Craigslist Scams

Safety Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Craigslist Scams

Craigslist is the best platform to buy and sell things quickly. It was the most accessible platform online to look for new products, used products, search a house for rent, or hire immediate help for a long time. Off late craigslist scams have increased multifold owing to various types of ingenious scamming techniques. Here are three real examples of common Craigslist scams that happened to actual people.

Scam Number One

Roy got a call from Craigslist asking him to sign up for an updated service for free. He needs to fill up the form with his

  1. Social security number
  2. Mobile number and address
  3. Credit card details
  4. Mother’s Maiden Name and
  5. Date of Birth

The spammer on the call explained the key benefits Roy will receive if he chooses to upgrade the Craigslist service to premium.

  • The website will give him the first preference in viewing new products coming for sale.
  • It will also send him special promotional discounts of up to 50%.
  • Roy is also entitled to free home delivery of the products.
  • Any time customer support and special voicemail inquiry facility.
  • Special purchase protection to keep his card details safe.

Roy was quite pleased with the offers and found no harm in filling in the details. After all, the call is from Craigslist as they know the details he gave only to them, and it provides services similar to Amazon, which is typical.

As the caller explained, they are offering such services only to selected long-term customers of Craigslist. This premium plan upgrade is a marketing strategy to tackle competition from other similar websites.

Roy gave his details and suddenly his bank account was wiped clean within a day, and his credit card purchase limit exceeded the maximum. Roy enquired Craigslist only to know they do not offer any of these services. Here is what Roy should have done when he got a call.

  • Roy should have visited the Craigslist official website and checked regarding the premium account.
  • No legitimate service except banks asks for date of birth and mother’s maiden name together. Roy should not have disclosed such sensitive information without a second thought.
  • Roy should have checked online for similar scams and kept himself updated about such calls.

Craigslist website never supports these things.

  1. Craigslist never calls the buyer or the seller directly.
  2. They do not have voicemail support as they serve as a visual middleman between the buyer and the seller.
  3. They never call for an account upgrade or offer any premium services through telephone.
  4. Craigslist does not support any form of money transaction through their website.
  5. Never get fooled through duplicate Craigslist pages which ask for your credit or debit card details.

Scam Number Two

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Lohan bought a television which looked fine on the first look. The package arrived, and he was shocked to see an old set with limited features. The photo on the Craigslist page got edited to make it look new and advanced.

Lohan got cheated by the photographs posted and couldn’t do much about it because it was the same model television. He should have unwrapped the package or inspected it in person before sending money. Never pay in advance and insist on checking the item personally before purchasing it.

Scam Number Three

Margaret wanted to sell her new Smartphone. She talked with some buyers and selected a person. He offered to send her a cheque and requested her to courier the product once it got cleared. Margaret did as told and sold her mobile. She was shocked to know the cheque did clear at first but got rejected after some time. This classic cheque fraud is happening from time immemorial and still prevalent.

Lucas had a similar incident happen in reverse. He liked a particular car and met the person to examine the vehicle in a relatively good condition. The owner claimed a reasonable price for the car and requested Lucas to wire the money to him. He promised to give all the car documents to him once he received the money. He gave a copy of the insurance documents to Lucas, the car, and the key.

Lucas happily wired him the money and never heard from the owner again. He deactivated his Craigslist account and absconded overnight. Lucas got left with a car with no documents, and the police soon seized it as stolen property.

  1. Both Margaret and Lucas made the mistake of paying early and trusting too soon.
  2. Margaret should have waited for the cheque to clear before sending her Smartphone.
  3. Lucas should have never wired the hefty amount without checking the legitimacy of the person.

It is easy to check whether a person is who they claim to be through the Nuwber website. It is enough if you have their name or phone number to do the check.

  1. Lucas trusted a stranger blindly and too soon. Have some legal proof of the money sent to a particular person, like taking a screenshot or giving them in front of a witness or lawyer.
  2. Get some form of a legal document signed regarding payment acceptance in exchange for the goods.

Craigslist always insists on these points for safe purchase and sales:

  1. Do transactions with trustworthy locals.
  2. Perform thorough backgrounds check on the person you are dealing with on Craigslist to buy or sell a product.
  3. Do not fall prey to fraudulent or duplicate cheque frauds
  4. Do not fall prey to duplicate websites that are more or less similar to Craigslist
  5. Check the products you buy in person and perform a thorough inspection before paying in full for them.

Craigslist is still a trustworthy platform for people who want to buy and sell without much hassle. You have to be alert and protect yourself from new phishing scams springing up every day. Always stay alert and keep yourself updated regarding the latest scams. Be careful not to disclose too much personal information to anybody readily. Remember, you live in an age where even your genetic details might be stolen and sold on the black market. Understand the constant threat of numerous cybercrimes hanging above your head and take precautions accordingly.