The concept of buying and selling things online via websites such as Craigslist is not new. Unfortunately, with websites that allow you to buy and sell things online comes scams. There are three new Craigslist scams that are beginning to spread. For any buyers or sellers who use Craigslist, it is beneficial to be aware of these scams to know how to be protected from them.
Scam #1: Hiring Professional Movers
After calling various moving companies and finding out how expensive it is to have professional movers help you move to your new home, it is not uncommon for people to turn to Craigslist to hire movers at a bargain. The problem with doing this is there are scammers posting these advertisements with the hope of finding the right family to steal from.
According to AJC.com, this is exactly what happened to one woman and her family in Douglas County when movers stole all of her family’s belongings on Friday, April, 29 of this year. The woman (who asked media not to refer to her by name) found and hired a two-man moving team with a U-Haul on Craigslist. The men were supposed to follow the family on the highway in the U-Haul with all of their things to their new home. The movers did not follow the family and took all of their things with them.
Hours passed while the woman and her family waited and slowly begun to realize the movers they hired may have stolen all of their things. The police were able to find the truck, which was also stolen, but it was already empty.
Two days after the incident, the police did find a box at the side of the road which contained a lot of personal items the woman and her family were hoping would turn up.
“I had iPads and iPhones. That was gone. But all of the birth certificates and all the records that I really needed were in that box, including my Bible. Thank God.”
The woman estimated roughly $75,000 worth of valuables were inside of that truck.
Scam #2: Rental Listings
Craigslist can also be a place to look for places to rent. The problem is scammers know how to say all of the right things and have all of the right paperwork to scam money out of someone looking for a new place to live.
According to WDRB, a couple from Southern Indiana put their house up for sale and became part of a Craigslist scam in less than 48 hours. Someone took all of the couple’s information from their sale posting and created a post on Craigslist offering the same home for rent. All a person had to do was give the person who posted their personal information and a security deposit.
The listing was for a three-bedroom and two-bathroom updated home for just $600 per month.
“People were coming in looking through our windows, walking around our backyard,” the homeowner reported.
The home had been on the market for less than a week when people started to check it out, and the homeowner was surprised the home was getting so much attention.
“A couple of people were standing on my front porch getting a little too close for comfort, so I opened the door and said, ‘Hi, we have an open house on Sunday. Can I help you?’ And they just apologized and said they were here to check out the house and left,” the homeowner went on to explain.
It wasn’t until the homeowner, from Albany, got a message from someone on Facebook that he realized what was going on.
“The message asked me if my name was John, which it is, and asked was I selling the house or was I renting the house because she had some concerns that somebody was running a scam with my name.”
According to the false post on Craigslist, the homeowner was going away on a mission trip for three to four years and putting the home up for rent during the trip. The Craigslist listing went on to say that anyone who was interested could text back and forth with the homeowner. During the text conversation, people were asked for personal information and to wire transfer the deposit.
The Southern Indiana Realtors Association claims that this is a problem that is continuing to get worse in the real estate market. These experts strongly urge buyers and renters to contact a professional before exchanging any money.
Scam #3: Counterfeit Ticket Scalping
The New York Post recently shared a story of a woman named Danielle Posner, who used Craigslist as a platform to purchase tickets to see the Broadway show, Hamilton. She spent $350 for the tickets only to be turned away from security when she got to the door because the tickets were not real.
Scammers have learned how to utilize technology to create replicas of tickets for all sorts of popular events. With watermarks and logos that match the real tickets, it can be hard to spot a fake.
Some scammers will trick you into purchasing real tickets, sell them to you, and then cancel the ticket and keep the money you gave them to purchase the ticket. This is another scam most people do not realize is happening until they arrive at the event and are not allowed in.
In this particular Craigslist scam, the seller will usually offer the tickets significantly below what is considered market value. The goal of the scam is to get you to think you are getting a good deal. In reality, the scammer is just trying to take your money.
Last month, Inquisitr reported the safest place to conduct Craigslist deals is at a police station. If the buyer/seller is not willing to meet at the police station, it is likely they do not have the best intentions.