Craigslist is a popular site for people in the Duluth, MN area to list items that they have for sale or trade including homes, cars, RVs, event tickets, furnishings and a long list of others. It's also a place where people find help wanted postings, business opportunities, and rental homes listed. While most of these advertisements are legitimate, a few scammers who have figured out how to manipulate the otherwise honest system are placing ads that are intended to scam victims out of their hard earned cash with ads that may look legit, but they're nothing but lies and trickery. It's important to be aware of the current scams circulating on the site so you'll know what to be wary of. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Duluth.
1. Warning about rental scams inundating Craigslist Duluth
The epidemic of rental scams targeting the Craigslist Duluth users triggered a warning that tells about homes that have been listed for rent at good prices. They may seem like great deals, but they're actually too good to be true. Scammers find vacant homes that are listed for sale. They use the photographs and details found in the original advertisements to create a fraudulent listing. They alter the contact information and usually set up a fake phone and email account to conduct business. They even go as far as to have interested persons fill out an application, then when they approve it, they forward a lease agreement, claiming to be out of town or in a foreign country serving in the military. There's always a sob story of some kind to pull at the emotions of prospective victims. They insist that the deposit money and first month's rent must be sent via MoneyGram or some other type of digital funds transfer through a third party. They promise to send keys after the money is received. Often, they tell the victims that they can drive by to look at the property. After the money is sent, the phone is disconnected and the scammers are not traceable. They disappear with the money and the victim loses every cent that was wired.
2. New "Easy Yard Sale" Shopping Scam on Craigslist Duluth
The Better Business Bureau has issued a scam alert about a new scam on Craigslist Duluth. It targets people who are looking for a used car or another expensive item such as an RV or ATV. Scammers advertise the vehicle with pictures and complete descriptions, but the asking price is well below its value. When an interested person emails the seller, they respond and say that the vehicle is available, but is being sold through a third party company called "Easy Yard Sale." The scammer claims his dad passed away and he inherited the item and needs to sell fast. He claims that he's going through the company to make it easier. The company is found online so research makes it all look legit. The seller tells people that the agreed on price must be wired to the Easy Yard Sale site and that they will ship the item to the address of the buyer. After the buyer sends the money, they get no further responses from Easy Yard Sale or the seller. The item never comes and its difficult to track the wire transfer.
3. Duluth Roofing Scam on Craigslist
There is a roofing scam that Craigslist users need to be aware of. A Duluth man posted an ad that bilked a Superior man out of thousands. A 48-year-old man used the name of a real legitimate roofing company to place an ad that offered roofing services. When a man responded, he gave him an estimate and said he needed half down to start. After writing a check for $2,930 to the bogus roofing company (the scammer said that they were in the process of changing the business name to M&H), the check was cashed. When it went through the scammer had written DBA Mike Hegg in the Pay to the order of" space. Police are currently searching for Hegg who faces felony fraud and theft charges.
4. Gift card scams on Craigslist Duluth
Police are warning residents of the Duluth area to be wary of gift card scams that are going around on Craigslist. The scammers have stolen a variety of assorted gift cards from store shelves. The cards are brand new but they are worthless because they have not been validated. They're being offered for sale on Craigslist at a discounted price. Buyers think that they're getting a good deal, but when they attempt to redeem them, they discover that they're worthless and they've lost the money they paid for them.
5. Boat sale scam on Craigslist
A scammer advertises a Yamaha boat and trailer for sale for $1,500 on Craigslist. The seller offers to deliver it to your home address. The seller claims to have gotten the boat in a divorce settlement and doesn't need it so it's being sold cheap. There is always an excuse why they can't meet you in person and only pictures are provided. The deal must be made through eBay because they claim that it offers 100% protection for both buyer and seller. When you send the money, the seller collects, then disappears and you're out the funds.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson