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Serious Craigslist-related crimes put spotlight on personal safety

1/26/2015 By: Jonathan Walsh

CLEVELAND - Two people found dead in Georgia after responding to a Craigslist ad is a grim reminder of one of the worst Craisglist-related crimes ever and it happened in Northeast Ohio. 

Newsnet5 went to a hidden location where local investigators are working to prevent cyber-crimes to help give you advice on protecting you and your loved ones.

Richard Beasley was convicted in an Akron courtroom in 2013 of killing three people after luring them through a job posting on Craigslist in 2011.

"We really have no way to know as internet users who we're dealing with,” said David Frattare who is the Director of State Investigations for the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

Frattare told newsnet5 whether the internet is being used against children or against potential buyers, it boils down to that unknown person on the other side of the computer. 

"Craigslist, unfortunately, allows a lot of anonymity until the very end of the transaction," said Frattare. 

He suggested always meeting in public places where there are plenty of people around whether it’s a job interview or sale. 

"Meet them at the police station… meet them in the parking lot of a Giant Eagle or Walmart," he said.

Frattare said many times people have too much emotion and not enough common sense involved in online-related deals. 

"They're not giving it much of a thought because they're hoping this could be a sale of a lifetime...this is something we've really wanted," said Frattare.

He also recommends never going to an area you're not familiar with. 

"It's just a matter of an individual who is in a certain area and who finds who they consider the right target," said Frattare.

He also told newsnet5 nothing that happens online has to take place right away so, it’s a good idea to take a step back and give yourself some time to research how to go about the transaction safely.