Los Angeles is a huge city. It’s no surprise that it’s abundant with Craigslist scammers that are taking advantage of people that are desperate for savings. If you’ve ever used Craigslist for anything before, you should already know that it’s full of opportunities, but it’s also full of shady deals and scams. You have to be careful when you’re looking through Craigslist, and there are a lot of telltale signs if what you’re reading through is an actual scam. Most of them are the same, but if you’ve never come across one, this post should give you an idea. Here are five money scams that you should watch out for if you’re using Craigslist in Los Angeles.
1. Apartment scams
Apartment scams are in no way, shape, or form a new kind of scam. These have been going around for a while now and have victimized way more than it should have in the past. One of the signs of an apartment scam is that the deal sounds too good to be true. It’s usually involves a company offering incredibly low rates for highly competitive areas where rent is usually skyrocket high. Most of these Craigslist scammers will only deal with you through the Internet and will ask you to provide a host of personal information on unsecure websites. If you smell something fishy with an apartment deal, drop it right away. It’s more than likely a scam.
2. Sweetheart scams
Scammers in the Los Angeles area have been preying on people looking for relationships. Most of the time, the course of this scam will last at least a few months. After all, it usually takes that long to get someone to put trust on you. Once a scammer has your trust, they’ll start sending you checks, asking you to wire money back in the process. Of course, the checks will bounce because there’s never any money behind them to begin with. If you ever find yourself in this financial situation, you’re likely in the middle of a sweetheart scam. Don’t let heartbreak stop you from doing what’s right. Never cash any checks, and never wire any money.
3. False advertisement scam
There have been groups in the LA area claiming to have cars for sale at such incredibly low prices. You might be lured with such attractive amounts, but you should always be careful when meeting with sellers in person. Most of the time, Craigslist victims are asked to bring cash, and if you’re dealing with cars, the price point is always in the hundreds or thousands. Hard core scammers have robbed people of their cash at gunpoint. This certain scenario could not only cost you your money; it could even cost you your life if you aren’t careful. Always bring someone with you to meet up with Craigslist sellers. It also wouldn’t hurt if you capture your interactions on video. You never truly know whom you’re dealing with.
4. Eviction scams
Not everyone could afford to live in Los Angeles, but people find ways and solutions just to be able to do so. One common solution to incredibly high rent amounts is by having more people share one apartment space. Many landlords rent out mattress spaces for those looking for just a place to sleep in. This kind of housing option is abundant on Craigslist. However, beware of landlords that are simply looking to scam you. You may be paying your space rent, but that doesn’t mean that the landlord is paying for the apartment space. If you ever find yourself getting evicted from a space you’ve been paying for and your landlord is nowhere to be found, you’ve probably been scammed.
5. Auto mechanic scams
There are many different kinds of car scams out there. Most of them involve the buying or selling process. However, this particular scam in Los Angeles involved a man claiming to be a certified car mechanic. This scammer would go to people’s houses to inspect malfunctioning cars, give off a false list of needed parts and services, and ask for an advance cash payment in order to purchase parts. Once the money has been given, the mechanic disappears along with the cash—leaving behind a broken car and just another victim.