Every year, more and more cases of Craigslist scamming are coming out. It’s hard to imagine that people are becoming more gullible, but it’s possible that scammers are getting smarter and consumers are simply becoming too complacent about safety and assurance. Knoxville, Tennessee is notorious for Craigslist scams, and local officials often remind residents to be careful when dealing with Craigslist transactions. You really never think it could happen to you until it does. If you’re located in the area and are looking into using Craigslist to either buy or sell something, here are five money scams that you should watch out for.
1. Counterfeit money scam
Some people will do whatever it takes to scam others. Counterfeit money is common in Craigslist, and they’re looking more legitimate now than ever. Some fake money would even pass the counterfeit marker test. Most fake money today will even make it all the way to a financial institution before they’re discovered to be counterfeit. It’s difficult to trust people these days, and in the case of this particular scam, the sellers were scammed for their trust as well as their money. According to the seller, the buyers seemed trustworthy enough. But by the time the seller realized that she was paid of with $6,700 worth of counterfeit money, it was already too late.
2. Theft scam
It’s important to be extra careful when you’re meeting up with complete strangers for a transaction. If the transaction was initiated through Craigslist, be extra vigilant. Take someone with you. Many times, scammers will set up meetings with the full intention of stealing your money. One Knoxville resident was charged with at least three counts of theft, after stealing people’s money during a Craigslist sale. In all three incidents, he took off with the vehicle he was selling after he was paid for the vehicle. These three charges were ones that he was caught for. Who knows how many times he’s actually done this scam before? Chances are he’s done it plenty of times before and was just never caught.
3. Sale advertising scam
Sometimes you just have to be smarter than the scammer in order to not become a victim. Plenty of vehicles are sold and bought through Craigslist. It’s a great place for private entities to sell what they have. However, you have to make sure that you cover all your bases just so you don’t lose your money buying a lemon. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. One man from Knoxville was smart enough to check out all the information before proceeding with the buy. He knew something was suspicious, and so he simply followed his gut. His gut turned out to be correct; the car he was looking to buy was not the same care that was being advertised.
4. Fake check scam
In Craigslist, there are more fake checks being passed around than counterfeit money. It’s easier to be sneaky when you’re using checks for payments because you don’t have to meet anyone in person. Scammers usually would mail fake checks to other people in order to pay for something. Majority of the time, these checks may be actual checks, but they have no money behind them at all. This means that financial institutions or even ATMs would take them as deposits, and it would take a few days before your bank realizes that there’s no money there at all.
5. Homes for sale scam
This type of scam is quickly growing rampant and has become one of the most common scams on Craigslist. Scammers have been looking out for properties on sale all over Knoxville. They will then post up these properties on Craigslist as their own homes for rent—and often for a really cheap price. When people contact scammers for the deal, scammers will usually ask people for the deposit charges. Most of the time, scammers will tell interested parties that they could only view these properties from the outside. You’d be surprise at how many people agree to deals like that just because of how affordable they are purported to be. By the time victims realize that the rental properties are actually fraudulent, the money is usually gone.