How To Screen Craigslist and Backpage Ads For Real People To Meet

By Chongchen Saelee

In this follow-up article to my previous one, I want to continue into the specific details and techniques I use to screen out fakes, time-wasters, cops, catfish, etc., when I’m trolling Craigslist and Backpage for dates.

It’s a very basic trust exercise. A person who genuinely wants to meet you won’t be stalling, won’t lie, and will give clear directions and might actually send you real pictures prior to meeting up. And most IMPORTANTLY, if you do agree to meet up, this stranger SHOWS UP and you have fun. If the person on the other line is full of bullshit, then they will keep stalling, lie about their pictures being them, or try to set you up, or make you show up to places to rob you or prank you.

Like I said before in my previous article, you need to do some policing on your own. I’m not saying to impersonate police, you can’t, that’s illegal, I’m saying try to think like the police. Keep track of who you’ve been trolling and their behaviors and responses. Pretty soon, you’ll start noticing patterns. Most of those ads are indeed being run by the same person, a driver, a madame. Some are police ads (they give clues, but I won’t go into those in this post). But again, if you show up and your “date” is a no-show or repeatedly is doing stupid shit, then those should be huge points against them.

If you’re a horndog, you’ve got it on your agenda to meet someone special. Anything else is a waste of time. The same thing goes for those strangers trolling for YOU, too. They’re just as paranoid and cautious, but the ultimate goal is they WANT TO MEET SOMEONE REAL. Trolls, picture collectors, catfish, or cops are about anything other than meeting up. Cops, particularly, have to get certain things documented as proof before they sting your ass or set you up. Remember, cops are allowed to lie. BUT COPS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTRAP YOU. I won’t go into specifics about the language they use, or what you should and shouldn’t use, but there is a balance to it all. What you’re actually doing IS LEGAL, as long as you’re not a dumb-ass. I’ll even wager there are cops who troll these ads every now and then to get some… and that’s perfectly legal and ethical. What you don’t want is to get involved with those on duty. So, again, like any other kinds of interactions in social life, people who want to meet with you will meet with you. No stupid shit attached.

Let’s get real here. Some of these girls don’t have a clue. They’re strings are being pulled by some dumb people. And they can’t organize a meeting for you. You want to meet girls that are INDEPENDENT, and not just saying that. Like in any courting ritual, I can’t possibly imagine meeting up with someone who can’t think for herself. Imagine you find this hot woman incredibly attractive and the whole time you were texting with her, it was her elderly grandmother setting you up and talking dirty and sending you photos of homegirl’s naughty bits. Not cool. If homegirl is independent, then she’ll be more open-minded and more willing to meet with you because she’s lonely and wants to find someone just as you are on the prowl.

I know it’s not exactly prudent, but if you’re a mature adult and that’s what your intent is to hook up with that person, then it’s a small sacrifice to sext. You can then do a reverse image search and see if it’s a troll using some images from porn sites or whatever. It boils down to this: if you genuinely want to meet up, you can confirm each other’s junk because it’s kinda like a visual handshake. BUT BE PREPARED THAT IT MAY LEAK ONTO THE INTERNET, so I won’t tell you how much or how little to expose yourself. It’s a matter of you being able to trust that stranger on the other line.

Dating on Craigslist and Backpage isn’t anymore safer or dangerous than going to a club or supermarket or whatever. Try to look pass all that fake facade of what social norms are. Look at it this way, if you know all the answers of dating, and you’re balling, then you wouldn’t be reading this article. So try to keep an open mind about your options. Granted, most of this is to find sex, one-night stands, or casual encounters. So keep and open-mind in that you won’t find long-lasting relationships. If you want real relationships, you shouldn’t be on Craigslist or Backpage. It’s possible, but the odds are against you. Heck, even finding a real person for casual sex is usually stacked against you. But at least it’s the main intent.

Also, if you genuinely want to meet that person, you have to be more accommodating. That means, again using a lot of critical thinking skills and prudence but enough reason, you should know when you can invite them to your private residence without them robbing you, or getting a hotel room, or risk going to a strangers residence or meeting place. This takes a lot of intuition. If you don’t have any, don’t do it. They’ll strand you, rob you, and you’ll end up on the news. But you’d have to be utterly stupid to get tricked like that. For the most part, you need to know people want to meet you, so they wouldn’t plot something heinous like that. Again… for the most part. Just be open-minded, but safe thinking.


Don’t knock it until you try it. What works for me may not work for you. It’d be interesting to know how you do it. Ultimately, we hope to find what makes us content and happy. And the methods are in many shades of grey. But they work. And if no one gets hurt, then why feel guilty? Don’t feel guilty.

At the heart of things, you are just as lonely as the next troll. Be productive and positive, and things will turn around for you. Even if that means trolling Craigslist and Backpage.

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