A once viable medium for acquiring and selling goods has been transformed into death camps. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but just a little bit. Craigslist was once the go-to place for people looking to sell items in their possession and the people they would sell these items to.
Unfortunately, everyone from scammers to pedophiles started using the site as a place to carry out their criminal activity. There was even a serial killer who was using Craigslist as a means of luring victims to him. While violence has been a problem with the popular site, the biggest problem has been that people have been taken out of their hard-earned money.
In an attempt to provide information on some of the more common money scams, we decided to make a list of the most common money scams on Craigslist and other sites like new Backpage. This particular list will focus on the Craigslist site for Spokane, Washington.
The pay-first money scam
This is one of the most common scams on Craigslist. In this case, a potential seller advertises a commodity and when someone responds to the ad stating that he is interested in purchasing the item, he convinces them to submit payment before receiving the items. This doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to most online shoppers, as it’s the normal protocol for shopping online – you pay, then it ships. But that doesn’t always work well on Craigslist. The seller will collect the money and will never ship the merchandise. If it is not a local transaction where you can physically inspect the merchandise and conduct a simultaneous transaction, it is not worth the risk.
The rental property scam
Real estate scams are on the rise, and the most common rental scam is when people who do not own or manage vacant property temporarily gain access and control over it and rent it out to unsuspecting families. This is happening with increasing frequency across the country, and Spokane is no exception. Unfortunately, when the true owners find out, the victims are forced to move and find another place to stay, but they are rarely able to get their money back from the criminals who misled them.
Messy courier rental scam
While it shouldn’t be said, there are people who should be warned never to close a financial transaction with someone they’ve never met. There appears to be a scammer using Craigslist who is conducting full rental transactions with video text messages. If a person is unwilling to meet with you in person, you should be very cautious about giving them your money. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. While common in rental property transactions, it can be a problem in almost any type of encounter. However, with something as important as where you and your family will live, you want to make sure everything is correct.
A new dog with old tricks
We live in a country where most people have a soft spot for animals, especially dogs. It turns out that Craigslist scammers are using pretty puppy photos to rip unsuspecting pet lovers out of their money. These scammers will post pictures of pets with a moving and compelling story explaining why the puppy is being sold or given up for adoption. In some cases, they will request payment for the puppy, or they may say that it is free; either way, you’ll likely ask for additional money for shipping, inspection costs, packaging, and vet bills. This is a fraud.
Cashier’s check fraud
As a general rule, a cashier’s check is only as good as cash, that is, when the check is issued by a real bank. Unfortunately, the digital age has brought with it the ability to print negotiable documents that look very real. By the time you find out what is wrong, you have already been separated from your property or money.
Some scammers will ask you to write a cashier’s check, using a sob story, and agree to pay you a hefty fee; as well you can use townsville classifieds. The problem is that they can afford to offer that rate because the check is invalid. Others will use a fraudulent cashier’s check to buy your goods and walk away with a worthless sheet of paper. You must negotiate the document before finalizing any transaction.