Residents of Kansas City use the local Craigslist classified ads as a convenient place to post advertisements for items they have for sale. It's a good place to sell furniture, art, cars, trucks, RVs or other items. It's also used by realtors and private parties to post rentals and homes that are for sale. Countless successful transactions have passed through Craigslist, but there has also been an increase in fraudulent activity on the site. In recent years, scammers have learned that it's a place where they can trick the innocent out of their hard-earned cash. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Kansas City.
1. Rental scam on Craigslist in Kansas City
A family responded to an ad placed on Craigslist that offered a home for rent. The man posing to be the owner claimed that his name was Peter Mponda and that he was from Latvia. He said that the rent was $1,180 and because the family was desperate to move, they didn't investigate it thoroughly. They were instructed to wire the rent money to a woman named Debra Kelly, whom Mponda said was his attorney. They transferred the money and when they went to move in they found that the doors were not locked. They moved into the home and Mponda had instructed them to change the locks. Within a few days of moving in, the family was confronted by the real estate agent in charge of the home. It was at this time that they discovered they had been the victims of a scam and they were forced to move.
2. Car scam rips off teen in Kansas City
A 17-year old girl became the victim of a Craigslist car scam. She saw an ad on Craigslist advertising a vehicle she was interested in. The sellers claimed to be military personnel who were being deployed overseas. They told her that she needed to send the agreed on a price of $1,600 via Moneygram and that the car would be shipped to her. After wiring the funds to Portugal, they stopped taking her calls and she realized that she had been the victim of an overseas car selling scam.
3. Police warn KC residents of online money scam
The authorities of Kansas City are warning residents of an online scam that's already victimized people in the area. Scammers contact people who list an item for sale on Craigslist and they make an agreement to purchase the item by check. They send a check for far more than the agreed upon price, then they ask the victims to cash the check and remit the extra funds to them. In most cases, the checks go through the sellers' bank accounts and it's several days before they come back as fraudulent. By this time the victims have already wired the excess funds and they are responsible for making the bad check good.
4. Craigslist Real Estate Scam in KC
A woman who was scammed out of $1,200 is warning people in Kansas City to beware of a new rental scam on the site. She was looking for a home for her and her daughter. She thought that she had found the ideal rental that only required a $600 damage deposit and $600 per month in rent. The fake owners told her to wire the money and when it was received they would overnight the keys to her so she could move in. After the payment was sent, she received an email from the owners telling her they got a better offer and they didn't mention returning her $1,200. As it turned out, she was only one of many who had fallen for this exact scam. The real estate agent legitimately in charge of the home said that he received up to 50 phone calls a day from people who had either been victims of the scam or were investigating it.
5. Craigslist robbery scam
There are two Missouri men in jail for placing phony ads on Craigslist to lure victims out to rob them. Thomas Thorpe and Troy Wright are now in prison for advertising items for sale on the site and agreeing to meet with people to show them the goods and complete the deal. The two have committed a total of six armed robberies as a result of the scam. In one of the cases, a married couple was shot, then robbed and the son of one of the victims had to use his hands to attempt to stop the bleeding from his father's eight gunshot wounds, and the man survived.
Written by Dana Hanson
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