Craigslist is arguably one of the web’s most popular destinations for folks looking to buy stuff at a bargain. A virtual garage sale of sorts, one can find anything from furniture to exercise equipment.

Of course, you can also find electronics on Craigslist — Apple products even. But as we’ve said before, you should always be wary of buying Apple gear in a parking lot. And again, here’s why…

WTAE, a Pittsburgh news station, is reporting that police are catching on to a new type of Craigslist scam in the area that involves iPads. Apparently, thieves are listing Apple’s tablet on the website at a cheap price, and then luring potential buyers in for a face-to-face meeting.

As you can imagine, this doesn’t end well for the buyers.

“Police told Channel 4 Action News investigator Paul Van Osdol that each victim was robbed of several hundred dollars. One was forced at gunpoint to withdraw money from an ATM.”

And as it turns out, this isn’t just happening in Pittsburgh. The same scam is being reported in areas all across the US, including San Diego, Houston, and Palm Beach, Florida. And all instances have a similar storyline where Craigslist iPad buyers get robbed at the exchange.

The old saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. With the economy the way it is, and the holidays coming up, we wouldn’t be surprised if this continued to happen. Just make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

  • If you’re buying stuff on Craigslist, there is one primary rule of thumb. Always meet in a public place. If you’re selling Apple stuff, meet in front of the Apple Store, preferably one in a crowded mall. Or meet inside of the bank you do business at. Never meet alone. This stuff should be common sense, but sadly, we hear about these reports way too often. 🙁

    • Manuel Molina

      I say meet overground by the train. It always seems better to do, but crowded places are the best places.

    • The guy who thumbed down Jeff’s post must be the robber.

      • chin2793

        There are 9 robbers so far!!!

    • Diddyo

      Bought my ipad off craigslist, paid cash in a mc donalds parking lot actually not far from Palm Beach Florida. Just got to be careful.

    • This is a great article that needs to be passed around

  • People who are dumb enough to use Craigslist deserve to have this happen to them. I wish it happened more.

    • presidentwalter

      We all love a good deal, Craigslist is a great place for free stuff from people who don’t need it or are moving, and sometimes is a great place to sell and buy stuff. The thing is, everyone has to use common sense and safety precautions when buying or selling. Don’t be a troll.

    • Ronald Weaver

      Well dam money bags wanna spread some cash my way!? Not everyone has the cash flow to be able to afford the things they want. So used or a bargain might be the only way. I guess I’m wasting my calories typing this to voice my opinion to you but maybe you will someday u might not have the cash or credit to purchase what u want and u might see the advantages of the Craig,s list

    • El Presidenté

      You’re such a DICK!

  • Manuel Molina

    I recently just brought a two month old iPod nano from someone off Craigs this week for 80. Before I met them, I asked for the serial to ensure it was the right color and model. If it wasn’t, I would have knew it was fake. In my opinion, asking for the serial number, then checking it through Apple is the best way to go for Apple products.

    • Jude Johnpeter

      People can fake the serial numbers on apple products
      They use old serial numbers to trick you

  • I bought mine brand new with thee original Apple wrapping still on for $250 at 3:00 a.m. Worked and was registered with Apple. This was back in March too.

  • I sell my old iPhones on Craigslist, and I always keep my transactions as safe as possible by meeting in front of a McDonalds or a busy fast food place where there is alot of people nearby. While it may seem a bit weird standing there with an iPhone box, it’s worth it to be safe. 🙂

  • When buying things like this on CL, the meeting place should be your BANK.
    1st you know your protected there, 2nd you carry no cash in; after checking out the item (make sure it works, if its NEW… unwrap it, its its a GSM device, pop a SIM in to it, ext), then you go to the teller and get money for them. If they dont want to does this, consider your self saved.

  • twited21

    We had some dude try and sell us a tv out side b&q he came out of no where got right in my face when I politely told him to go away
    I had my wife and little girl with me
    He got upset when I pushed him over on his ass out of my personnel space
    Damn douch bag

    I know it’s nots a Craig list thing but watch out as these nasty bitches can come out from no where for no reason

  • I live in Pittsburgh and this is getting REAL big around here….like everyone says, meet in a public place! It’s common sense. The area this is happening in isn’t the safest area to begin with

  • Ronald Weaver

    I bought my first Ipad on Craig’s list. A man who sold parts to apple was able to get them at a discounted price. I was a little nervous to meet him because it sounded to good to be true. He had a picture of a stack of ten. So i took a friend of mine. And i have had the product ever since the release of the second generation Ipad. He was able to provide me with a legitimate receipt so i was also able to register it. A successful registration is very important if u wanna buy something new but maybe need a way to cut the sales tax off the sticker.

  • I bring a Taurus 1911 .45 semi-auto pistol with me when I buy on Craigslist (or sell for that matter). I dont attempt to hide it either. if some shit bag loser thief wants my money it will be over my dead body.

  • Bought my first iPad inside of a hospital. That’s where the seller worked. Lol.

  • Dan

    I often use a site called Kijiji to sell and buy, which is pretty much like craigslist. I always meet people at the subway station, that way there are cameras and a lot of people.

  • For high price items, I NEVER use CL. I live in a decent area, but there’s always that one person who ruins it for everyone. I always meet in a public place too, usually the mall (lots of people, camera, security guards, etc.).

  • Funny. This website tells you how To not get stolen from then Publishes a tutorial on how to steal apps. Classy.

    • El Presidenté

      I REPEAT,…you’re such a DICK! Stop being such a DICK, you dick!

  • san andreas

    This guy almost raped me!!
    He tried to Stole My money and I ran away… Then he started to shooting me his penis (jacking off)

  • I always bring my boy from the “hood” with me lol the guy is like 7 ft I never buy something off Craigslist without going with him. I suggest taking a friend with you and of course like everyone keeps saying meet in a public place.

  • eric bressi

    I just got a iPad 3 16gb Black with smart cover, box, and original paperwork and it was a parking lot transaction. Just got to be careful and get the person to talk on the phone. You can then hear what they sound like and if its a scam. Also, bring someone with you when you go out to meet and ALWAYS! meet in a public area like a coffee shop that is open 24 hrs a day, or McDonalds.

    You will find out really quick if this person is scamming you.

  • craigslist is the best place for cheap deals if you want to be safe call the cops so they can be around

  • BulletToothTony

    best thing to do is meet in front of a police station, if they don’t show up you know what they really wanted

  • FrankensteinBlack

    Thieves pedaling their wares. Well the jig is up dirtbags thx to the good senior senator from NY. US carriers will soon be blacklisting IMEIs so even if the transaction was in front of a police station you could get stuck with a blacklisted iDevice, SUCKER!!


  • buying used apple stuff is very very tricky.. took me 4 weeks to get a good 4S after dealing with scammers and liars etc

  • air naji

    The worst part about is its not poor stealing from rich, it s poor stealing from middle class or less.. We’re all in the same boat these days. No implications

    Sent From My iPad.

  • El Presidenté

    Randomly came across this article, everyone should be aware of these kinds of things and always use your head for these situations. Make the right judgements, no matter how good it may sound. Sometimes it’s better to just wait a little longer til the money’s there, beats having to deal with any headaches. Everyone here made valid points, except Reagent X, you’re just a DICK, lol. Im sure everyone can agree, if someone were to describe you, 1ST WORD…you’re a DICK!