I don’t know if any of you have been following this story, but it’s really scary to think about. For those of us who have been internet savvy for some time know better (at least I hope so) and in many cases, you have to be somewhat of a naive and/or willing participant in less than commendable (read: illegal) situations. Anyone who uses Craigslist for “services” just has to be dumb at this point. More or less.
So here are a few tips for those of you reading who are (a) trusting (b) innocent and (c) my parents.
1. Do NOT post home phone numbers on Craiglist. Do everything through e-mail and even at that, you probably want to set up a “dummy” account on hotmail or yahoo. Don’t use your real email in case that is linked to your home address just like your home phone is. Whether it’s listed or not.
2. Do NOT post your home address either.
3. Do a Google search on the email address that you are given from the sender. Sometimes this will alert you to scammers and known shady characters. You can also try searching for just the username part of the email, meaning everything before the @ symbol. Sometimes that brings something up. Not always relevant info, so don’t jump to conclusions. (For example, mine comes up with an obituary which is not mine and a profile on a dating website which might not be mine… from many many moons ago…)
4. Don’t ever meet someone off Craigslist (or really from anywhere online and maybe includes Facebook… haha) in private. Meet at a well lit busy space. Of course this doesn’t really apply if you are an escort…
5. Don’t be an escort.
So hopefully this list helps you out some. If not, feel free to ask questions. In a way, I am really hoping this all ends up being a mistaken identity thing but I kinda doubt it. Though I do have to point out that I’m surprised the press has as much information as it does about the investigation and maybe this is some elaborate hoax or something? I guess I watch too much Law and Order and now Bones. I started watching DaVinci Code, a Canadian cop show. Although Davinci is a doctor in the coroner’s office and I guess they have quite a bit more leverage over on the northside? I don’t really know much about that kind of thing.
Also, for all the people who are saying that this suspect is a nice guy and all that, I have two words: Ted Bundy.