People in the Bozeman, Montana area use Craiglist to post items they have for sale such as furniture, cars, trucks, RVs and much more. It's a good place to advertise and also a useful resource to find a deal on used items. Realtors and private homeowners also list rentals and places that they want to sell here. While most people using the site are honest, there has been an increase in the number of scammers who pose as both sellers and buyers showing up on the site. You have to be careful about who you deal with and keep an eye out for scams. Here are five money scams that you need to watch out for on Craigslist Bozeman.
1. Classic check scam on Craigslist in Bozeman
A seller posted an ad on Craigslist offering a Yamaha keyboard for $400. He was contacted by six interested parties within a week. Each offered to pay by check. He smelled a rat but played along to see what would happen. He figured that they were scammers. He made agreements and received three checks that were all in the amount of $1,900 and more. Each of the buyers said they would have a Bozeman shipper pick the item up. They all asked him to keep his part, then pay the shipper with the rest. The seller contacted the financial institutions about the checks and just as he had suspected, they were all fake and at least three people were trying to scam him with a phony check fraud.
2. Craigslist rental scam
A Bozeman area woman was shocked to find out that someone had posted her three bedrooms home for rent on the Craigslist site. These were not her advertisements. She discovered that someone had gone to great lengths to include details about the home. They told potential rentals that they could take a look and peek through the windows. People started showing up on the property and there were 15 calls about the ad that she received. When she contacted Craigslist they weren't helpful in removing the ad and she reported it to the police who commented that there has been an increase in the number of these phony rental ads in the area.
3. Another rental scam on Craigslist Bozeman
An Anaconda landlord named Susan Lock owned a home that already had renters inside. She was surprised when real estate agent Ed Silverstein of Clearwater Properties called to alert her that scammers had stolen an old ad and placed her home for rent. Her son in law responded to the ad and received a long line of broken English phrases from the scammers in West Africa. It is unknown how many people fell for the scam and got ripped off. You must be very careful when dealing with anyone claiming to have a home for rent that is outside of the country.
4. Luxury boat scam on Craigslist
The Better Business Bureau received complaints about Montana Truck Experts advertisement of a luxury boat for sale on Craigslist. Once the consumer inquired about the boat he was asked to make a deposit into a JP Morgan Escrow bank account. He asked to see the boat in person but the seller would not respond to his request. He alerted the BBB who confirmed that the photos of the boat were stolen from another website. They further discovered that the Montana Truck Experts does not exist. The company is being investigated for stealing $20,000 through this scam.
5. Rental scam promises keys if you wire the deposit funds
Here's yet another scammer out of West Africa who is stealing legitimate ads from other websites and posting them on Craigslist. They take a rental or home for sale ad, use all of the information including photographs and tell people they can drive by the place. They promise to send you the keys after you wire them $1,500 for a deposit and rent. You're to wire the funds to their account in Africa. Some people have fallen for the scam and there is no way to trace the funds or recover them.
Written by Garrett Parker
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