Tips For Avoiding the Most Common Craigslist Scams

Most Common Craigslist Scams

There are countless gems to be found on Craigslist, and if you have things you don’t need, you can sell it there for a profit. On the other hand, Craigslist is rife with scammers. Follow these tips to avoid the most common Craigslist Scams.

The Home Rental Scam

In this deceptive scam, the property owner will list a house or apartment for an absurdly low sum. They’ll show pictures of a cute place with the desired facilities. Of course, hundreds of people will reply to the advertisement, and the majority will try to secure it before it’s gone.

The owner will be just too eager to satisfy everyone. In fact, the scammer will demand security deposits, first and last months’ rent, and other payments from whoever is interested. The scammer will then flee town — if they ever owned the property in the first place.

This scam is slightly modified when the swindler leases a rental apartment with the purpose of re-renting it to several individuals.

Solution: Examine the product before finalizing a sale

When renting a home on Craigslist, don’t focus solely on the images. Request to inspect the property in person.

The Car Buying Scam

It’s a little unsettling to send thousands of dollars to somebody you don’t know and then rely on them to deliver the object. Con artists are as aware of this as anybody else. Scammers may offer to do a “legal” transaction using an intermediary known as an online escrow service to assuage buyers’ concerns about wiring money before taking possession of a vehicle. They instruct the buyer to submit funds through Western Union transfer where they will be held until the customer comes to pick up the car

Doesn’t that sound good? The issue arises when a fake email resembling a real site is sent to the customer from the allegedly protected escrow site. The email leads the buyer to a similar-looking bogus website, which siphons the buyer’s funds into an account controlled by the seller. You should probably predict what comes next: the seller vanishes with the cash, leaving the buyer with nothing.

Solution: Don’t accept or send a cashier’s check, certified check, or money order as payment

It is safest to use a credit card to pay for anything online that you bought from a remote and unidentified seller. This way, if the sale fails, you can still appeal to funds spent. If you purchase with a cashier’s check, signed check, or money order, there is no way to get your money back if you need to.

The Fake Ticket Scam

Craigslist is the perfect place to browse for access to sold-out gigs, sporting events, and other popular experiences when regular outlets do not have tickets.

Unfortunately, several Craigslist deals for tickets and event passes are fake. Well-funded scam artists with access to high-quality printing machines can quickly produce tickets or passes that look just like the real thing, down to the difficult-to-copy watermark or translucent backing.

When authentic, these passes are worth hundreds or even millions of dollars. Of course, the seller will charge a below-value price for them. Yet, when the customer goes to use them, they are told that the tickets are fake.

Solution: Ask for an Original Receipt or Invoice. If the seller cannot provide you with evidence of purchase, such as an invoice or receipt, they most likely never purchased it. Ask the dealer for proof of purchase and remind them you want a copy. Next, contact the event’s ticket broker to ensure that the seats have been paid for. 

The Baby Sitter Scam

Some scammers advertise for nannies and babysitters, specifically targeting the young and naive. They claim to be relocating to the area and need someone to care for their children. They usually promise good pay but not big enough to raise eyebrows. Once they hire someone, they will send them a check with specific directions on how to use the money. These instructions could include items like purchasing food for the new home, withdrawing money for the baby sitter’s earnings, or paying the rent for their new home.

That is the ruse.  The check the scammer gives the employee is a forgery, and the landlord of their new home, whether he or she exists, is indeed a part of the scheme. When the check bounces, the “employer” is nowhere to be seen, and the unwitting employee is down hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Solution: Research Would-Be Employers Online. 

Investigate and do an identity verification on any potential employers thoroughly using their name and their business name. Nuwber can help with this. Employers and businesses with scant or non-existent online presences are just as likely to be fake as they are legitimate. Give attention to both consumer and employee feedback and concerns. And if the corporation is legitimate, a history of Better Business Bureau violations or legal entanglements should be cause for concern.

The Craiglist Guarantee Scam 

Craigslist is a fantastic website that connects buyers and sellers even though they do not live in the same place. However, many Craigslist users are unaware that platform administration does not intervene in customer purchases.

This opens the door for con artists to convince Craigslist customers that their purchases are accepted, secured, or covered by the company. They are not, as a matter of fact.

Fake Craigslist guarantee scams usually operate in this manner: following the initial contact with the dealer, the customer gets an official-looking email that claims to be from Craigslist. The email tells the buyer that Craigslist has investigated the seller and deemed the transaction legal. Craigslist is so assured of the seller’s legitimacy that it is able to make a guarantee if something does go wrong.

The catch, of course, is that the purchaser must pay for this service by wire transfer or by entering credit card details. The whole practice is a set-up to rob the buyer’s money or credit card information. Since Craigslist does not have buyer coverage, you can reasonably expect that any proposal of such a service is fake. Craigslist should be notified of the infringing listing.

Solution: Know how Craigslist works 

You can avoid several Craigslist scams by understanding what the platform promises. Craigslist, for example, does not back any purchases on its websites, so the site’s so-called purchase protection is fraudulent. Craigslist does not have a voicemail system, so be wary if you get instructions to call Craigslist customer support.


Buying and selling on Craigslist can be a thrilling experience. You might be able to find offers that may not be available in your immediate area. You should be safe as long as you pay attention to the particulars of your transaction and are mindful of the warnings that alert you to potential scams.

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