Craigslist.org has long posted a warning on its site that reads, "Deal locally with folks you can meet in person. Follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts."

Well, now there's a new warning I have to give you about doing business face-to-face with people.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports a woman was kidnapped and robbed in Silicon Valley by criminals claiming they had iPhones for sale. She had made the mistake of arranging to meet the supposed sellers in a Target parking lot.

The criminals knows iPhone buyers will have cash and so they arrange to meet the buyers in a bad part of town in an area that's not well lit. Then when the criminals typically pull a gun on the unwitting buyer and takes their money.

There's a simple rule here: Whether you're a seller or a buyer, always meet in a brightly lit public place in a neighborhood that you know is safe. In front of a police precinct is ideal.

Be careful out there, use good judgment, and you will hopefully avoid the problems that can occur.

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