Craigslist Louisville is an active online site where thousands of people offer unique and common items for sale, trade or let others know that they want one. You'll find some decent deals on cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs and many other things like event tickets and even homes for sale or rent. While most of the transactions conducted on the site are legitimate and people walk away feeling satisfied, there's a current danger afoot. Scammers have figured out that they can use the site to their advantage. There are inexperienced or innocent people using Craigslist who may be a bit too trusting and these are the ones that these con artists target. To give you an example of what we're talking about, here are five money scams on Craigslist Louisville that you need to watch out for.
1. Craigslist Car theft scam
Law enforcement in Louisville reported that troopers were called to investigate an attempted car theft. They were summoned to Interstate 65 where they found the victim who had placed his 2007 Dodge Charger for sale in an ad on Craigslist. An interested party contacted him by phone and made arrangement to purchase the vehicle. The buyer, Marcus Forbes drove to the victim's home with several associates who dropped him off at the residence. He and the seller took the car out for a test drive on Interstate 65. When the seller asked Forbes to take him back to his residence, Forbes refused and continued driving. When the seller produced a handgun and demanded to be taken back, Forbes still refused to stop until he reached milepost 25. The victim had a cell phone and notified the police who promptly responded, pulling the car over and arresting Forbes for attempted car theft.
2. Scammers hijack Craigslist ads in rental scams
There has been a wave of rental scams on Craigslist Louisville. Scammers are taking legitimate ads from homes that are listed for sale. They're changing the terms of the sale and converting them to rental ads, using pictures, descriptions and the addresses of the properties. They also change the contact information to bilk people out of their hard earned money. One listing for a 3 bedroom and 2.5 bath home in the area asked for $700 a month rent. The fake owner calls himself Mr. Christine. When the listing was researched, the real owner was found and it was a woman with the first name Christine. She hadn't placed the ad but she had received multiple inquiries from people responding to the ad who had also done their research. It's hard telling how many others fell for the ploy and sent a deposit and first month's rent to the scammer located in West Africa.
3. Louisville Craigslist rental scam victimizes local residents
There's another rental scam in the Louisville area and it's happening on Craigslist. Resident John Gilderboom listed a home for rent on Craiglist and when people started showing up to inquire, he was shocked. Someone else had hijacked his ad and offered it for a lower price. They had set up an email account using his name, claiming to be making a trip to Arizona. The fake renter was asking for a $500 deposit and offered a lease that included Gilderbloom's information. This was a clear cut case of rental fraud and identity theft. When Gilderbloom notified Craigslist, they removed the fake ad.
4. Nanny caregiver fake check scam
Another terrible scam is going around Craigslist Louisville. Scammers are placing ads that invite people to apply for nanny and caregiver positions. After they gather personal information in the form of an employment application, the scammers agree to forward the first month's pay in advance. They send a check for more than the agreed upon amount and then they tell the "new employee" to use some of it to purchase items they'll need to care for the person who is supposed to fall under their care in a month or a few weeks later. The check is written for far more than is needed and the scammers instruct the victims to set up a bank account and deposit the check. They are told to forward the account information, saying that payments will be wired to the account. Next, the scammers tell the victims to wire the extra money left from the check to them, claiming they accidentally sent too much. Sometimes they ask the victims to purchase gift cards and forward the information to them. Within about 5 days the checks bounce and the victims must make them good with their own money, plus overdraft fees on top of that.
5. Google Checkout Craigslist Scam
Scammers are stealing money from victims by advertising a vehicle for sale on Craigslist. They offer the item at a low price and when their victim responds, they make a purchase agreement either over the phone or via email exchange. They inform the potential buyer that the vehicle is out of state and ready to ship. They get your name and address and agree to conduct the transaction through Google Checkout. They send pictures upon request but tell you they're in the military and are about to be deployed so the deal needs to go through quickly. There is usually a reason why they can't meet in person. When you place the money into Google Checkout, they take the money using a dummy account, then disappear with the cash and several victims of the scam report they didn't receive the shipment. When they checked into it further, they were told by Google Checkout that it was a scam and that they cannot trace the con who perpetrated the crime.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson