Craigslist is a huge platform for satisfied buyers and sellers. Sellers are able to meet the ultimate buyers and buyers are able to meet the very sellers of the products that they actually require on craigslist. A smooth buying and selling experience takes place at craigslist. But are all the transactions smooth on craigslist?
With scam industry growing in equal pace with technology and advancement, scammers have not spared a legitimate buying and selling platform such as craigslist too. Scam awaits every second or third buyer or seller on craigslist. Responses received for any easily shippable item are scams.
The list of craigslist scam victims is increasing day by day:
Many scammers from Nigeria are trying to scam the legitimate users of craigslist. They send emails to sellers on craigslist, pretending to buy their products advertised and send checks with the overpayment. These scammers usually ask to wire back the extra payment made. Innocent users who wire back the money are the ones who are successfully scammed by the scammers. It is always a good practice to complete transactions with customers in the nearby area and locality.
Buyers and sellers beware! Is the slogan to avoid scams on craigslist. Any user who finds an offer to be scam can report it immediately by sending an email to abuse craigslist email@example.com and report all the details known about the listing.
Most popular scams that are reported on craigslist :
1. Craigslist apartment rental scams
Scammers are too clever and know that there is huge demand for apartment rental service in New York City. Scammers use this in a bait and switch strategy and scam users of thousands of dollars in the name of rental apartments.
2. Craigslist car selling scams
Fraudulent posting for selling cars have now become a very common occurrence on craigslist. Either the buyer or seller becomes a victim of car scam on craigslist based on the scammer's strategy.
3. Craigslist ticket scams
Many scammers sell unwanted tickets to sport events, festive concerts, music shows and fairs. Most of these tickets are for sold out events, and scammers take pride in cheating users on ticket scams.
4. Craigslist escrow services scams
Scammers take advantage of escrow services (a trusted source for two parties to complete a successful transaction) and cheat them by robbing the money. Scammers pretend to be members and agents of escrow services and act as a mediator between the buyer and the seller.
5. Craigslist cell phone swindle scam
This is one of the smartest moves made by the scammers. Scammers pretend to buy your advertised product and ask you to give in your contact details for further processing. They pretend to be too busy to talk to you and ask you to give in your cell phone number in some website link that they send you. In this scam, when the victim enters their cell phone number on the website sent by the scammer, they are blindly signing up for an amount that will be deducted monthly from their credit card. There is no way to cancel this service. And by the time the victim realizes this, the scammer has milked enough money from the account.
6. Craigslist job offer scams
Work from home jobs and other job offers where the victim is asked to deposit initial fee are popular on craigslist. The job offer appears to be too good to be true and looks as an opportunity for the victim.
People using craigslist need to be doubly sure before entering into any transaction.
The various facets of craigslist scams:
CHECK THIS VIDEO TRICK!
The most popular buying and selling platform is the best place for crooks to scam innocent users. "Click the video" trick is popularly used by scammers to hunt their victims. The scammer approaches you as a legitimate buyer of your product and responds to you in a message that follows to a video link. The video link urges the victim to download a piece of software that is mandatory to view the video. When the user downloads the viewer type to the system, the scammer's malware attacks the user's system and gains all the personal data stored on the user's computer, browser's cookies and so on.
LEAVE YOUR NUMBER TRICK:
Another popular trick adopted by scammers is "leave your phone number" trick. What happens in this trick is that, the scammer tries to approach the victim in craigslist as a legitimate buyer of the product that the victim is selling on craigslist. The scammer purposely asks for the phone number of the victim in order to communicate further about the transaction details. When the innocent victim leaves the phone number, the scammer uses the number to make premium phone calls that are charged on the user's credit card phone account.
Real time scam experiences of users on craigslist
Free Home Free Furniture Scam:
Below is an example of a real time craigslist hoax, where a man lost his entire lifetime earnings in craigslist scam. This story dates back to March 2008, where a man was scammed of his entire belongings. A group of scammers had posted a fake ad on craigslist saying that there was a house in a sophisticated area that was to be sold for free as the owner had to urgently relocate. The owner completely unaware of this trick, when arrived home in the evening, he saw trucks outside his house carrying all his belongings. Upon interrogation, the group of scammers produced the craigslist ad that was actually not posted by the owner.
Buy Cheap Rental Homes Scam
Another popular reported example of craigslist scam is about the "cheap rental Homes" that usually don't exist. Scammers post pictures of prospective properties on craigslist for a below average price on rent. Legitimate consumers who are looking for cheap rental homes find the deal to be too good to be true. They send cash to the scammers address or bank account and wait for the contract and deal documents upon payment. But these scammers escape with the money not responding back to these victims. Some scammers ask for an application fee which they collect from a number of victims which suffices their need for money.
The Cell Phone Craigslist Scam
This is the most popular type of craigslist scam ever. The sellers are the ones who are targeted. The scammers approach them as a buyer of their product and appear to be too busy to communicate about the transaction. The scammers ask the sellers to use a web service and fill out their contact details, referring which they would call them back for the transaction. When the sellers use the web service to fill out the contact details, they are unknowingly subscribing for a monthly service that charges them up to 10 dollars a month. There is no way to decline to this service. The scammer then disappears and there is no deal for selling the product. This scammers trick is growing widely on the craigslist network.
The Used Car's for Less Strategy:
Cars are most transacted on craigslist. There is a dangerous loss involved of loosing hundred or even thousands of dollars on these car deals that take place on craigslist. The scammers in this case act as sellers of cars at jaw dropping prices. The deal appears to be too good for the buyer. The buyer may go ahead and pay the entire amount thinking the deal should not go out of hand. But the hard truth is that the seller disappears upon receiving the hard earned money of the buyer. The below screenshot talks about a real time example of a lady (scammer) who listed a brand new SUV car just for $3000. When asked why this was listed for such a low price, the scammer had emotional stories to narrate. Buyers on craigslist need to beware that emotional story have nothing to deal with the price of the car listed. These are all scammers who wish to walk away once the money is received.
The Solders Craigslist Scams:
Scammers have left no niche untouched to make their trick run successfully. They run fake advertisements on craigslist as soldiers who want to sell all their stuff at a lower price before they return home. These include item that they have been deployed with while on a mission overseas. These items include televisions; computers and much more that would be of any man's need. The scammers try to build up the least time availability hoax that pops in many buyers in a short span of time. The aim of the scammers is to swindle the money and not appear back.
Buyers on Craigslist Beware:
A serious way to scam that goes unnoticed is the phishing eBay scam on craigslist. The scammers use tricks that go completely unnoticed by the normal users. In this type of scam, the scammers list products on craigslist with decent prices that any buyer can buy. Upon purchase the seller sends them to a page that says paying through eBay would be convenient and the user is asked for the login details of their eBay accounts. The phishing page appears to be the exact replica of the eBay login page and the user fails to notice that this is a fake phishing page set up by the scammer. The user then enters all their personal details on the page prepared by the scammer. The scammer then uses these details to access the users PayPal accounts and swindles all the money in their accounts. Many users have fallen prey to such scams where there has been no way to recover the money they lost in eBay phishing scams.
The Student Roommates Craigslist Scam:
Below mentioned is another type of craigslist scam to beware of. The student roommates' scam on craigslist has made many students lose out on their pocket money in the name of sharing room with mates from other countries who wish to study in their area. The below screenshot describes the experience of a student who lost $2720 to a female scammer who pretended to be his roommate. She first sent a check of $3500 and asked the victim to refund the money as she had to take a flight to reach the destination. It was no sooner that the victim realized the check that was sent was fake and had bounced, encountering him a loss of $2720