Unfortunately, not everyone on Craigslist buys or sells with honest intentions. Craigslist is, after all, only a website for posting advertisements, and is not a full-fledged e-commerce website such as Amazon or . Therefore, it takes a rather hands-off approach to business deals, leaving them up to the buying and selling parties involved to work things out. This, sadly, makes scams and other fraudulent activity easier through Craigslist than through more conventional shopping websites. Fortunately, if you know what to look for, you can avoid most scammers and only deal with people who are looking to buy or sell fairly. Some general tips for identifying and avoiding scams over email are also available in our Phishing Scams and Advance-Fee Fraud articles. They will usually send you a fake but official-looking email from Craigslist or their alleged third party to this effect.
This page details a few common Craigslist scams but no list is ever complete because new versions of old scams appear all the time. Once you know the common themes these criminals use you can usually spot them a mile away and they become little more than a subject of amusement.
To help keep yourself safe from scams, Craigslist advises that any business dealings be done with people in your own local area. As with any online financial transactions, prudence and common sense are paramount. I once received an offer for a purchase where the person said they lived in California but requested that I email the item to somewhere in Oregon. Beware of anyone offering more than what you asked for.
This is too weird. Who would do that? Especially since Craigslist is known as the place to go for good deals.
Other clues include poor grammar and misspelled words. In the offer I mentioned earlier both Oregon and California were misspelled and English was obviously not their native language. Below are the top three Craigslist scams. Sometimes you will find nothing more than advertising but a couple of these imposters are phishing scams with layouts that duplicate the real Craigslist to fool you.
Their hope is that by putting a charge in place, they will discourage phony listings. Most of these fraudulent postings are common bait and switch schemes. However, some of the cases reported involved more elaborate schemes run by professional criminals.
These scam artists have managed to bilk apartment seekers for thousands of dollars. Everyone knows how competitive the New York apartment market is, with too many people looking for far too few apartments.
Some bold con artists have capitalized on this situation and used it to their advantage. Buying and selling cars on Craigslist cab be a huge money-saver for both parties. Both can expect to make or save more than if they had gone to a dealership. With so many people exchanging so many cars for so much cash, it was only a matter of time before the criminal element took notice.
Fraudulent postings are now a common occurrence. Craigslist provides an excellent means to sell unneeded tickets to sporting events, shows, concerts, festivals, fairs or even airline tickets. Many of these tickets are sold for top dollar, but considering the considerable cost of tickets, even face value can mean a lot of money is going to change hands.
Purchasing something expensive over the internet presents a problem. The solution for many is to use a third party escrow service. Escrow services are preferred because they protect buyers and sellers making transactions. Unfortunetely, scammers have devised a way to take advantage of the trust people place in escrow services and rob them blind.
There are some things that should immediately raise red flags for anyone buying or selling on Craigslist. A few of these are:. There are many variations on this theme and many will involve official looking packing slips and money orders or checks from institutions you trust such as Western Union.
Many times the wording of the emails sent to you will seem odd and the grammar poor. Sometimes you will receive a money order first. If you decide to take the risk and accept payment by money order, make sure it clears at the bank before you send them your goods!
We've put together a guide on the most common Craigslist scams, how to avoid them, and how to stay safe while selling or buying on Craigslist. Whether you're in the market for a new car or are trying to sell your couch, here's what you need to know to stay safe and scam-free on Craigslist: 1. Craigslist Email Scams: Be Careful Who You Respond To Craig's List is a high traffic internet destination, but in recent years, it's become a magnet for phishers and scammers who are looking to get personal information from you such as your email address. Craigslist Dating Scams Monday, March 14, jankossencontemporary.com You should also send a complaint to Mir Telematiki Ltd, a.k.a Hostkey, which is the ISP for jankossencontemporary.com Their address is [email protected] Posted by Melanie at PM 0 comments. Email This BlogThis!
These money orders will often bounce or be counterfeits and if you ship your goods to the buyer right after you drop the payment you received off at the bank you may be in for a rude surprise. If someone wants what you are selling so badly that they want it shipped halfway around the world then they can probably wait a few more days for it to be shipped.
Some Craigslist users have reported something called the Craigslist Purchase Protection scam. What happens is that after you email someone about an item you get an email that has text to the effect of:.
Why is this man smiling? Because he may have scammed you on Craigslist
Per your request, we have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate. Please follow our instructions to complete the transaction safely. There is no official Craigslist buyer or purchase protection program. Taking care of business is your job. Pay attention to those alert boxes at the top of Craigslist postings because they are there for your benefit and warn about these and many other scams on Craigslist. Every time I have listed on Craigslist, been scammed.
Below are some common types of scams on Craigslist, along with how they work and/or why they're likely scams. We'll then recap with some general tips for avoiding scams on Craigslist. Some general tips for identifying and avoiding scams (over email) are also available in . Here is a list of the eight most common scams you might encounter while browsing Craigslist. Although the site can give you a lot of opportunities, it pays to be safe. Make sure you don't fall for these typical traps: 1. The Employment Scam. Craigslist is a rich resource for job seekers. To help keep yourself safe from scams, Craigslist advises that any business dealings be done with people in your own local area. Don't do business with folks who live far away. As with any online financial transactions, prudence and common sense are paramount. I once received an offer for a purchase where the person said they lived in.
Present listing included. I wish these people could be found and arrested. Process is scary. It is scammers heaven. You can find bargains and you can sell your stuff, if you can work your way through the mine field. Knock on wood and have my fingers crossed. Be very very careful. I am so sorry to hear that you have been scammed, but I have been scammed as well. I am moving and having been selling a lot of CL over the past month. I often have 5 or 6 items listed at one time and weekly I get 5 or 6 of these types of emails.
I created a dummy Gmail account that I now use for all CL transactions. I responded to one of the emails but never heard back.
If anything sounds odd in the least I back out. I tell them to call me when they are getting in the car and I will give them an address. I have had a dozen good sales and canceled only one that seemed sketchy. This does not include the screwy emails like you described. I still get several a week and ignore them all. I have had great luck on CL; however, only sell local, only accept cash and meet outside of your home in a public place that has plenty of traffic.
Scammers are also fishing for emails and phone numbers. We will not sell through CL anymore. We have been getting messages asking the same question over and over. Even asking where we live. Pretty scary. Try or Oodle.
People try to scam me buy sending me a counterfeit cashier check sent it and over paid for what I was asking for on craiglist and wanted me to cash check and sent back rest if money western union. I contacted craigslist and I is a scam. I am so happy I did not follow through with the scam.
The latest scam I see is in posting for Jobs. Then they send an automated response that they are interested in you but only if you use their link and have a credit report completed. Then after the credit score is revealed, they will interview you.
This part time job posts every day. And it is clearly an automated response because I sent my resume in twice by mistake and each response came back the same. Worries me about my resume being out there. Will leave off some of the info next time.
I did notify Craigs List of this job posting. What is convenient for you? They only want correspondence by offering a business email but no such business exists. I have sold a lot on Craigs List but not recently. Recently has been scammers responding.
Same thing happened to us. They were vague about picking up the item, said they were out of town and would send a check with extra money to pay for delivery. They only wanted to communicate by text.
We also googled that number and sure enough, it had been reported over 30 times for scamming. The return address was an address in Tennessee, which came up on real estate sites as for sale. So I called the realtor and asked her to relay my number to that person. Obviously she thought I was part of some scam, because I never heard back!
So today I called the bank, BV Compass. When I got to the cashiers check department, they immediately told me it was a fraudulent check and I should destroy it.
I kept asking why someone would do this, what was the scam, and all she said was, destroy the check. All in all, these people are pretty sloppy and stupid. Maybe they will go bankrupt before they make any money? David, I have some big ticket item for sale on CL. My question to you is I have offers on both and both have said they would send a cashiers check and would wait until I say the check has cleared before they pick up the items. Both accounts have come via text message.
Not sure what to think. This is my first time selling anything on CL like this anyways. Should I be concerned? I would not proceed with these type of inquires. They wanted to pay with a check. With all three inquires, when I forced them to be more specific about the transaction or detail in picking up the item, they stopped talking to me.
Here are some red flags: 1.
Generic or vague communications 3. Just got the same one. Will send me a check, movers will pick up-yeah right. Very bad grammar, bad wording also. Cancelled the transaction. I just got one of this through my e-mail and luckily looked phishy to me. Sne will send the check and then when I cash it she will send movers to pick it up? I am going to report this. I wish i could figure out what they get from all of this?
I am trying to sell a computer on Craigslist and just this morning got an inquiry. So i asked where he was and he said California. I am in Florida. How in the heck did he find this? Also after a few exchanges he then asks for my phone. Not sure about that tho? Servicemen and Women will sell their vehicles if their going on a long overseas Deployment.
This is exactly what just happened to me. Even though I already emailed them an invoice which means she had my email address. It was so bizarre. Oh and that she would have a moving company come and get it because she wants to buy it as a surprise for her new house.
Craigslist provides the following advice on avoiding scams to anyone using their service:
Whatever that means. I usually just tease them. I look up some local FBI office address and give them all the info. I always reply happily and say sure I am happy to return the money as soon as our receptionist in FBI contact me when she receives the money.
I have a strange situation. Anyway, he sent a check including shipping of the car in the amount. I took it to my bank and they thought it was a bit fishy. Am I missing something? We are waiting to see if the check clears. Hi what happened after all? Someonw from out of state is wanting to buy from me and they said they are going to send me a check It seems weird that someone from far away is looking at other craiglist location websites. Same thing happened to me. Just received the check and it was for an absurd amount.
Hi, this is scam. This is exactly what happened to me. He has the gall though. Thank you for your posting You might feel as you were at a loss but look at it this was. After giving him information, I received another e-mail basically the same. That is when I began to get skeptical. I recently got done the same way, i was selling an appliance for dollars, the man sends me a 1, I really did look at craigslist websites while searching for a specific item, I kept to cities within Hours of my home and found what I was looking for, I did have to drive almost 6 hours to pay for and get the item but we called and spoke with the seller, it was successful all around and we paid in cash, I might suggest that all sellers post with cash only in their listings, legitimate buyers will not balk.
Even if it clears it could take up to 2 weeks for bank to declare it counter fit. They are not interested in your car, motorcycle, jet ski, or whatever else You might be selling. The scammers are exploiting a hole in our banking system.
I was wondering if the check cleared and what other trouble happened. But as soon as the check bounces from the issuing bank, they will claw take the money back. I just posted my couch for sale on CL, immediately i got a response from NY, I am in Washington State, that they want the couch, i should take off Craigs List and I should send them all my contact info and they will mail me money. Immediately I am concerned.
One hour later drove car to the store and would not shift gears, stayed in low. Called him back stated he sold it working, now its not his problem. Told me he would come check out, then told me its not his problem, ask him to help, not willing to. I am going to take him to court and sue. He will pay for the act of stupidityWe need to make sure these things do not happen to people, these websites that sell need to be govern by law to protect consumers, this will get worst before its gets better.
Dear Steve, his act of stupidity?
Ummm, no, yours. Take responsibility- you should have had it checked with a mechanic. A court will NOT see it your way. It was your choice NOT to pay a mechanic to look it over. As long as there there has been naivete there have been snake oil salesmen. As soon as I list something. Of course, a broker or pickup service will come get the item. The most reason was an alleged American Airlines flight attendant who is gone all the time but really wants my dining room set.
Yeah right. I am selling an item and someone from miles and miles away wants to buy it. Do you prefer to sell locally? They are sending certified checks that are counterfeit.
I got a certified check deposited it and it was counterfeit and my bank locked my account like I was the same bot the almost victim. Sounds just like the stories u just read. I am currently selling and have got the PayPal scam 3 different numbers have basically the same story. I am a US marine and want to buy this for my pastors son. I told him I would look into paypal but I had been scammed before.
The next text came with a slightly different I am leaving town but am interested and I hope this item is real and just not a scam. He came back with are you looking into it? That is what I told the other guy. Never again and the name this person was using was hellen storm. Just sick over losing my money. I have sold occasionally on CL and most exchanges have gone well. I have researched to become aware of scams, but today I encountered a situation which may or may or may not be a scam.
I was very explicit with details and pictures. Why do they want my email address? OK, I thought that something was a little fishy about this transaction but I had been trying to sell the item for so long that I threw some caution to the wind.
Texted me because I left my cell no. Be very scared. I just went through a similar ordeal. The check will check out originally, but trust me the check is either stolen or counterfeit and the bank will come after you if you deposit the money and pull it out. I just had to file a police report. Well again this man claimed to be in Hawaii, the check was mailed from California, and the check was written from an account in Virginia.
None of the names matched, nothing matched. I deposited it because the buyer kept pressuring me. I waited 10 days to see if the check was returned. So just now I called Suntrust, the bank the check was written from.
They told me the check is counterfeit. The names to do even match the account number on the check. I am about to file a police report as soon as I get out of work.
Hi janice- Anything to add to this post? Did you get the check? Was it good? I have a painting reposted for sale. They said send my name and address so they mail me a check. They said after the check clears, we would meet up. T I asked if they live in Virginia, they said yes with a south carolina area code I said OK, but gave my post office box.
So I wrote back Forget mailing the check. No answer yetgo figure! Yeah - definite scam. So many texts in a day made me suspicious! I received the check the other day Wells Fargo and my bank did not deposit it because there were so many red flags to it. The name for the phone number did not match with the name on the Mailing addresss and name.
Craigslist Email Scams: Be Careful Who You Respond To
Also the name on the check was totally different. Sooooo complicated!!! Then, I decided to cancel the whole process and texted back to the buyer that my bank refused to deposit the check and I decided not to sell the item.
And I did not get a response. Only sell locally! I also get constant emails about sending a check and waiting for it to clear to have movers. This happened on a van a dog and shocking collars that I had. You never. Extremely odd! Then emails started. The guy claimed to be deaf and could not talk. Told him after a couple emails that we were not interested in completing the transaction with him. Next email said he was sending a check for the item by UPS and provided a tracking number.
None of the addresses provided added up. I contacted my bank and they called the bank the check was drawn on and the account did not exist. Suggest if anyone falls victim to this type of SCAM, your bank can contact the bank it was drawn on to see if the funds are available.
I am glad that I did this prior with proceeding. Saved a bunch of heartache. So I contacted him to look at the house. He told me that I could, but not the inside since he lives in SC.
Then he said that once I sign the papers and pay him details not given on how that he would mail me the keys. I went to the house and the neighbor told me it was for sale not rent. Im selling Bunk beds. Gary Jackson obviously fake emails me and says he is out of state and will be sending cashiers check. Once it clears he will then send movers to come pick it up. I get this same type of scam email with everything i sell on Craigslist.
I always delete, but i am left wondering what exactly these people are trying to do. Almost all have asked for cell as well. So what is the scam? Are there people out there that actually let people take their items without being paid? Thank you for posting about this. We have just had the same experience and as a result of reading about this scam on this site, we aborted the transaction.
However, this scammer does have our address and cell phone number. What can they do with this info?
I think I just got scammed too texted me from northetn Calif I live in So Calif asked for my full name and mailing address and would send me money order plus I gave my info but then about 30 mins later changed my mind after reading about all this scamming stuff and told him sorry but no cash only and will hold item until Sunday without the extra money. Have not heard back. And feel weird now that I gave out my info too. The check came, cleared my bank, THEN 2 months later, the bank notified me that the check was a fraud and put my account negative.
CL is for people seeking a bargain. It can take up to several months for these phony checks to come back as fraud, just because it clears does not mean it is good! Take heed, you have been warned!
Feb 18, Given the nature of the site, Craigslist scams can sometimes be hard to spot. Whether they are scams involving fraudulent money services, fake Author: Anne Sraders. craigslist provides local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, services, local community, and events. Car Buying and Selling Scams. It's possible to save hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars by buying a car from an individual rather than from a car dealership or car lot, and many people have turned to Craigslist to find one. But anytime there's a large marketplace, the scammers aren't far behind, and car sales are no exception.
I have had nany parties offer to send checks for more than I am asking. They say to give them my info address, phone number, etc and ask that I send the items aa soon as the check arrives. I always give these jokers the address for the FBI in Washington. Never hear back from them for some reason. Uh, who buys used tires sight unseen? Third flag. Came to this site because I was curious how the scam worked if the check clears. Now I know - check might clear but takes longer to be found counterfeit or fraudulent.
Thanks to those who set this site up and posted! Love that suggestion of giving scammers the FBI address! We recently responded to an ad on Craigslist. They were selling an ATV, locally, our area. Contacted the phone number listed on ads posted below the original ad.
Contacted that number. The name is Connie Larkins. Come to find out, the ATV is nowhere near the state of New Mexico and I would have to give all of my personal information and they would contact me. Free shipping at their expense.
Have tried reporting this to no avail. Beware, sad story given about recent divorce, clean title, etc. Thank you so much for this warning. My situation is exactly this this thus far and I am supposed to receive ck in advance for wk not even done. All the red flags and if course my own gut saying too good to be true. So forgive myself for getting in this deep. So my question is right now.
I am selling stuff on CL and within 15 minutes of posting it, I got a text from a guy in Washington, I live in Missouri.
Craigslist safe dating scams
I had the item posted for local people. He sent me a check by USPS priority. The return address was from Seattle and the check was supposedly from a company around Dallas. I am going to call the accounting department of the company that supposedly made out the check and see what happens. Also may go to their bank and see what happens.
I will probably wind up tearing the check up. Seller Beware! They bounce a couple months down the road. Really, this page is just proof that you people need to use common sense. They play off the absolute stupidity of people. Post an item on CL. Its my first time to sell something. Been buying stuff locally and meet the person, pay cash. The next day i posted it, got several text messages stating they are interested and one guy said he will give it to his daughter who is in Texas as a gift im in chicago.
So i told my husband right away that i have a potential buyer. So i asked him his location, probably could set a meet up instead. He just replied me that he is sending it to Texas. I felt something is not right here, followed my instinct and did my research. His area code is in California. I have other people inquiring about it too and instructed them the same. Good thing i followed my instinct!
While scalpers in general can cost you quite a bit of extra cash by buying tickets cheap and selling them at a steep markup, you could lose completely if you're scammed into buying fake or cancelled tickets. Some scammers have been able to make fake tickets that look real to a lot of big events like concerts or sports games. According to WiseBread. Scammers on Craigslist will often list tickets that are either fake or already cancelled - making you pay through the nose for a disappointment.
In general, whenever an ad is not local meaning the person posting the ad isn't in your areait's generally not a good idea to pursue it. Because posters of non-local ads generally won't be able to meet up with you and will often require transferring money through some online platform which scammers can use to their advantage.
Some ads may be from on-duty soldiers in Iraq or other distant places that necessitate online transactions that could be fraught with scams. And Craigslist also claims that the service is meant for local transactions in most cases - so beware of the non-local advertisement. In the past, scammers have used fake Craigslist sites with very similar domain names in hopes of snagging internet searches from the real Craigslist site and convincing users to trust the fake ones.
Some of these sites look very realistic and could cost you a lot of money. Some scammers may use PayPal or rather, the promise of PayPal to send or receive money on Craigslist. PayPal warns people to be wary of ads that want to use the site for transactions, as many of them may never follow through - or, even worse, they send you a fake PayPal email confirmation of a payment.
The site cautions Craigslist users that such fraudulent PayPal emails could have characteristics that include not addressing you by your full name or that money is being held until you perform some action like sending money through another wire service or using links to tracking orders.
Whenever a buyer or seller tries to pay you with a money order or wire transfer - take that as a big, waving red flag. Scammers over the years have developed pretty sophisticated-looking fake packing slips or even money orders claiming to be from trusted institutions like Western Union.
To avoid getting duped, don't accept money orders on Craigslist - and, if you must use a check, ensure that it clears before sending what was bought. While escrow services - a service provided by companies that hold onto money for two parties in a transaction until it is complete - can give you a lot of peace of mind when handling lots of cash, they can also be a devious way for scammers to steal your money.
Scammers set up fake escrow service sites and get you to deposit money - only, obviously, you never get what you bought and you lose the money.
To avoid getting robbed through a fake escrow service, make sure to only use reputable escrow services and suggest picking them yourself when doing transactions. Even though getting an email or invoice from Craigslist may seem legit, it isn't - scammers have been known to use a fake "Craigslist Purchase Protection" plan to scam users.
Since Craigslist doesn't back any transaction and certainly doesn't have a purchase protection planavoid any email or text that claims to verify or protect your recent purchase and any documents that come with it. To ensure you are scam-free, handle your transactions yourself and be very careful to avoid any suspicious emails claiming any verification or protection from Craigslist itself.
While some of the most common scams may seem obvious, they are not always as clear. So, according to Craigslist's official websitesome of the ways you can avoid being scammed include not paying people you haven't met in person, never giving out financial information like bank account numbers, dealing mostly with locals in your area to avoid shipping scams and never using Western Union to send money.
While there are many other ways you can avoid getting scammed, ensure you always read every listing carefully and do not give out important information that could be used to scam or steal from you. Real Money. Real Money Pro. Quant Ratings. Retirement Daily. Trifecta Stocks. Top Stocks. Real Money Pro Portfolio. Chairman's Club. Compare All. Cramer's Blog. Cramer's Monthly Call. Jim Cramer's Videos. Cramer's Articles. Mad Money. Fixed Income. Bond Funds. Index Funds. Mutual Funds. Penny Stocks.
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