The people of Kalispell, Montana regularly use Craigslist as a convenient and cost efficient way to list items that they have for sale or for trade. You'll find everything from appliances and electronics to furniture, cars, trucks, farm equipment and RVs. Some people even list the homes that they have for rent or for sale on the site. They're broken down into classifieds sections which makes it easy to search for specific items in your region. While most transactions are complete to the mutual satisfaction of both buyer and seller, there has been an increase in scam activity on the site. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Kalispell.
1. Police warn residents about overpayment scam
A common scam on Craigslist is the old over-payment scam. This scam usually targets sellers. A person contacts the seller and makes arrangements to purchase an item that they have listed for sale on the site. They agree upon a price and offer to send a certified check. Within a day or two, the check arrives, but it's made out for far more than the original price. The scammer tells the seller to deposit the check in their bank account and then wire the remaining funds after payment of the item, and usually $50 for their trouble to a "shipper." The shipper is supposedly going to pick the item up and deliver it to them. After the check is deposited, a few days later, it comes back as a bad check and the person who owns the bank account is responsible for paying back the entire amount plus bank fees.
2. Craigslist car scam
Watch out for this Craigslist car selling scam. The con artists post pictures and complete descriptions of a vehicle which they have stolen off of another site. They insist on going through an ebay site to complete the sale, assuring the buyer that it gives them additional protection. Everything looks legitimate and it even includes the logo on the email with the web link to the site. After the money has been sent, the buyer realizes that they have been scammed by a con artist who is using a phony ebay site. When they contact ebay they realize that they have been taken and the scammer is long gone with their money.
3. Housing scam on Craigslist
Scammers are stealing pictures and advertisement information from other websites to list homes that are for sale on other sites as rentals on Craigslist. They even go as far as to have you complete a rental application and go through an approval process. They tell you to drive by the address and disregard the realtor sign that is up. They say it's cheaper to avoid going through the realtor and discourage you from contacting them. They make up an excuse why they can't meet in person and ask you to send the money for rent and deposit via a wire transfer. They promise to send you to keys, but when the keys never arrive, you realize you've been ripped off.
4. Money scam turns deadly in Montana
A CPA posted a violin for sale on Craigslist. When a scammer contacted her and made arrangements to buy the violin via certified check she agreed. When the check came for much more than the agreed upon price, the CPA refused to deposit it. This was a scam in which the buyer wanted her to cash the check and send the rest to a "shipper." When she refused to comply, the CPA received death threats from the scammer being threatened with bodily harm if she didn't cash the check and complete the transaction.
5. Guitar sale scam
A woman posted a guitar for sale on Craigslist. When a Montana resident contacted her and showed interest. She told him that the Guitar was with her and that the buyer must go through an ebay buyer protection program to make the purchase. She said that it would instantly transfer the funds and that it was the safest method for them both. Everything looked legitimate but the link in the email took the buyer to a fake ebay site that was not affiliated with the real ebay. It was a sophisticated scam designed to rip people off.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson