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Craigslist Scams to Watch out for in 2019

Craigslist Scams to Watch out for in 2019


Online marketplaces, such as Craigslist, have empowered individuals to connect with one and other in their communities. Local listings all you to have a virtual yard sale, from the comfort of your living room couch. The online marketplace is flourishing, with many options to choose from, including Craigslist, Letgo, and OfferUp.

Most of the transactions that take place on these open marketplaces are legitimate connections. Neighbors selling and buying from neighbors. Unfortunately, scammers and con-artist also target purchasers on these sites, hoping to make a quick buck and scam you out of your goods or cash. Last year, we wrote about the 10 Most Common Craigslist Scams. While these scams are still common, creative fraudsters have come up with new ways to con unsuspecting individuals out of their money.

In 2019, be on the lookout for these new Craigslist scams. And, always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Altered Car Registration: In this scam, a thief lists a stolen vehicle on Craigslist or another classified ads platform. To show proof of ownership, they present the individuals with an altered car title and registration. Later, when the buyer goes online to change the registration to their name, they will discover the deal is a scam. At this point, the thief is long gone with the money and the buyer is forced to surrender the car they just purchased to its original owner.
  • Credit Report Scam: Scammers posing as employers will put up fake job listings. Once you contact them, they will tell you that you are qualified for the position. But, before you can get the job, they need to run a credit report. At this point, they may ask for information via email or send you to a fake site. They will ask for your social security number and other sensitive information, such as an image of your driver’s license or utility bill. They may even charge you a fee before disappearing with enough information to steal your identity.
  • Real Estate Listing Identify Theft: In this scam, the con artists will re-post information from a real online listing about a home that is for sale or rent in the area. Their Craigslist ad will link out to a Web site that asks you for extensive personal information in order to apply to rent (or purchase) the property. When looking at properties on Craigslist, double-check that they are listed on reputable sites and contact the realtor or lister directly, not through Craigslist. Read about other Craigslist real estate scams here.
  • Fake Checks: Digitally altered and counterfeit checks have become so sophisticated, they can be difficult to spot. Consider requiring a different method of payment if you are listing a high-ticket item on one of these classified sites.

By exercising common sense and caution, you can find great deals and make a little extra change selling your unneeded items on Craigslist and other online marketplaces. Be on the lookout for con-artists and stay safe when using these sites.

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