At one point, Craigslist was viewed as fertile soil for people looking for great deals, as well as those looking to sell goods and services quickly. Unfortunately, the lack of a proper screening mechanism has created a free-for-all platform where almost anything goes. When people attempt to log into the Craigslist platform, there should be a disclaimer that says, “Enter at Your Own Risk.” There is no shortage of money scams being run on Craigslist each and every day. What we would like to do is point out some of the scams that are common in different areas of the country. This article will focus on Craigslist money scams in the Witchita, Kansas area.
1. The Rental Scam
Renters should beware. While this type of scam has become common across the country, this is one place where it is highly common. In these type of scams, the scammer somehow gains access to vacant homes and lists them for rent. They literally go out to show the property to prospective renters. When they find someone who is willing to rent the property, it gets interesting. The scammers can collect application fees plus first and last months rent but never allow access to the property. There have been cases in which renters have actually moved into property only to find out that they had rented the property from scammers who had no legal right to rent the property. Families can be out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars if they are not careful. In one particular story, the owner of the home will actually living there and was made aware of the scam when a potential renter knocked on his door. Talking about weird.
2. The RV Hussle
There has been a wide-range warning sent out by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warning consumers in a number of states, including Kansas, that they should be aware of the fact that their fraudulent ads being placed on Craigslist targeting car buyers. These scammers are posing as car sales companies. Here is where it gets interesting; these so-called companies are setting up fake escrow accounts and convincing buyers to put money in the account to secure the deal. If you are not buying a car hand-to-hand, you have to be extremely careful on Craigslist, because there is no recourse to recover your money should you be victimized.
3. The IRS Agent Scam & the Now You See It Rental Scam
Who does not come to attention when they hear IRS. I don’t care who you are, when you hear or see those three letters in that order, it gets your attention. According to a recent news a report, a Witchita woman lost hundreds of dollars to scammers posing as IRS agents. The scam is somewhat elaborate, using fake checks, real estate property, and escrow accounts. The scam targets people looking for homes for rent and it asks for application fees and deposit. Unfortunately, once the person pays the amount they never get to take possession of the property. The woman found out after she gave the person her money that he did not own the property in question and she had to use grocery money to find another place to stay.
4. The eBay by Way Craigslist Vehicle Scam
There are so many different vehicle scams that you can easily lose track. In this case, a man located a truck on Craiglist, Witchita that caught his eye. When he contacted that woman who was selling the truck, they insisted on using eBay. The seller requested that the payment transactions be done through eBay, giving the appearance that the offer was legitimate, but once the payment was made, the truck was never shipped. After he loaded the initial amount she requested, she came back with an additional request for $1,500 for transportation fees. This is pretty common. The first amount is to get you committed to the sale, and now they can milk money from you knowing you want the vehicle and they already have your money.
5. The Fake Check Scam
The fake check scam has many different angles and presentations, but at the end of the day, a person receives a check that is more than the amount agreed to, and the sender of the check request that the amount over should be wired back to them via Western Union or other online and mobile application that allows individuals to move money easily. By the time that the recipient of the check realizes that the check is not any good, they have already sent money to the scammer. That is not the only money they lose. It is likely that their bank will charge fees for the fraudulent check deposit. This type of scam has law enforcement officials in Witchita working overtime.
Written by Rick Wallace
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