People who live in the Killen, Texas area have been using Craigslist for decades. Locals enjoy the convenience it offers for posting items that they have for sale or finding a used car, truck, appliance and more. The classified ads are filled with all types of useful items and although most users have enjoyed making mutually beneficial transactions with one another, the number of scams posted on the site have been going up in recent years. Here are five money scams that you need to be aware of and watch out for when using Craigslist Killeen.
1. Craigslist scam places woman in legal trouble
A Texas woman fell for a Craigslist scam and ended up owing thousands of dollars. The struggling college student was looking for a job to make some extra money around the holidays and responded to a request for a personal assistant. The scammers sent her checks and instructed her to deposit them in her bank account, keep her pay and wire the rest of the money back to them. She obliged but when the checks came back bad, the woman was held responsible for the full amount of the checks plus bank fees. She may face criminal charges if she can't pay back the thousands that she now owes because of the scam. She's warning others not to fall for this vicious money scam.
2. Law enforcement warning locals about Craigslist check scam
There have been a lot of fraudulent check scams targeting sellers on Craigslist lately. The detective warns residents that are selling items to be on guard for potential buyers who agree on a payment amount and then send a check for much more than the agreed upon price. They instruct the sellers to wire the excess funds to a "shipper" who will come and pick the item up. It can take days or weeks for the check deposited to come back as a fake but when it does the seller is responsible for paying back the entire amount.
3. Real estate scam on Craigslist Killeen
At least two locals have become the victims of a real estate scam in the Killeen area. Scammers are stealing ads from other websites that list homes for sale in the area and they use the photos, descriptions and addresses to trick people by posting the home for rent for a low monthly price. They won't meet with you in person, instead tell you to drive by the home and if you like it, wire the deposit and rent money to them and they promise to send you the keys through overnight mail. Two people have fallen for this trick and lost approximately $1,000 each in the scam.
4. Local realtors and the BBB warn of new rental scams
The Better Business Bureau and local realtors are warning of a recent property scam that appeared on Craigslist. Several property management companies report that a con artist is stealing their ads and going so far to go through the tax records to get the name of the property owner so they can assume the identity. They're getting more sophisticated in their scamming techniques so it is harder to expose the scam until it is too late. They warn potential renters not to deal with anyone on a rental unless they will meet you face to face and verify their identity.
5. $800 rental scam in Killeen
A woman in Killeen was surprised when a person kicked on her door to tell her she was ready to move into her home. After discussing the situation, she learned that that woman had responded to a Craigslist ad that listed photos of the home and an address. She paid the scammer $800 online for the home that really was not for rent at all. It was actually listed for sale on a totally different site. This teaches us all a valuable lesson about dealing with strangers online. You should never wire money to a stranger even if the rental looks legitimate. It's much safer to deal with people who are local and do so face to face.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson