Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods, has given people the opportunity to better understand their communities and meet their neighbors.
But it has also made the cul-de-sac more vulnerable to petty crime.
As BuzzFeed reports, scammers have taken advantage of the sense of security created by Nextdoor to perpetrate fraud on unsuspecting neighbors.
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In one case, a Colorado woman picked a contractor recommended in her Nextdoor group for fence repairs — and was charged $12k for supplies.
Of course, home improvement scams have been happening for as long as we’ve had houses. Brandy Bauer, associate director at the National Council on Aging, tells BuzzFeed the petty criminals using Nextdoor are “using a 21st-century version of an old, effective tactic.”
But Nextdoor also has other issues
A Nextdoor spokesperson told BuzzFeed its platform is more secure than many other social networks because it requires members to use their real names and verify their addresses.
But Nextdoor, which is available in 190k U.S. neighborhoods and has received $300m in funding, has also made the news for incidents involving reported racism.
The platform is inherently difficult to police, and numerous media outlets have reported that the social network has led to instances of racial profiling.