Safety Tips for Avoiding the Most Common Craigslist Scams
When you ask people if they’ve heard of Craigslist, the answer is invariable “yes.” Not surprising, as the selling portal is active in more than 70 countries. But what people don’t realize is that craigslist takes in over $1 Billion in revenue each year, but there are only 50 employees in the company! That’s due to the fact that the buyers and sellers on craigslist do all of the work.
But what most people don’t know is people use craigslist to scam others out of merchandise, data and money. Never has “buyer beware” been more important to follow than it has on craigslist. So what are some of the things that you need to watch out for? Let’s look at some of the most common scams.
Big Ticket – Big Scam
If you’re looking to purchase a big-ticket item, like a car or even a house, and the seller doesn’t ask for a credit check before engaging in a transaction, stop! The seller is just trying to get your financial information and will take your money and disappear. Buyer beware on this because without question, this is a scam.
Something to remember: the Internet and social media have the unique identity to mask the identity of the person you’re dealing with, so even though they give you a name or email address, you have to verify that it’s true. Start with Nuwber, an easy-to-use online tool that will verify the true identity of the person you’re communicating with, simply by entering his or her phone number or other pertinent info. Once you’ve received their true identity, if the person whom you’re dealing with is not who they say they are, end all communication immediately. The person is a cybercrook and scam artist and they’re only out to rob you anyway they can.
Here’s another tip: if someone would prefer to call you rather than text or email you, watch out. They want your phone number in order to gain access to additional data and information, so never give out your number. Always use Google Voice to make or receive phone calls, because it lets you use a phone number that is totally different from your own. And always use craigslist’s proxy email to avoid revealing your own.
Avoid Wire Transfers
A sure giveaway to a scam is when the seller asks you to use a wire transfer to pay for merchandise. This provides an opportunity for the cybercrook to steal your financial data or your money without ever sending any merchandise! Avoid wire transfers. If you do want to use PayPal, use the website to get a link – never use one that’s provided to you by the seller. They’ll simply send you to a spoof site where they can access all the account information you enter.
By following these simple tips to protect yourself, you should be able to buy and sell using craigslist without any problems.