I am a constant Craigslist “browser,” but I have actually never bought or sold on the website. However, I know of many others who use Craigslist nearly every single month, and some even use it to buy and sell every week.
Even though I have never used it for my own gain, I have seen many scams on the website. It is very crazy that there are so many scams out there. Below are my tips to avoid common Craigslist scams.
If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
You know this phrase. Everyone has heard it yet no one really listens to it. I’ve fallen for it before, and I’m sure many others have as well. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then you need to do some investigating.
If it sounds WAY too good to be true, then it may be best to just step away from the deal. This is how many scammers try to lure you in, because they know that many people just cannot turn down a good deal even if it is a scam.
If they ask for your bank information, don’t do it.
I can’t think of any situation where they would need your bank information. Remember, if you give them your bank information (account number, routing number, etc.), then they can actually take money OUT of your account!
Don’t fall for the “wiring funds” scam.
This is a scam that many people fall for on Craigslist. This is where the scammer buys something from you. Your product may be $1,000, yet they give you a check for $3,000 and they ask you to give them the $2,000 change. This is where they scam you because their check was never good and now you are out of $2,000.
They ask for your address.
If you can, it is usually best not to do deals directly out of your house. Usually meeting in a well-lit parking lot is your best bet. This way, if it does turn out to be a scammer they don’t know where you live. If you are listing things on Craigslist, then they know you have them so if you give them your address then you might just be telling you to rob them.
We once listed a car of ours on Craigslist. The person asked for our address so that the tow truck could come and get it and tow it to the state that they live in. I thought this sounded weird and I actually found out that some scammers just ask for your address so that they can steal your car while you are sleeping or when you are not home! Isn’t that crazy?
What Craigslist scams have you seen? Have you ever fallen for one?
Image via Flickr by Global X
Leave a Reply