Craigslist is an online classified website designed to act as a middleman between buyers and sellers. Several sellers list their less-used products on Craigslist and wait for potential buyers to give them a decent offer. Buyers get great offers on sometimes used products which can be a great bargain.
However, there are numerous scams on Craigslist which cheat both buyers and sellers alike. It is important to be aware of the common Craigslist scams and protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Here’s How Not to Get Scammed on Craigslist
Always remember Craigslist was created with the aim of helping the locals and making the people living in the same area connect with one another to buy and sell products. It is similar to an online garage sale where you can list your products on the website and wait for buyers to offer you a great deal.
Craigslist is a great way to sell products that are lying in your attic without any use. But remember: trusting offers that are too good to believe will make you lose money instead of gaining.
Do not trust a person who says he resides in Australia and is willing to give a huge sum for your used grandma’s tea set. Think logically, accept just prices for your products, and do not give your bank account details for money deposits to strangers.
The buyers should exhibit great caution while purchasing a product. Craigslist authorities always advise the buyers to choose from a local seller, meet them in person and buy the product paying in cash.
Sellers must not accept cheques and never accept overseas cheques that ask you to give the remaining money to the buyer. Buyers must never wire the money to an unknown seller and wait endlessly for the product which will perhaps never arrive.
Avoid using escrows for both buying and selling on Craigslist as numerous scams can happen through them. Never accept peer-to-peer payments or requests to pay or receive through Western Union or any other similar service. Avoid getting gift cards to cash in on Amazon and other websites, cashier’s cheques or wire transfers.
Beware of New Friendships
Another common scam on Craigslist is selling a product for a low price and inviting the buyer to collect it. The buyers should always go with a friend and meet the seller in a public place. Going to the seller’s house without backup or informing anyone might result in getting robbed and car snatching.
In some cases, sellers show several products to the buyers, luring them to come back again and again whenever they have money. After developing a good friendship and getting all the details about their family they attack the buyer’s family. They might even kidnap the children, loot the house, and indulge in all other illegal activities.
Always use Nuwber to check whether the seller is a legitimate and honest person. Avoid sharing family matters and details about precious things and payments with new acquaintances. Look up all their details and check how authentic your seller is and keep a secured and distant relation.
Don’t fall prey to email scams as Craigslist does not send any type of emails to the buyer or the seller at any cost. After you do a successful transaction on Craigslist you might receive an email stating you have been chosen as a loyal customer and you have received a gift of some sort.
The email looks and seems like it is coming straight from Craigslist. Clicking on the email or opening it might unleash malware that will steal all your details from the computer. Sometimes it is ransomware that will ask you to pay a particular amount to unlock your device.
Several customers get directed to pay the money to a seller on a particular website. Never give your credit card details on such websites because Craigslist does not know whether it is an authenticated site.
Visiting unknown shopping websites that get automatically redirected from Craigslist might cause various issues. Especially when you give your home address and real telephone number on them.
Never trust emails that say you have been selected to become a premium price list member and you have to pay a certain amount to receive the best offers before others. Craigslist has denied sending any such emails to customers for approaching them with such plans.
Craigslist Home Rental Scams
Craigslist home scams are very well known. They happen when a person rents a home and re-rents it to several people. They collect the money from various individuals renting the same place, which might not originally even belong to them, and abscond. Ask the name of the proprietor and check with the local county office whether they are renting the actual address and whether it belongs to them.
Be also very careful when you rent the house to a person who approaches you through Craigslist. Ask for all their credentials, and check their identity thoroughly to avoid getting into such troubles as a homeowner.
Craigslist scams come in numerous forms and most of them are new and unexpected. Always trust your instincts and stay away from deals that are too good to believe. Offer just prices for your products and expect the buyers to bargain and negotiate as all the real-life buyers do.
Do not trust strangers blindly and agree to visit their house or the place they mention to buy or sell products to them. Think twice before dealing with strangers and ensure you are cautious and take all the necessary steps to stay safe from the various scams you have read and heard about on the Craigslist platform.