade was:

    The guy had the bike around the back of his house, but we spoke around front, and I parked my car around front; the bike had the keys in it already. When I brought the bike back, I left it around front of his house per the guy's request. Because of this, the video showed me getting on a bike, at 10 p.m. with the keys in the ignition, pulling it out, and seemingly never bringing it back. He even managed to stay out-of-frame, and aside from a couple glances in his direction, I don't seem to be interacting with anyone off-camera. I'm really screwed, here.

    This post is already really long. I'll sum it up: after spending the entire day at the local police station, the guy shows up and starts asking if I'm the guy who stole his bike. The situation got worse for me, until the police managed to make the guy slip up. He couldn't keep his story straight. He breaks down and admits that he made it all up. He needed the money to pay some bills, but couldn't bare to sell his bike, so he set up a plan to make an insurance claim for someone stealing his motorcycle, but then created a plan to keep the bike, get some money from a 'buyer; who would be framed as a thief, and all would end well for him. Except it didn't. I think he ended up going to prison. I'm not sure. I got my money back, and put the whole ordeal behind me. So there. That's my creepy Craigslist story."

  • Looks Are Deceiving

    From Rottenscred:

    "My buddy responded to an ad for a cheap ass car. He took it for a test drive, and it ran well, so they agreed to a price of $200. After the money changed hands, the seller said he [would] go inside to get the extra keys and bring the car around. About two minutes later the car passes by and continues down the street. My buddy freaks the f*ck out and [chases the car]. Unfortunately the car gets away, and he is left to go back to the house and see if he can sort it out.

    As it turned out, the car that passed by was just an innocent motorist with the same car merrily going about his business. It's very fortunate my buddy never caught up to him. I could only imagine the seller back at the house, wondering why someone would hand him $200 and take off running.

    He did get the car after all and it ran for two years."

  • When Doing The Right Thing Backfires

    From NWBoomer:

    "We were selling a house on Craigslist and we started getting calls about it being for rent. Sure enough there was a 'for rent' ad picturing our house and giving a phony realtor email address. I contacted the advertiser who claimed he was the owner away doing missionary work in Africa. He wanted me to wire the deposit. I played along with some back-and-forth emails until he got suspicious and stopped communicating.

    We reported this fraud to Craigslist who responded by blocking OUR email address. Now when we use Craigslist we have to use a different email when placing ads."