People in the Amarillo area have been using Craigslist as an online resource for listing items that they have for sale. It's a great place to find used cars, trucks, farm equipment and more. There are also a lot of ads for furniture, appliances, electronics and even opportunities for jobs. Some homeowners and realtors also use the site to post homes that are for rent or for sale on the site. While the majority of people using the site have had positive experiences, there has been an increase in the amount of scam activity that is showing up. Here are five money scams that you need to watch out for on Craigslist Amarillo.
1. Warning about rental scam on Craigslist Amarillo
A new scam has recently appeared in Craigslist's classified rental section. An ad that offers a house for rent is posted by a person who is posing as a missionary to Africa which raises the first red flag. He cannot meet with renters personally but tells them to drive by the address given in the ad and complete an application if interested. The apps are always approved and the renter is instructed to wire the deposit and rent money in exchange for keys that will be Fedexed. The problem is that the pictures and information was stolen from a legitimate ad for the home which is owned by someone else and is listed for sale, not rent. After you wire the money, the scammer disappears with it and you never hear from them again. Don't fall for this terrible scam. Only deal with persons who will meet you face to face.
2. Local police warn of a rash of scams infiltrating the area
Amarillo has been besieged with a variety of different scams recently. Phone, mail and Craigslist scams are one the rise and local police have been receiving numerous calls from the victims. In one Craigslist scam reported, sellers are contacted by a potential buyer who negotiates a price for the item and then sends them a cashier's check that is written for far more than the agreed upon price. The sellers are instructed to deposit the check into their bank accounts, then forward the rest of the extra cash to a "shipper." As it turns out, within a few days the checks are discovered the be fake and the seller is stuck making them good at the bank and also paying the associated fees.
3. Rental scams on Craigslist Amarillo
Beware when buying a car or home that is listed for sale or for rent on Craigslist. Scammers are offering these items for sale and the red flags that signal the likelihood of a scam is a seller or home owner who will not deal with you face to face. They tell you that they are out of the area and often give you a sob story to draw you in emotionally. Avoid dealing with these sellers because most of them are scammers. They ask you to wire the money and promise to send keys or vehicles through the mail, but once they get your money they disappear and police are not often able to track them down so there is little recourse for getting your money back.
4. Amarillo Craigslist property scam
This is yet another rental scam in the Amarillo area. A house on 2400 South Polk Street is listed for sale and the poster reveals that the rental fee is just $500 per month. He wants $1000 up front for 2 months rent with a maximum lease of 5 years. He goes on to say that they were going to sell the home which helps to explain the for sale sign on the property. He tells prospective renters to drive by the home and if interested, you can wire the rent money to him because he's not in town. This is a brazen scam that has been identified and police are warning that the photos of the home and information used in the ad have been stolen from another website that legitimately lists the house for sale by its true owners. Don't be taken in by this scam.
5. Woman nearly scammed out of thousands
A woman advertised two lamps for sale on Craigslist. She was called by a scammer who asked if the lamps were still available. She said they were and the two negotiated a price of $650. The scammer sent her a cashier's check for $2,250 and told her to deposit the check into her bank account and then wire the rest back for "shipping." As it turned out the woman did a bit of detective work and discovered that the check was a phony. She narrowly escaped becoming the victim of a scam that would have cost her thousands of dollars.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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