Craigslist Hookup Scams in 2024: Worst Scams, and Need to Knows

By Ruth Jesse

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Craigslist is a word that most people are familiar with. It’s an internet site that was launched in 1995 as a classified advertisement website. Because it’s one of a kind, it became popular in no time. Every person knew about Craigslist. From selling houses, collectibles, automobiles, and kitchenware to providing different services like hiring for jobs, cooking, carpentry, maid service, etc. Craigslist has them all. One of them is the Craigslist casual encounters section, which we will talk about today.

Photo Credit: Craigslist

We all have needs, and we all want to earn money as well. But posting sexual ads on a website like Craigslist most often leads to nothing but misery, loss, and hurt. The reason? Suspicious ads. And these are the least scary things that can happen.

The sexual ads posted are most often advertised as casual sex, sexual encounter, trading sex, we’re a sexual company, etc. It might attract people for both want sex and ones who need money by providing that service. But we never know what might lurk behind that. Therefore, you should know about Craigslist hookup scammers and how to avoid them.

Let’s dig in.

4 Dangers of Craigslist Hookup scams

Craigslist hookups are a thing, but it doesn’t work like other free dating internet sites you might be familiar with. Like, let’s say tinder, which is specifically designed for dating, hookups, finding love, etc. There are many dating sites and dating apps that are just for that. But using Craigslist to find a romantically interested partner for a quick, fast, and easy encounter is also totally valid. They have this section for a reason. But the problem is, you don’t know the real identity of that person. So, be careful and do a background check before doing anything.

Photo credit: Makeuseof

You can have real casual encounters on Craigslist as well and totally avoid most Craigslist scammers. But most of them are Craigslist hookup scammers. Con artists lurk on obscure Craigslist pages to lure you into their trap. A Craigslist hookup scammer is just waiting for you to do a mistake so they can do dangerous things to you. Therefore, learn and get familiar with Craigslist scams that happen in their casual encounters section. Let’s identify them one by one.

oF3PhEnctcGaADynwtJG96Search everything about the person you are dating. Includes profile search, social media search, and more.Try Now

1. Stranger Danger

Chatting with a complete stranger from the comfort of your home is fine. But meeting a person whom you don’t know well and met online can be scary and dangerous. Every internet site is vulnerable to a dangerous person online. Craigslist hookup scams are not limited to just tricking you, but if they persuade you enough to meet them in person. Well, be very wary because the sexual favors might just be used to lure you out. Not everyone will harm you or kidnap you or blackmail you. So, having a level head is a piece of brilliant advice that anyone can give you. Never put yourself in a huge danger like that.

2. Malware Attacks

One of the most common scams is infecting your computer with a virus or malware. Most of the responses you get from these sexual ads are automated messages. These are scripts written by scammers. The ad might be quite intimidating and it may make you click on it. A link will open as well, but it will be fake. The ad is just a facade made by scammers for you to believe them. After putting your personal information there to verify yourself, you will lose everything. Private information, address, name, credit card numbers, etc.

Photo Credit: Pexels

3. Prostitution

Prostitution is illegal in almost every country. It is wrong and immoral to sell sex. But it doesn’t stop people from selling and buying it. There are ads posted on Craigslist about women seeking men or men seeking women. And if they use the contact number in the ad, they might get a response from a guy or girl. This is a very dangerous, slippery slope to even consider sliding down. Reason? What if there is an agent behind that instead of a sex worker? What if you encounter this guy or girl but get diseases like AIDS, STDs, Herpes, etc? One ad might even ask something else besides money for their sexual encounter. Would you take the risk? Be Smart.

4. Personal Information Leaked

When you hear Craigslist, you think of selling different things and hiring services, etc. But the reality is much more than that. You are at risk of falling into a Craigslist scam that will steal your information and would leak it online if they want to. The site is legit and operates safe deals, but you never know what clicking on ads might lead to. A single click can lead to a really awful scam that can destroy your life. If you don’t pay them, you lose the game. Thus, losing your personal information online to other scammers or dangerous people online.

How Craigslist Scams Happen

The positive thing is that most people are familiar with how a scam happens on the Craigslist site. You can actually check if the ad posted is by a real person or not. There are warning signs, of course, that you have to look out for to be completely sure. Everybody knows about scams on a site and they don’t trust the other person right away. Thanks to the deals that went wrong, we have story after story that makes us steer clear of falling for a Craigslist scam on their website.

Photo Credit: Pexels

It’s pretty upfront and obvious nowadays that people spend most of their time on the internet. And because of that, they are avoiding falling victim to fraud and being scammed on a website. Whether you are a man or a woman, being smart on the internet is necessary. And not just for a site like Craigslist, but for every other site as well. You never know that a man posed as a real person is actually a scammer. Do this and you will be safe from any danger online.

Craigslist Hookup Scams

Guys, there are real people on Craigslist too, but verifying it is a real person can be a hard task. Most Free dating internet sites have limitations that reduce the number of scammers. But on a site like Craigslist, you have to make sure of yourself. If you post an ad about sexual encounters or hookups, then most likely you will get a dozen of messages. You can see a pattern of sorts that can tell you whether it’s bots or real guys who are contacting you. Most of them are scammers, bots, and hackers trying to steal your financial info. So don’t reply to any automated messages and you will be safe.

Now if you get contacted by real guys, then they will try some other method to ask you for money. The hookup will feel real if they make it that way. They will search for you and would like to know about your address. They will arrange a meet-up and will show this intense fire to make you feel their sexual flame is very real. In short, they are predators waiting to prey on you by raping you, harassing you, blackmailing you, etc. They will persuade you to a meet-up as much as possible.

Dating Scams

We’re here to discuss mainly hookup scams, but dating scams are also a very scary part of dating on sites like Craigslist. A harmless romance can soon turn into something of a chore. There are people out there who do this for a living. They will gain your trust and love and will use them to their advantage. They will ask you to send money to them all the time. As a money order, as a gift, as a help, as a donation. They will steal money off of you by playing with your feelings.

At a bare minimum, you will deal with a guy who is not even from your country. He is a pretend behind the screen with fake photos, videos, and even names. Nothing is real about him or her. Not identity, not address, not his love. These types of things are very common on dating sites. With one search, you can find hundreds of stories about hookup scams and dating scams as well. Most of the fraud that happens on the internet is when you search for sexual things. Man and woman, both are doing it for cash and they live off of these, which is quite sad.

The Worst Craigslist Scam Scares

Let’s look at Michael Delgado’s case. He seemed to be an ordinary and straightforward guy looking for a maid on Craigslist. Little did she know that the man she thought to be an employer was actually a predator. He sexually assaulted her, strangled her, harmed her, and did many horrible things. Thankfully, the woman escaped from this ordeal, and the police were contacted. Michael Delgado was charged with alleged imprisonment and assault.

Another story will give you chills down your spine. In 2009, a man named Philip Markoff contacted 3 women on the Craigslist hookup section. These interactions were sexual and shady from the beginning. Out of those 3 women, he killed one woman in a hotel, unfortunately. Her name was Julissa Brisman. Philip was arrested and put in jail for his heinous crime. After spending some time, he committed suicide in jail.

Carlton Simons and Shernett Reevey were two men who tricked a teenage girl into forced sex work. They persuaded the teenage girl on Craigslist that she will meet with celebrities, to which she got excited. She thought they were telling the truth by reading their messages. But unfortunately, they kidnapped the poor girl and forced her into performing sexual activities. Luckily, the two men responsible for this crime were apprehended and put in jail.

Photo credit: Pexels

Let’s read a recent case that happened in 2015. A young woman aged only 22 years was almost killed by a man who kidnapped her. They met on Craigslist in its casual encounters section. The man created a fake persona of him as a gentleman and romantically interested guy. She was naïve to believe him when they met for the first time. He assaulted her and strangled her. Then he kidnapped her and forced her into his car. But luck was on her side and she broke free from such a dangerous man. Many victims fall in such a way to such predators.

A much darker place also exists on Craigslist, which ties knots in my stomach to even discuss. It’s about children prostitution. Craigslist’s website was under intense fire because such ads kept popping up one after the other every day. Many people were traumatized and asked the website owners to change the rules and shut down the Craigslist casual encounters section completely. They took their advice and finally shut down that part in 2018. But people still find ways and methods to sell sex on their sites anyway.





#1 Dating Site. Largest active member base at 16 million. Free to try!


An innovative new matchmaking service designed for sophisticated and ambitious professionals of all ages in the US. ! Free to Try!


6 Things You Need To Know Before Using Craigslist For Sex

There are plenty of options for you to find a hookup partner easily. So many dating sites are on the internet that can fulfill your every wish. Craigslist should never be your first go-to website to find a hookup or quick sexual encounter. The Craigslist hookup scams and dangerous nature of people online might be enough to let you steer clear from using this site.

Photo credit: Pexels

It’s a marketplace, so let it be like that. Don’t rush and take our advice. You never know what lurks in the dark. The sex ads might be spicy or saucy and may appear as real as possible. But being careful is more important than completing your sexual desires. If you still want to use Craigslist as a hookup site then consider doing the following things first.

1. Never click on suspicious links

The first thing that you should never do is click on suspicious links. The easiest way the scammer can get your personal information is by letting you click on a malicious link. When you press on that, it will ask you for your personal information. It may look legit, but behind it, it’s actually a form that is set up by fraudsters and scammers. As soon as you enter the info, it will be sent to them. It may look like it’s actually from Craigslist, but it’s not. They program it and make it look that way to fool you. So never click on any suspicious link.

2. Don’t agree to meet quickly

If you find a hookup on Craigslist, don’t rush into it. First, establish communication besides chatting. You can call or video call to confirm it’s the same person as they claim to be. When that is done, and you have confirmed his/her identity, then you can meet that person. Be very careful about it and take extra measures. If the guy keeps pushing you to meet up in a private place, then decline quickly. Don’t even think about it. Just do it. Never agree to meet quickly.

Photo credit: Pexels

3. Share limited personal information

No matter how wonderful or romantic the person is on Craigslist. Always try to share as little information about yourself as possible. You don’t want him to know about your address just because he is talking sweetly with you for weeks. It’s their trick to woo you. Always be brief, short, and talk to the point. When you are on Craigslist for sex-related things, then it should be just that. If someone asks you too many personal questions, then run away immediately! They are dangerous and have ill intentions.

4. Choose public places for meet-ups

Photo credit: Pexels

One way to be secure from Craigslist’s scary scams is by always meeting in public. When you have many people around, it is highly unlikely someone will do anything. First, if someone has bad intentions, they won’t agree to meet in public. Always suggest having a meeting in a public place to avoid any dangerous situations. Be very smart and always be careful when you agree to meet. It’s just a quick sexual hookup and only that should be discussed.

5. Don’t sell or buy sex for money, drugs, or other methods

If you don’t want to be fined or thrown in jail, then never accept money for sexual activities. It is illegal in the USA and in many countries in the world. Not only do you put yourself at risk, but the hookup partner as well because women are trafficked, mistreated, and put in dangerous situations. Don’t involve yourself in criminal activities just by doing something pleasurable from Craigslist. The risk is too much. So always avoid paying money for sex.

6. Do background checks

What you can do is actually you can do a quick background check on somebody. There are many websites out there that can help you get the identity of a person if you provide certain data. So before you agree to have a meeting with someone, it is smart to run a background check first. This information is legal and is available for the public to be safe from falling victims to scams and other horrific acts. So triple-check things and then proceed with your romantic ventures.

3 Must-know Tips For Craigslist Safety

Craigslist is a very good marketplace for doing trade, exchanging, buying, and selling items of all sorts. You can even start a business of your own and make some money off of it. There might be a deal that is just the one you need. Maybe a car that is half the price than you expected or a sofa set that is just WOW. There are many interesting ads on Craigslist, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So let’s look at some tips that will keep you safe from getting scammed.

Photo credit: Pexels

1. One step ahead of scammers

You can always outsmart a scammer by being one step ahead of them. And how you can do that? Well, it’s easy. Be vigilant and sharpen your instincts about people. When you post an ad on Craigslist, you will get lots of messages or replies about it. Check for bad spelling and grammar. It’s a message or a story. Are they trying to sweeten things by offering you more than what you need? These are red flags that you should avoid. If you are the one who wants to buy something. Make sure the account you are dealing with is legit and has the proper information.

If they keep pressuring you to send them your photos, name or ask you to click on a link, then they’re scammers. Look keenly at how they speak or write English. It is always the little things that give them away. If they look too eager or pushy, then you know who you are dealing with. Avoid contact at all costs with such people.

2. Try other alternatives

Craigslist might not be the best option for hookups or casual sexual encounters. There are many other websites specifically providing you with that kind of service. So you can just use those instead of Craigslist. It’s much safer and more reliable, as they have implemented the tricks and techniques with technology that prevent scammers from scamming people.

Some websites that may help you with quick hookups and sexual activities are Tinder and Adult Friend Finder. Both are good and are used by thousands of people every day. Much safer and much more successful than Craigslist for hookups.

Photo Credit: Pexels

3. Don’t believe everything

Don’t believe everything that is said on the internet. People make sad sobbing stories or stories that may relate to you. It’s a trick to trigger you into thinking they are trustworthy. Which they are not. So always do a background check and confirm details with facts.

Don’t take every word to be true and you will be safe from being scammed.

oF3PhEnctcGaADynwtJG96Search everything about the person you are dating. Includes profile search, social media search, and more.Try Now
Ruth Jesse

Ruth is a life coach who specialises in relationships and career development. Outside work, she loves writing novels and guides for personal development.

Other Dating Guide

Individual Reviews

Recommended Scam-Free Dating Sites

At, we have analyzed all dating sites to find the ones that have great features and safety measures in place to be as scam-free as possible. Check them out!

#1 Hookup website for over 20 years! Large member base. Free to try.