Craigslist is like an ocean full of seafood and poisonous creatures. It’s crucially important that you use one of the most famous advertisements websites in the safest way possible. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of 5 typical Craigslist scams to help you avoid them.
Number 1: Apartment Rental on Craigslist
In this scenario, you have a nice apartment listed at a suspiciously great price. The advertisement will feature photographs of an amazing place. Obviously, the “landlord” gets a lot of phone calls. After he/she collects the deposits (first and last months of rent), the crook walks away with his $50k in collected fees.
This scam is very popular among con artists. Sometimes crooks pretend to be middlemen of their “sick relatives”, owners of the property.
To avoid such scams you want to make sure that the “landlord” owns the place. Check reviews of the management company. Get a copy of the landlord’s ID, check its legitimacy by calling the authorities. Google the name, see if anyone else mentioned the “landlord’s” name online (if the person is a scammer, you’ll find a lot of information about him/her). Check the house, google the address and see if there were any complaints… The Scam is also obvious when the potential “landlord” is not interested in screening you, checking your credit history.
Number 2: Buying a Car
You can save a lot of money by buying a used vehicle from someone on Craigslist. However, keep in mind that the market is full of scammers who crave to take a bite out of your wallet.
A typical scenario involves a situation in which a “seller” is not in the town. The overseas “owner” requires that you transfer the money to him/her. The “seller” and your funds disappear as soon as the transaction is complete. And the money and the car are nowhere to be found.
To prevent such situations from happening, always make sure you meet owners in person. Check the owner’s ID, compare the name with the name on the vehicle’s title. Transfer the money after the car is checked and the buy-sell agreement is signed.
Number 3: Tickets
Craigslist is widely used by people to buy and sell tickets for sold out concerts and sporting events. It seems like a great way to obtain hard-to-find tickets. However, craigslist scammers know it and they are waiting to take advantages of you being desperate.
Fake tickets are one of the most classic types of scams. Everyone knows how to use a printer, and some folks know how to use it very well… Not only that, sometimes con artists sell canceled tickets. It is another popular way of making money on human kindness and trust.
Never take risks while buying tickets. Use legitimate sources like Ticketmaster to avoid any possibility of ruining your holiday.
Number 4: Fake Jobs
The Nanny Job is one of the most popular ways to target young and inexperienced people. In the advertisement, you’ll see an “employer” moving to the neighborhood and looking for a nanny to look after their kids.
First of all, the employer is always suspiciously generous to ring alarm bells. The scammer will mail a check with detailed instructions what to do with the money (buy grocery, pay rent, etc.). In such a case, the victim is usually asked to pay rent to the “landlord” before the check is cleared. As you may guess, the check never gets cleared, and everyone disappears.
Make sure you always sign an agreement first (even if someone is overseas you can do it electronically). Check IDs of your potential employers, speak with people over Skype/Facetime. Never accept paychecks. Funds can always be transferred via ACH or Wired Transfer.
Number 5: Official Email from Craigslist
Craigslist is a nice platform to connect buyers with sellers and visa verse. It’s also a perfect spot for peculiar scammers. Con artists always seek to find ways to “ensure” potential victims of the legitimacy of their activities.
In this example, you receive an “official” email that offers you a protection service. The email guides you through the steps to complete. One of the steps includes sending money to the receiver.
Craigslist is an amazing website where you can buy and sell material things and services. Just remember that a little bit of knowledge and extra cautiousness will ensure your experience is always the best.