If you live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it’s a good idea to watch out for Craigslist scams. Of course, this is true in any part of the country and it doesn’t matter if you live in a major city or a small town. Below are five of the main issues concerning Craigslist scams in the Lancaster area. If you plan on buying or selling on the site, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re not getting scammed before you give up your possessions or your money.
1. Will they ever learn?
It seems like the rental scams on Craigslist will never stop. Unfortunately, people keep responding to these ads, usually when they’re already down on their luck and they’re doing the best they can just to survive. That’s exactly how these scam artists trap people. They post an ad for property for rent that’s far below market value, meaning that most of the people that respond are already in a desperate situation and looking for something that they can afford. Unfortunately, that desperation frequently leads to a lack of common sense when they go ahead and wire money to these individuals without thinking first. Chances are, if they weren’t so desperate they would realize almost immediately that something isn’t quite right with the situation.
2. Don’t cash that check
This was a scam involving an item that was to be purchased, but it’s the same old type of scam that frequently circulates around Craigslist and other sites just like it. Apparently, the item was fairly pricey, although an exact price wasn’t listed. What is known is that a man placed an ad for an item for sale on Craigslist. Someone responded to that ad, saying that they wanted to purchase the item but they weren’t in the area. They then sent the seller a check that was supposedly for an amount well over the selling price, saying that the rest of it was to cover shipping costs. The idea was to get the seller to deposit the check in his bank and then turn around and write a check for a little over $1,700 to a shipping company. Of course, that money was to be sent via Western Union and there was no such company. It was all just a scam to get his money and as you might have already guessed, the check he deposited was fake.
3. More housing scams
The housing scam issue has become so severe that local law enforcement agencies, as well as news outlets, are warning people in and around Lancaster, Pennsylvania not to fall for them. Your best bet is not to answer any ad on Craigslist for housing, no matter how tempting it might be. If you absolutely feel that you must do so, thoroughly vet any ads that you’re considering before you send any money or provide personal information.
4. Scams involving cars
The scams on Craigslist don’t always involve housing issues. It’s not at all uncommon to see scams that involve automobiles as well. In this particular case, a very nice picture of a car was posted, saying it was for sale. The problem was that the sale was to take place without the buyer actually seeing the car because of considerations related to geographical distance. The idea is to get the buyer to wire the money to the seller, although they only asked for a small portion of the selling price as a down payment, saying that the rest could be paid when they received the car. The problem is they never owned any such car and no automobile was ever delivered. The buyer is then out the money and has nothing to show for it.
5. Taking a bite out of crime
Craigslist scams exist in all forms and all sizes. Sometimes the scam is relatively small and sometimes it’s worth thousands of dollars. In the worst case scenario, these scams can cost people their lives. The police in Lancaster are trying to be proactive with the situation, telling residents that money should never exchange hands until they have all documentation in their possession and they know that the deal is legitimate. They’ve even gone as far as telling them to come to the police station so they can personally supervise the transaction in order to cut back on both the danger and the scams.