If only Craigslist were free of scammers, it could easily be the best online market platforms out there. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, and in the real world, scammers are everywhere—especially on Craigslist. No place in the nation is exempt from this fact, and places like Raleigh, NC gets their fair share of troubles as well. There have been many cases of Craigslist scamming in the area, and if you’re looking to complete a Craigslist transaction, you have to be very careful to ensure that everything is legitimate. Watch out for these five money scams, so you never become a Craigslist victim.
1. Deposit scam
How heartbreaking would it be if you had already put your hard-earned money towards a home deposit only to find out that the property was a scam to begin with? One Raleigh resident suffered through that horrible fate after depositing $3,000 to purchase a beautiful home. This home was actually advertised on Craigslist, and the buyer even got the code to enter the home through the supposed seller. However, when he showed up to the house he bought, the police came and told him he was trespassing. How the scammer got the code to enter the home is a mystery, but one thing is for sure. The $3,000 deposit that was made is now long gone.
2. Robbery scam
There’s something worse about losing money through a Craigslist scam—endangering your life. Many Craigslist transactions involve a face-to-face meeting. After all, if you need a physical product, you have to be able to pick it up or have it delivered somehow. Unfortunately, there are many people on Craigslist that are using this opportunity to rob people. Craigslist buyers become easy targets because scammers already know that there’s cash at hand. This one particular couple from Raleigh was held at gunpoint by a Craigslist user looking to sell his truck. In this case, shots were actually fired. Fortunately, nobody got hurt. But you can’t ever take that moment back and the fear that it brought on.
3. Rental scam
Rental scams on Craigslist has taken on many different faces, but one of the most common (and worst) is when a prospective tenant is taken for his or her deposit. Most rental scammers on Craigslist have no properties to rent out. They usually pick a property they believe they can sell, put pictures of the property up as advertisement on Craigslist, and wait until someone takes the bait. If the price is good enough or if the property is attractive enough, someone will definitely take the bait along the way. Once you’ve give up your security deposit and the landlord all of a sudden disappears, then you’ve probably just been scammed.
4. Fake money scam
There are times when a Craigslist transaction might seem completely legit to you—at least until you get a hold of the cash payment and you realize that the money is fake. We’ve seen different kinds of false payments before, and most of the time, people use checks that have no money behind them to scam people. Going out of your way to actually make fake paper money is absolutely ridiculous. If someone is willing to pay for cash for your product, make sure that you have a way of ensuring that the money is real. In this particular situation, the victim almost lost his life even. Raleigh happens to have a Safe Exchange Zone, an area that is monitored by the police department to avoid violent interactions such as this one.
5. Property for sale scam
Scammers have been keeping an eye out on properties in the Raleigh area that have been put on sale. What these scammers do is they’ll take the information from the property for sale, including the name of the property owner. These scammers will then pretend to be the owners renting the property online. They’ll even schedule viewings and tours of the place, and ask interested parties for money for background checks or deposits. It’s a loop in the process because the property is already available and it’s easy to tour the property if there’s a possible open house or other event. It's unbelievable that even when you're trying to sell your own property, you could still be scammed for it.
Written by Garrett Parker
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