Has craigslist turned into a sewer since my last sale by me two years ago?
No, they've always been like that.
I buy/sell a couple every year and there are a lot of scammers out there.
For me, I simply have them show up here, with cash.
If I'm buying - I make sure to get more pics and talk to them on the phone.
If you smell a rat - your instinct is probably correct.