Cleveland is a beautiful city to live in full of hardworking residents working to build up and maintain the city’s economy. It’s unfortunate that in a city as such, there are those who purposely look for ways to take advantage of people’s hard work. Cleveland has its own fair share of Craigslist scammers—something that’s quite common in many cities. Scammers on website are looking for more and more ways to get away with what they do; that’s why it’s so important to be careful when doing any kind of transactions when using Craigslist. If you’re in the Cleveland area, make sure to watch out for these five scams before you become victimized.
1. Fake products scam
There are many people selling fake products or even products that actually don’t exist on Craigslist. Most of the time, these scammers will post fake pictures or general pictures of whatever they’re selling—these are pictures that you can find on other websites. When you ask these scam sellers to post actual pictures of the products they have, they’ll usually either stop responding or try to find another obscure photo from the web. This particular scenario involved the sale of a rare LEGO brick for a hefty price of $200. The price made the buyer a bit skeptical, so that’s when he started digging.
2. Employment/robbery scam
Robbery is one of the biggest motives for scamming on Craigslist. In this case, two men from different states responded to a Craigslist ad from Cleveland for a job on a farm. The two men were told they got the job, and they needed to bring all their belongings to the farm where they would live. During the meeting, one man managed to escape after being shot. He reported the whole thing to the police. The other man wasn’t so lucky. He was found dead not too long after. After the investigation, the police summarized that robbery was the goal all along.
3. Housing rental scam
Scammers are posting rental ads for homes in Cleveland that don’t even belong to them. Most of these properties being targeted are already in the market for sale by a broker, but scammers generally price these properties at an extremely low rate. Scammers use the same photographs used by the actual owners and brokers, so the pictures are legit. They’ll often ask potential renters for some money to either hold the property, do a background check, or even put in a security deposit before moving in. Of course, the entire transaction is not legitimate, but by the time the buyers realize this or the actual owners of the house find out, the money is usually long gone. The best way to avoid falling for this scam is to actually try to tour the property before giving any money up. Never give up money electronically without seeing the house firsthand and talking with the owners. Do your research and you should be okay.
4. Car sales scam
Craigslist is truly a good source for buying cars for a cheaper price. It’s always cheaper when you buy directly from a seller after all. However, so many scammers have taken advantage of the surplus of car buyers on the website. They post cars on Craigslist that are either fake or not working at all. Lots of buyers get scammed from buying good deals through Craigslist and putting up money to reserve or take the car off the listing. One particular buyer caught someone in a scam after he came across two different Craigslist account with the exact same car for sale and the exact same story as well.
5. Paypal scam
A Craigslist user trying to sell his truck on the website came across a buyer that was clearly a scammer. The stories these scammers use are almost always the same. They somehow have an excuse why they can’t pay up in person. They’re either overseas or out of town. Most of the time, these scammers have no access to their bank accounts, so they have to use Paypal to pay for whatever’s they’re buying. Of course, scammers now have a way of creating fake Paypal emails and confirmations, which makes the scam more difficult to detect. Paypal is generally one of the most secure ways to conduct a financial transaction. Just make sure you watch out for red flags, and you should be okay.