Craigslist has been around for a long time and so have the scams associated with it. The idea was to provide a place where people could look at what amounted to the classified section of a newspaper, only it was all handled online. It was supposed to give people an opportunity to buy and sell things without having to pay for putting ads in those newspapers. People could also advertise places for rent, job openings, so on and so forth. The idea, in and of itself, is solid. Unfortunately, the darker side of human nature has taken over and the end result is that Craigslist is now so full of scams that it's hard for anybody to trust it. If you're in the Atlanta area, here are five financial scams that you need to know about.
It seems like people never stop thinking of ways to cheat other people out of their money. At least one individual who lives in the Atlanta area purchased some software from an individual who had a listing on Craigslist. He paid the fee, received the software and then proceeded to attempt to register and install it on his computer. When he did, he was told that that particular software was not available, effectively making it invalid. In other words, he coughed up a relatively large chunk of change for something that will end up going directly in the trash can.
This is a scam that isn't just happening in Atlanta, but all over. With that being said, there have been plenty of problems in Atlanta related to this particular scam as well. It involves people placing an ad on Craigslist for tickets to any major event in the Atlanta area. They price the tickets at what seems like a steal, especially for things that are sold out. They require that the money be wired to them or sent to a PayPal account. The problem is, the tickets don't exist in the first place. People send the money and they never hear from them again.
Rental Scams Galore
One of the more popular Craigslist scams that's been going on in Atlanta and in virtually every major city in the country is to place properties up for rent that aren't actually for rent. Everything is handled online, including signing a contract and then wiring the money to a specific bank account. By the time that people figure out that there really is no house or that the house in question is actually owned by someone else, it's too late.
Movers That Steal Your Stuff
This is a scam that is often discussed in different cities across the country and it's been happening a lot in Atlanta recently. For some reason, people turn to Craigslist to try to find movers when they need to relocate, probably because they're looking for a way to save money. You have to be careful, because a lot of the people that are advertising these services on the site are not legitimate. Sure, they'll come get your stuff but they'll never bring it to your new house. By the time you find out what's really going on, they're long gone and they're taking everything you own with them.
Garage Sale at Gunpoint
This is another one that requires a bit of creativity on the part of the criminals, something they unfortunately seem to possess plenty of. Atlanta has more than its fair share of houses that have been foreclosed on or simply abandoned. Individuals are breaking into these houses, putting an ad on Craigslist saying they're having an indoor garage sale at the address, and then robbing everybody that comes through the door at gunpoint.
Clearly, you can't be too careful when it comes to Craigslist or anything else for that matter. It isn't that the site itself is bad, it's just unfortunate that people who decide to do bad things choose to use it as a platform to carry those things out. In reality, nothing is really safe today so it's important for you to follow your gut instinct and use common sense in order to prevent yourself from getting into a potentially dangerous situation In the first place. It also helps to remember that if the deal sounds too good to be true, there’s probably something going on and you're better off leaving it alone.
Written by Garrett Parker
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