Residents of Corvallis, Oregon have used Craigslist for decades to list items that they want to sell. Buyers also appreciate the site because it's an excellent resource for finding used cars or trucks, motorcycles trailers and other recreation vehicles, furniture, appliances, electronics, musical instruments, homes for rent and for sale and much more. Although most people have had positive experiences when dealing with buyers and sellers on the site, in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of scam advertisements posted on the site. Con artists discovered that it's also a place where they can prey on the innocent in schemes to steal their hard earned cash. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Corvallis.
1. Realtor warns of scam rental ads
A realtor by the name of Oscar Cardenas with Young Realty Group is warning everyone in the area to beware of a series of scams that have been recently posted on Craigslist Corvallis. He warns that scammers are going to the sites used by legitimate realtors to advertise homes for sale, and stealing the photos and other information to create phony rental ads. He is warning homeowners that if they see their home listed for rent on Craigslist and they haven't placed the ads that they should contact the realty company in charge of the sale immediately as this has been happening on a more regular basis.
2. Cat re-homing scam
A woman posted an ad on Craigslist claiming that she wanted to re-home him. One of her victims is now warning everyone to beware of the ad because it is a scam. She offers to re-home the cat for a $50 fee. According to the warning she adopts cats and then attempts to sell them through this ploy. This isn't the first cat that she has done this with.
3. Scam is targeting college students
A college student responded to an ad on Craigslist advertising a rental in Corvallis. The posters gave her a description of the house claiming to be missionaries and they told her she could rent the house for $1,000 per month while they were away. She wired $600 to Nigeria telling them that she would consider this a deposit and send the rest after she had seen the house. She took a trip to Corvallis to learn that the house had just been sold and that it was never really for sale. She was scammed out of the $600 that she had wired to the con artists in Nigeria.
4. Rental scam resurfaces in Corvallis
Ashley Hansen responded to a Craigslist ad for a home for rent for $800 per month. It was a 3 bedroom near the university. After emailing the poster she received a fast reply. The total move in costs were $1,400 but something didn't sound right. The guy who spoke with her claimed to be a missionary in Africa. He instructed her to complete a rental application and wire $1,400 for the deposit. She knew at this point that it was just another lousy rental scam. She was one of the lucky ones who didn't fall for this old con.
5. Warning about new housing scams
Property managers and the housing department at Oregon State University are seeing an increase in scam activity, particularly housing scams targeting university students. Many of the students use Craigslist to find housing in the form of off campus rentals but the scammers are now becoming more sophisticated. They're stealing ads from other websites using photos, descriptions and even names of the realty companies managing the homes as well as looking up the actual owners' names to sound like they're legitimate. The moral of the story is don't trust anyone and meet with them in person to submit financial deposits and information. Do your homework and call verified phone numbers so you know who you're dealing with. Never send money to them via wire transfer or you may become the next victim of a housing scam.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson