Staying safe when selling on Craigslist

Selling items on Craigslist can be an easy way to clean out the clutter and make some extra cash, but the online marketplace isn't always the safest place to buy and sell, as Craigslist itself warns users. To demonstrate the hazards and gain some attention for its name and services, the anti-virus and security company CyberDefender, staged what it called a "sting" operation on Aug. 3.

Cyber Defender placed ads in six Craigslist categories. Four of the ads received responses from phishing operations, each trying to trick the advertiser into revealing its private account information. Some of the responses arrived withing 24 hours of the ads' placement.

Typically, the phishing e-mails would direct the advertiser to a fake Craigslist web page in which they were instructed to enter the account information to confirm the their identity and/or ownership of the advertised items. With the private information collected, the phishing outfit would then follow up with a deluge of phishing attempts seeking eBay and PayPal login information, according to Achal Khetarpal, Director of CyberDefender Research Labs.