Is Craigslist Personals Safe for Hooking Up? – Ultimate Review with Better Alternatives

Last Updated on September 1, 2021

Before smartphones and dating apps blew up, people were relying on the good, old computer to go online for a quickie. Just a decade ago, if you were creative enough, anything could be a hookup site.

Forums and trading sites like Craigslist were largely unregulated back then and flooded with ads for hookups. To this day, it is still a popular way for those who have been in the casual dating field for years to find a match for the night.

But, is it safe? Should you trust someone on Craigslist for a hookup?

Safety Concerns On Craigslist

In a word, no. Of course you CAN find legit hookups here, but it is hard to differentiate these from the scams, fake profiles, and insincere ads.

Craigslist safety concerns – at a glance

  • No professional background checks are conducted for members
  • Not designed for hookups
  • Very loosely regulated
  • Has quite a lot of complaints regarding its safety

Some sinister case studies

The first time Craigslist made its way into international headlines was probably due to the infamous Luka Magnotta case in 2010. He murdered Chinese student Jun Lin in Canada and published the video, 1 lunatic 1 ice pick, on the dark web.

The two met on Craigslist where Lin responded to an ad posted by Magnotta. Lin followed Magnotta home and was brutally stabbed to death and dismembered by the latter.

Lack of regulations or verification

Concerns and doubts regarding the safety of Craigslist quickly rampaged the internet following the above incident. People started to raise questions about the use of Craigslist. There is no identity verification on the site. Anyone can sign up with an email and start posting.

Since the nature of the site is for buy-and-sell, regulations are only loosely imposed for free trade. Criminals have utilized this for their own convenience. The Magnotta case was not the first time someone used Craigslist for a sinister motive and it was not the last.

Scams and fake profiles

Over the years, netizens have shared stories of the scams and fake profiles they have encountered while using Craigslist for hooking up. Most of the stories did not result in any casualties. However, it is still alarming how the majority of information available on this trending site can be fake.

The system does flag ads with alarming words and content but unfortunately, hookup ads usually slip through their net. This is because they are usually disguised as modeling gigs or home photoshoots.

It will be easy for those looking for hookups to unveil the true meaning of these ads as they understand the game, but for the Craigslist system, these are innocent job postings.

It isn’t designed for hookups

Craigslist is made for transactions and not personal meetups, hence there isn’t much security and screening in the types of ads posted unless they are against the law upfront like human trafficking. It is almost impossible for them to manually filter each post.

Criminals will use sites like this to lure in victims as they will have a hard time completing the signup process in other dating sites without giving personal information that will be traced back to them.

Others use Craigslist for transactional hookups. Offering money or other perks in return for hookups or sexual acts. This is both not allowed and again these ads may not be legit or could be dangerous.

There is clearly a major safety issue in using Craigslist for hooking up. While most of the time you are likely to only meet scammers who are after your money, other times, it may lead to more malicious acts that threaten your life.

People aren’t always who they say they are

On top of all that, most users have complained that even if the ads are innocent, people tend to exaggerate their qualities. You respond to an ad thinking you will be meeting with a curvy MILF, turns out she is just a shy college girl who doesn’t even have kids.

People use all kinds of fake identities to get what they want on the internet. A false persona feeds into their ego as people respond to their ads when they pretend to be someone else. You will find a lot of ingenuine users who are only there for attention and do not even want to hook up.

If you go on Craigslist to find dates, expect to waste a significant amount of time before you will find a good match, and that is given that you survive all the scams and potential life-threatening criminals.

What Is Craigslist?

For a bit more information on what the platform actually is and does, Craigslist is an advertisement site. It was founded in 1995 for netizens to post classified ads in various fields, such as selling and buying items, services, gigs, resumes, etc. The site quickly soared in popularity and blew up in the early 2000s.

In the US, almost everyone has used Craigslist at one point. It is efficient and effective in selling an item or looking for a job. It offers the freedom for users to advertise whatever they want. It is easy and accessible. Craigslist generates over 600 million USD in revenue every year.

Its high visibility attracts users to list all sorts of ads, including ones that seek hookups. Just a mere decade ago, ad sites like Craigslist were the hunting grounds for lustful singles to find a date and get laid tonight. Its popularity has gradually dropped over the years with the surge of online dating sites and apps which fulfill the purpose.

But that hasn’t stopped avid hookup fans from posting on this international site. Before you decide whether or not Craigslist is the site for you to find casual sex, you first need to know why people are attracted to it and if there is anything to look out for.

The Advantage Of Using Craigslist For Hooking Up

What if you still want to use Craigslist to hook up? Are there any advantages?

Advantages at a glance

  • Vast audience
  • No need to use your real identity
  • Simple process

Easy sign up

Craigslist has made itself known for its user-friendly signup process. Anyone can sign up and list an ad. While their system does automatically block out ads with offensive words and suspicious content, hooking up hardly falls on its radar.

Most people also disguise their hookup ads as something more innocent. Therefore, you will find loads of ads seeking girls or MILFs, although they might have worded it differently.

Wide reach

Does Craigslist work? Absolutely. It reaches millions of people daily and you can almost guarantee to find someone responding to your ad. This is the biggest reason why a lot of people are tempted to use it.

Keep your identity secret

Besides, not everyone is comfortable signing up for an online dating site. Some people might be afraid to get caught or made fun of by family and friends. This is when Craigslist comes in to save the day. You have no obligation in revealing your real identity when posting. Anyone can sit behind the screen and almost oversell the best of them.

Make multiple posts

The best part is, you can do multiple posts. On other platforms designed for dating, each user has one profile and that’s it. You are just waiting to be swiped left and right

But on Craigslist, your one profile can create several ads, which means you can drop various versions of the same hookup ad to secure more opportunities. The only thing you need to worry about is your schedule rather than your chances of getting a girl.

But only use with caution

Craigslist does sound magical and heavenly. While it is successful and efficient in finding dates, there are deep security concerns that should not be neglected.

Over the years, there have been a lot of incidents related to Craigslist, even though most of them are not directly related to the ad site. It has become a platform for the sick-minded to trap its prey.

Before you get overly excited and create an ad, understand the potential risks involved.

Where To Find Safe Hookup Sites?

You don’t always have to bet your life on it when it comes to finding a hot date for casual sex. The internet is the perfect place to score someone as you can match with anyone possessing the characteristics you seek in the comfort of your own home.

It is tempting to try your luck wherever possible, but not at the risk of your own life. To find the best hookup site, you need to know two things.

First, what are the most popular hookup sites around? You don’t want to be using a site with just a few hundred people. Not a lot of them will be online and you will actually have better luck standing in a bar holding a sign for sex.

Second, how safe is the site? Safety and security are the main trending topics when it comes to the online world. Are you protected by the system? Everyone is behind a screen. You don’t want to go to someone’s house just to find out “she” is a 6ft dude.

The internet may sound scary, but that’s because you don’t know where to look for some awesome hookups. There are many big online dating sites where you will find the hottest girl in town. To begin with, these are the top three that you have to try.

1. Bang Locals


  • Fast and safe sign-up process
  • Minimal ads
  • Match with members in close proximity


  • The site may be laggy at times

If you hook up with someone, you would want them to be geographically close. You don’t want to drive 5 hours just for a bang. Sometimes, life may seem like you don’t have a choice with the withering nightlife in town. But that doesn’t mean the locals are not horny.

Bang Locals is your number one hookup site that pools locals in the neighborhood for a hot bang. Filtered by your current location, its powerful search engine can accurately identify matches available in your area. On top of that, your specific requirements like height, age, interests, can also be included in the search to perfect distill down a list of banging dates for you.

In a site so fantastic, you do not need to worry about being flooded with ads and spam. Bang Locals does a bang-up job in keeping the interface user-friendly. Members will rarely find unwanted ads blocking their surfing experience.

To sign up is as easy as getting a match, you will not be wasting time answering boring questionnaires. You will be directed straight to the matching part. At the same time, Bang Locals does not sacrifice safety for efficiency.

Each member is screened by the system and your application is only approved instantly if it passes the check. Red-flagged accounts will be subjected to further manual examination to ensure the safety of other users. You cannot open up a fake profile as they also regularly update their database to look for catfishing accounts.

The only flaw in this otherwise perfect site is the animation loading time. Although the site design is somewhat simple, to begin with, the animation can still be laggy at times. It’s not a major problem but it certainly brings down the visual hype a little.

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2. Adult FriendFinder


  • 90 million users
  • Extensive features mimicking trending social media sites
  • A large and supportive community for more than just hookups
  • Great customer service system


  • Confusing site navigation

Where will you find a strong adult dating site with over 90 million users coupled with impressive social media features? Adult FriendFinder is more than your average site for casual sex, it is the epitome of a sex support group.

Modified after trending social media sites, Adult FriendFinder introduces fun features like customized friend’s lists, live streams, group chats, community forums, etc. You will not find these on other dating sites.

Users can create their own interest group related to various sex topics and invite members with the same taste to join. In the group, you can share tips, thoughts, and opinions about the topic. You can also join group video chats to meet all the members at once.

Hookup sites are no longer confined to 1:1 chat. You are immersed in an inclusive community of friends who are ready to chat with you. Even if you are just there out of boredom or feeling lonely, you will find someone to explore new realms of the sex world with.

Besides, Adult FriendFinder offers a superb customer support system. All your inquiries will be answered promptly and the problems are fixed swiftly, should you encounter any. Its excellent support system is the reason why this online dating site is still thriving after nearly 30 years in the business. It has morphed into the all-in-one social media site exclusively for sex.

However, its site navigation requires some improvement. It can be confusing at times and users can’t easily locate some functions. On one page, the feature is shown on the left. On another, it’s at the bottom. Such confusing navigation has a steep learning curve and can surely be simplified to maximize user experience.

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3. Ashley Madison


  • The ultimate site for discreet affairs
  • Safe profile browsing and clean search history
  • Your personal information will not be accessed or displayed


  • Too many pop-up ads

The reason you might be looking for hookups on Craigslist is because of its lack of security. You can hide behind a screen and score dates, which is low profile and no one would know, including your wife. But, you don’t always have to put your life at risk to land a secret affair.

Ashley Madison is here to save the headache for many adultery-seekers. Don’t worry, it is a safe platform and no one will judge you for your choices as everyone is here for the same goal, a flaming hot affair in disguise.

Intending to connect all affair-seekers, Ashley Madison does not fall behind in its security work. Your personal information and messages are encrypted. The system can automatically erase messages and search history according to your settings. As soon as you verify your identity through the automatic system, you can choose to use an alias to further protect your privacy.

Going on a site designed for affairs is way better than aimlessly putting an ad on a buy-and-sell platform. You can go on Ashley Madison knowing that every member has been verified by the system and they are real. Members’ safety is the site’s utmost priority. You will not find yourself interacting with fake profiles.

On this flourishing site, pop-up ads are everywhere. Although they are well-defined and generally do not link to suspicious sites, the frequency of pop-up ads is still high enough to be considered spammy. It is not something a paying member would be thrilled about but it is minor enough to be overlooked, given its other plenty of kickass functions.

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Final Thoughts

Craigslist was the memory for the old internet days. You can buy a used car, sell your old carpet, find a horny college girl ready to be plowed…But not everyone on the internet is so innocent. It has happened so often that people have fallen into the trap of those who use Craigslist to lure in victims.

The safety concern is real. With the rise of dating sites, there is no reason for you to rely on an ad company to look for a date. Times have changed now. There are options available where you can easily score the most attractive woman in town. If you don’t know where to start, the three mentioned above are a fantastic option to open your world of casual sex tonight.

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John Santana
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