Craigslist is an excellent resource for the people in Anchorage to list items that they have for sale as well as for those who are looking for used items. In most cases, both buyers and sellers enjoy mutually beneficial transactions on a variety of different items such as cars, trucks, electronics, furniture, appliances, even homes for rent or for sale. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of scams that have been surfacing on the site. They're getting so sophisticated that it can be tough to tell the legitimate ads from the phony ones. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Anchorage.
1. Nigerian rental scheme
When you see a listing for a "handsome" home that is offered for far less in rent than it is worth, you should be suspicious. There has been a rash of scams offering these rental homes for low prices. When you respond to the ad, they usually give you a sob story and explain that they can't meet you in person because they are either out of the state or out of the country. They have you complete a rental application and then they tell you you're approved. They offer to Fed-Ex the keys as soon as they receive the deposit and rent money but you must wire it to their account in a foreign country. After the money is wired they disappear and you never hear from them again. They steal the ads from homes that are listed for sale and then change the contact information. They even give you the address so you can drive by and look at it, but don't be fooled. It's a scam to bilk you out of the rent money and to get your personal information from the application for identity theft.
2. Another rental scam in Anchorage
An Anchorage woman was shocked when she discovered that the home she had listed for sale was also listed for rent on Craigslist. She had no intention of renting the home out. She learned that a guy called Lance Green stole the photos of her home along with the information listed on the site of the real estate agent. Out of curiosity she contacted the scammer who told big lies about how he and his wife lived in the home for 18 years when the real owner had lived in it for 20. He instructed her to drive by the house and take a look and then send $1,300 through Wal-Mart's money wire transfer. She gave the information to a reporter who followed up on the scam further.
3. Home remodeling scammer tracked down in manhunt
The guy that advertised homes for rent in Valdez was a known Craigslist scammer who stole $130,000 from his victims in Anchorage. He would advertise his services, ask for fifty percent of the payment up front and then disappear with their money and never return for the job. It took a week for the searchers on the manhunt for him to track the con artist down, but they found him and arrested him for his crimes.
4. Counterfeit ticket scam on Craigslist
A couple from Anchorage wanted to attend a Luke Bryan Concert but the tickets were expensive. They found two advertised on Craigslist and they were able to purchase them for $300 for the pair. The face value of the tickets was $60 each but it was near concert time and it was hard to find them. They bought the tickets but when they showed up to watch the show, they were informed that the tickets were counterfeit and they were denied admission.
5. Vehicle scam on Craigslist
Here is an old Craigslist scam that has found its way to Anchorage. The scammer offers to sell a vehicle for far less than its true value. They give you a sob story and tell you that they're out of the area but can arrange for the vehicle to be shipped. They have you wire the money through what looks like a legitimate ebay site with buyer protection. The only problem is that its a counterfeit site and it's a scam that steals your money, then you never hear from the scammers again.
Written by Dana Hanson
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