Maui locals have been using Craigslist to advertise items they have for sale for decades. The popular online classified ads site is easy to use and it connects people from the area and beyond as buyers look for things like cars, trucks, farm equipment, furniture, appliances, and much more. You can even find houses for sale or for rent on the site. In recent years, more and more scam ads have appeared on the site and what was once a relatively safe shopping resource is now a place where both buyers and sellers must beware. Here are five money scams that you should watch out for when using the site.
1. Vacation home rental scam on Maui Craigslist
A person is warning everyone who is looking to reserve a vacation home in Maui to be careful of the large number of scammers out there. Scammers are taking ads for homes from Zillow and using the photos, addresses and description information to post fake rental ads. They have interested persons reserve the house for their vacation through wire money transfer. When the persons arrive to the home, they discover that the house has either already been sold or is still for sale and the money they sent didn’t go to the owner, but rather a con artist who has taken the money and run.
2. More rental scams on Craigslist Maui
There are so many rental scams on Craigslist Maui that the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection has issued an alert about at least 6 people who have fallen victim to rental scams in just a few weeks. The Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection is reporting a recent surge of people falling victim to online rental scams. They warn to always be suspicious of ads that offer to reserve a rental, demand that the money be wired for the deposit and offer to send the keys through any type of mail service. These are red flags that it is a scam. If the person isn’t willing to meet with you upon your arrival to conduct the financial and key delivery, don’t fall for it. Only deal with parties where you can verify the identity of the agency and meet with them in person upon your arrival and don’t give strangers access to your financial information. It’s best to deal with established property management companies.
3. Massive list of property scams on Craigslist Hawaii
Take a look at this collection of property scam ads that are posted on Craigslist Maui. Listing after listing show the fake ads that have been proven to be scams. This page is warning everyone to beware of these particular scams because they may appear to be legitimate, but they’re not. Victims have reported these ads and if you’re looking for a place to rent in Maui, avoid every ad on this list and don’t deal with a private party. Instead, contact a verified and legitimate property management company.
4. Scammers using legitimate business name to con renters
Most of the scams that are seen on Craigslist Maui involve vacation rental homes because tourism is one of the major industries on the island. Scammers are getting more sophisticated and now they’re actually using the names of established property management companies in their fake rental ads. When you do a quick search on the internet you can find the name of the company quickly, but this isn’t enough. Don’t be satisfied with communicating online or with a telephone number supplied on the ad. Instead, go with the number that is currently listed for the business to verify that the advertisement you’re looking at is legitimate. The Better Business Bureau is issuing this warning to the public.
5. AARP warning of rental scams on Craigslist Maui
The problem with rental scams on the island of Maui has gotten so far out of hand that AARP is getting involved. They issued this post that gives you clues to avoid some of the more predominant scams on the site now. Beware of those that provide little to no contact information other than an email. If you get a response within a few hours this is a second red flag because it usually takes longer for a reply. If they give you an obscure US phone number, a Skype number or no phone number at all this is another red flag. If they sound like they are foreign in emails or phone conversations again, beware. There have been a lot of scammers posting Maui ads from Australia as well as from other countries.