People never seem to take a break when it comes to trying to scam other people out of their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, it seems to be something that is part of human nature, although many people wish it weren't. When the internet came along, people that have been making a habit out of scamming others saw a gold mine and they've taken full advantage of it, even to the point that many honest, hardworking people are afraid to use certain websites because they're so well known for their scams.
One such website is Craigslist. This is a site that started out innocently enough and there are still honest people who try to buy and sell on the site. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of people that are there strictly to steal possessions or scam people out of money and they've basically given the site a big black eye that it’s having a hard time recovering from. Scams exist all over the country but in this particular case, you'll learn about five of the most frequently occurring scams that are going on in or around Asheville, North Carolina. There's even a link attached to each story so you can investigate it for yourself.
1. Switching the Odometer
In this particular scam, a man put a car up for sale on Craigslist with a remarkably low odometer reading and a low price to match. When someone called about the ad, he told them he was in the military and about to be deployed so he needed to sell the car quickly. Of course, it was over a holiday weekend so he then started pressuring them to have the money wired through Western Union. Thankfully, this particular individual decided to be proactive and pulled a Carfax report on the VIN number attached to the car. As it turns out, the car that was supposed to have super low miles had something to the tune of almost 300,000 miles on it and tons of unfavorable maintenance reports.
2. Vacation Rentals That Don’t Exist
In this case, scammers are taking photographs of actual houses that are either for sale or rent, claiming that they are vacation rentals. They don't own the property and never have. However, they do insist that the full amount they're asking for be deposited into a special PayPal account so that they can be sure that they won't get scammed. Once they get the money, you never hear from them again and they disappear before anyone can find them.
3. Stealing Your Identity
You had to know it wouldn't take long for scammers to start coming up with some newer ideas because so many of the same scams have been occurring in different cities across the United States for quite some time now. This one is definitely a new take on things, to say the least. It goes like this. You post an ad on Craigslist to sell something. It's an ad that you pay the company for. Typically, craigslist.org will charge you about $15 for these types of ads. Suddenly, you get an email saying it's from Craigslist and telling you that there was a problem with your credit card. The email is asking you to click on the link provided in order to re-enter your information. Whatever you do, don't do this. It's not really from Craigslist and it's nothing but a scam from people that are trying to steal your credit card information.
4. The Same Old Rental Scam
Just as mentioned in the above paragraph, those same old scams are still taking place. Recently, one person had their world turned upside down when they rented a property in Asheville sight unseen because they live in a different part of the country. Moving to the Asheville area for a job, they went ahead and rented the property they saw on Craigslist, only to find out that the property was not owned by that particular party, nor was it for rent. As is usually the case, no one can find the person that initiated the scam so the individual in question is out the money and left between a rock and a hard place.
5. Another Job Scam
There's certainly no shortage of job scams on Craigslist, but this one is a little bit different than most. In short, an ad was placed offering money for someone who would be willing to have a vehicle wrap placed on their car in order to advertise an energy drink. The person was to be paid for the wrap, as well as being paid so much money per month for the advertising. A check was even sent in the mail. The problem is, that check was fake. In this case, a bank employee recognized it and refused to cash it but if that had not happened, the check would have been cashed and then the person who cashed it would have been on the hook for the entire amount. This is a perfect example of something that sounds too good to be true, so it probably is.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker