Craigslist was intended to be a great place where people could use it as an online marketplace for all sorts of things but scammers have turned it into something that's much more devious. In fact, many people refuse to use the website at all because of this. While they target virtually every city in the United States, certain locations seem to be hot spots. Most recently, Albany has been hit hard by a number of scams and five of the most prevalent ones are listed below.
1. Another Property Scam
Here's another example of a property scam that shows up on Craigslist all the time. It's certainly not exclusive to Albany and the surrounding area. Instead, it happens in major cities and small towns across the entire country. As far as the scam itself is concerned, it usually goes something like this. An ad is placed on Craigslist stating that someone has property for rent. It's placed at a ridiculously low price and in some cases, it even says that the property can be rented free of charge in exchange for keeping it up and making sure that it isn't broken into. Granted, it sounds far too good to be true but when you're in a desperate situation, these are the types of things that you hope and pray for. That's why so many people respond to the ads. The problem is, this property doesn't belong to the people that are placing the ad to begin with. However, they usually require that the first month's rent plus the deposit be wired to their account, or they ask for a good faith deposit as a one time fee. Either way, they're getting your money and running off and the chances of getting that money back are highly unlikely.
2. iPhone Scams
This one really shouldn't come as a surprise, either. It entails having someone that posts an ad on Craigslist saying that they're ready to sell an iPhone. As is usually the case, they want to sell it for far below market cost. That means that a lot of people jump at the chance to get it. They usually say that they don't trust people, so on and so forth, so they prefer that everything be handled through a Paypal account and they will then send you the phone. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't stop and think about the fact that this is more than likely a scam. They provide their information, the individuals in question drain the PayPal account and the phone is never produced. This is another scam that happens in cities across the United States but it's been especially prevalent in the Albany area for a while now.
3. Homes for Sale
Just like the rental scam, these involve people placing an ad on Craigslist saying that the same home is for sale, only they're selling it to however many people respond. They usually give some type of sad story that tears at your heartstrings when they have to explain why they're selling it for such a cheap price. People think they're getting a great deal, but they're never going to be able to move into the house because it doesn't belong to these individuals to begin with. Some even go as far as producing keys to a house they don't even own, allowing people to move in and then discover that there's a problem. They then take the money and disappear before anyone figures out what they're doing.
4. The Ticket Scam
Here's another one that circulated widely around the country and Albany has seen a definite uptick in this type of crime lately. People claim to have tickets for a popular event, usually one that’s sold out. They'll give you some reason why they're not able to use the tickets themselves and, like most things on this list, they say that they prefer to have the money sent through a PayPal account. Remember, there are no tickets to be had in the first place but by the time you figure that out, you've already sent the money.
5. Fake Movers
Albany has also been hit by this one lately, and it's a scam that's been prominently used in many cities across the country. It's been discussed before regarding other cities and now it's become a major problem in Albany. It involves people placing ads on Craigslist claiming to help you move for a fee that's more than reasonable. They show up at the house and pack everything up and collect your money. What they don't do is take your stuff to the new address. Instead, they drive away and you don't get your stuff back, nor do you get your money.
Written by Garrett Parker
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