When you think of the Hawaiian Islands, you automatically think of paradise—a place where there’s no worry, no hassle, and absolutely no stress. As stunning and relaxing as Hawaii may be, however, the reality is that nothing is ever perfect in paradise. In Oahu, for example, scammers have taken over Craigslist ads. Many people have been victimized and have lost their money from being scammed. No one is immune from scamming, and if you’re not careful when looking through ads on Craigslist Oahu, you can become a victim as well. Here are five scams that you should watch out for just to be safe.
1. Rental ad scams
People are constantly looking for rental property in Oahu, and many have been victimized by scam rental ads. Most of the time, these ads are for properties that actually exist. The only problem is these places are being promoted by people that don’t actually own the property. Scammers collect financial information through your rental application, which typically includes payment information. By the time most people realized that they’ve been had, it’s too late. It’s been difficult to track these scammers because most of them have devised a way to do everything anonymously. If you aren’t careful, you could literally lose thousands on a security deposit or any other fees associate with the scam rental.
2. Roommate scam
This is somewhat related to rentals as well, but this scam has a particular twist. Many residential owners in Oahu rent rooms out in order to afford the mortgage, and scammers are very much aware of this. They take advantage of the need of people, and most of the time the ones that get victimized are the ones that are most desperate. The scam happens when a potential roommate is ready to move in with a check to cover all move-in expenses. If you’re getting a check or money order for an amount that’s larger than what you expect, stop the correspondence right away. You’re more than likely in the middle of a scam. These scammers will request you to wire the difference in amount, but the checks or money orders are always fake.
3. Vacation property scam
If you’re looking to save on your Oahu vacation, Craigslist may be a tempting option. You’ll find plenty of cheaper options there than if you were to look at other websites. However, Craigslist Oahu is full of fake vacation property listings. Most of the time, if you got into contact with a property manager, they’ll ask you to wire money via Western Union or such. They’ll even provide you with payment confirmation that might seem legitimate at first. It would be terrible for you to fly all the way to Oahu thinking you have a property to stay at only to find out that you’ve been scammed out of your money and out of a place to stay.
4. Job offer scam
Those who are looking for jobs in Oahu need to be careful about their future employers. One person almost became a victim of a scam when she accepted a recent job offer as a cleaning lady for a home. She received a check in the mail for $3k as an initial payment. Since she’s never heard of such a thing, she went to a check-cashing place in order to see if the check was legitimate. As she suspected, the check was fraudulent. If she had tried to deposit that check in the bank, it would’ve taken days before the bank could’ve verified that it was fake. In the meantime, whoever hired her would probably ask for some money back claiming they sent too much.
5. Pet flipping scam
Houses are not the only things being flipped these days. There’s something called dog flipping that’s been all over Craigslist recently. If you’re looking at the website to find a dog to buy, be careful what ads you look into. Some of the pets you can find on Craigslist have either been stolen or found but not returned to the proper owners. These scammers would sell these pups online even though the animals were not theirs to begin with. First of all, it’s illegal. Secondly, you wouldn’t want to fall in love with an animal that belongs to someone else. Your best bet is to go to an adoption center to find an animal legitimately. It’s much safer than Craigslist.