People in Panama City have been using Craigslist to buy and sell quality used items for decades. It's a great resource for finding electronics, vehicles, furniture and even home rentals. While it's still a good place to find deals, if you happen to come across a deal that seems to good to be true, it probably is. There has been a steep rise in the number of scam ads being posted on the site in recent years. Con artists figured out that Craigslist is a good place for them to prey upon the innocent and rip them off. Here are five money scams that you need to be aware of on Craigslist Panama City.
1. Real homes used in fake rental listings on Craigslist
If you're a soon to be renter and you're looking or a place to live on the Craigslist classified ads you need to use extreme caution before proceeding. Full Sail Realty has discovered several fake ads for properties that they manage posted by scammers. The con artists are stealing their photos and information and listing the homes for rent when most of them are actually for sale. They warn to beware of fake landlords who will not meet you in person and want to receive the rental application and payment online, promising to mail you the keys. They further warn that while most of these scams originate in foreign countries, some of the scammers are locals. One family even pulled up in a moving truck with all of their belongings enclosed only to find that someone had moved into the home four days earlier.
2. Vacation rental scams in Panama City Beach
Anyone looking for a vacation rental on Craigslist needs to be extremely careful because there have been a number of fake rental home ads spotted on Craigslist Panama City Beach. The scammers prey on out-of-town people who are looking for a place to rent for a week or two as a vacation getaway. The thieves obtain pictures of unoccupied homes and place a phony ad. They get your personal information on a rental application and then after you pay for the rental online, they disappear with the money. When you arrive you discover that you've just become their next victim.
3. Craigslist vehicle scam
This warning pertains to everyone living in the region from Panama City, Florida to the state of Louisiana. A group of scammers are listing vehicles for sale on Craigslist. After potential buyers negotiate a deal for the vehicle, they are instructed to make the payment through a vehicle shipper and are given links to the website. Some of them say that they are eBay, but these are really scam sites. Victims have lost thousands of dollars in the scam already. Don't send any money online. If you cannot meet with the person face to face, it's better to pass on the deal and look for someone who is local and willing to meet with you.
4. Buyers beware of Craigslist scams
Violent scammers posted an ad for a recliner for sale for $100 on Craigslist. When would be buyers talked with the sellers and agreed to meet in person to look at the recliner, they learned that it was all just a ruse to lure them out to dupe and rob them of the cash they had on hand to make the purchase. Six people were arrested in the scam that often ended in robbery and assault. Be careful and only meet in public places and don't go alone when meeting with a stranger.
5. H&H Realty warns of scams
H&H Realty is warning all local residents to beware of a housing scam that has been appearing in Craigslist recently. The Real Estate company has received multiple calls about homes that they manage which were advertised as rentals on Craigslist. The fortunate people who had the good sense to contact them before wiring money out to fake landlords were lucky to not become the next victims. There are plenty of others who didn't realize that they were dealing with con artists until they took the money and run and failed to mail them the keys to the homes as promised.
Written by Dana Hanson
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