Use Google Images to Protect Against Craigslist Scams

If you’re ever interested in buying electronics such as phones or cameras off Craigslist, it can’t hurt to use Google’s search by image option before actually agreeing to the meet/purchase.  This is simply a matter of copying and pasting the Craigslist image URL into Google Images (Google also allows you to upload the actual image file if you’ve already downloaded it to your computer) and then hitting the search by image option, which as of today is represented by the little image of a camera at the end of the Google Images search field.

This will at least allow you to see if the product image in the Craigslist ad has simply been copied off the Internet.  If that’s the case, the seller may be trying to lure you into a meeting for other purposes (robbery, etc.). Of course, it’s entirely possible it’s a legitimate seller who just pulled a photo of the product off the Internet rather than actually take a photo of it, but since virtually all cell phones have cameras now, it’s easy (and probably more logical) for a seller to take a quick snap of the actual stuff for sale.  In that case, ask the seller for a photo of the real item you’ll be buying.