Craigslist is notorious for scams, and no state or city is exempt from this. Anywhere you go throughout the nation, you’ll hear stories about people getting scammed for their money through the website. It’s unfortunate because Craigslist could actually be useful and profitable at the same time, but it’s difficult to control scammers the way the platform is set up. In Chicago, there had been numerous stories of scammers taking people’s money and taking advantage of those who are careless and gullible. If you are planning on using Craigslist for any financial transaction, you should be aware of some common scams out there. Here are five financial scams you should watch out for on Craigslist Chicago.
1. Rental scams
This is probably one of the more common scams on Craigslist, and Chicago has been a victim of it more than a few times. Many scammers are promoting properties for rent that are not even theirs, and getting people for their money after a fake approval process. Rental scams have come in different shapes and types. Those who are looking for cheaper rates are the typical victims. Be careful. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is. Don’t pay any money unless you’ve actually seen the property or talked to someone in person.
2. iPhone scams
We all have to get rid of our things sometimes and somehow, and Craigslist is actually a great market for getting rid of older electronics. Unfortunately, so many people are trying to scam other people on the site that it’s becoming hard to do. There have been numerous reports of people scamming sellers trying to sell their iPhones online. Most of these scammers have various reasons for either paying too much up front, not paying up front, or anything of that sort. There are telltale signs you could look out for, and again, trust your instincts. If the deal sounds foul, it more than likely is.
3. Used car scam
This is one big operation that has targeted nearly 100 people in and around the Chicago area. There are always people selling used cars on Craigslist, and these people are easy targets to take advantage of because they typically want to just get rid of their vehicles. There are scammers that have legitimate looking bank checks that sellers would find out later to actually be bogus checks. But by the time that’s realized, the vehicle is already gone. It’s difficult to do transactions like this because there’s no way to determine whether the checks are legit. Cash is still the best method of accepting payments, but that’s not always possible in large-scale transactions such as those involving cars.
4. Charity scam
Scammers are now even using charity as a way to get people for their money. Scammers are calling people for money, asking for donations, saying that the donation would go specifically towards a good cause. Most of the time, these scammers would say that they’re coming from a known and legitimate establishment such as the local sheriff’s office. Some might even say that they are raising money for someone in need. Most of these calls are fake, and before you make any donations, you should always verify with the organization that’s supposedly calling to make sure that it’s a legitimate charity call. Most of the time, if organizations need help, they really won’t be cold calling people for money. It’s just another sign that who you’re dealing with is an actual scammer.
5. Cashier’s check scam
Anytime someone wants to send you extra money to cover fees that they really don’t need to, you should be alarmed right away. Anytime someone wants to do an extra pay for inconvenience or what not, they’ll more than likely ask you to deduct what you will and send the rest back somehow. These scammers will ask you to deposit the check in your bank and after it’s cleared for you to send the rest of the money back. Of course, the checks will more than likely not clear, but many people will still send the difference back before they find this information out. There are tons of signs you can pinpoint that say this transaction is all wrong. All you need to do is pay attention.