Most cities have their fair share of good things as well as their fair share of problems. You might argue that some are a little lopsided in one direction or the other. If they have a lot of good things and a low crime rate, that's great but what happens if it's the other way around? If that's the case, it probably means that you have to be a lot more careful about who you decide to do business with. If you're in El Paso, Texas, you might want to be especially careful of anything that pops up on Craigslist. Below are five of the scams that seem to be circulating the most in that particular area right now. Some of them are definitely the same old run-of-the-mill scams that you see everywhere else but a few of them are fairly ingenuitive. It makes you wonder why those individuals who come up with these scams don't just go get a job, especially if they’re creative enough to come up with these types of things.
1. The Carport Scam
For some reason, people seem to like creating scams that center around carports in El Paso. Maybe it's because it's so hot that almost everyone wants a carport in order to protect their automobile. Whatever the case might be, a company recently posted an ad on Craigslist advertising carports for sale and giving a cost to have them installed. The problem is, they don't own the company that installs the carports, nor do they really have anything to do with them. However, they do go ahead and charge these individuals an extra $200 to $300 and call it a finder's fee. The problem gets even bigger when you find out that they never bother to pass the information on to anybody that would actually install a carport in the first place.
2. More Scams for Potential Homebuyers
It seems like the scams that center around property never stop. In one of the more recent episodes, someone put an ad on Craigslist saying that a house was for sale and it would be awhile before they could show it because they were out of the country, conveniently on a mission trip. They also refused to allow anyone to see the property before making a deposit. That should have been a red flag but you'd be surprised how many people did it. Of course, that money vanished into thin air and so did the person behind the scam.
3. Property Scams Abound
When you realize that there are all kinds of scams out there like the one described above, it shouldn't come as any surprise that the same thing is going on, only the person that posts the ad is saying the property is for rent. It's not just one person doing this. As a matter of fact, these are two of the most prevalent scams on Craigslist, no matter what part of the country you're in. Nevertheless, there are plenty of them in El Paso, so if you're looking for housing, it pays to be extra careful.
4. Scammed for a Job
Here is one of the more creative scams. Someone posted an ad in El Paso asking for people that would be willing to sell lines of credit, such as credit cards, to local businesses. The ad promised flexible hours, good pay and even benefits, all the things that people want to hear. It shouldn't come as a surprise that a lot of people answered the ad. This is where things should have started coming together but for people that are desperately searching for a job, it's easy to overlook a lot of these types of issues. At this point, everyone was asked to provide bank account information or to set up a PayPal account and then provide that information so that money could be deposited in their account. As you might have guessed, everyone that provided their personal information wound up getting their accounts drained. The good news is that El Paso PD made an arrest in this particular scam.
5. Be Careful How You Get Paid
A woman in El Paso County was trying to sell some old exercise equipment so she put it up for sale on Craigslist. It wasn't long before someone replied, saying they wanted to buy it. They told her they were uncomfortable carrying that much cash with them so they would bring a cashier's check. Since it was a cashier's check, the woman thought that it would be safe to say yes. It wasn't. The check was fake and the problem is, banks cash these checks and then when they come back as fake, they expect you to come up with the money to cover it, whether you had any knowledge that there was a problem with the check or not. Again, you should never accept a check from anybody unless you absolutely know that it's good before you take it. Otherwise, insist on cash or find another avenue for selling your old equipment.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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