Richmond, Virginia residents use Craigslist as a convenient way to list items that they have for sale or trade. These range from appliances, home furnishings, automobiles, extra event tickets and much more. It’s also a good place for listing homes for rent or for sale. While there are thousands of legitimate transactions that take place annually, there are also people who become the victims of scams that are listed on the site. You must be very careful to make sure that the person you’re dealing with is honest and straightforward before you agree to meet them to purchase an item. It’s never a good idea to transfer money by wire, even if the deal looks legitimate because these scammers can be tricky. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Richmond right now.
1. Couple finds their home listed for rent on Craigslist
Amy and Adam Stevens were looking through Craigslist and they were shocked to find that their home had been listed as a rental on the site, and the scammers were asking for only $700 a month in rent. The couple had not listed their home as a rental. They were upset as people started showing up at the home they were living at and asking neighbors about the rental. The couple had listed the home for sale on a different site, so it quickly became apparent that a con artist had seen their ad and used the information to set up a fraudulent ad for a rental. Upon research, the scam was traced back to Nigeria as the country of origin. The scammers were having interested parties complete a rental application in order to get their personal information for identity theft, and then they told them that after they were approved to rent the home, they were to wire a deposit and the first month’s rent, then a set of keys would be mailed to them. The Stevens’ contacted Craigslist and their local police department to report the fake ad.
2. A phony job ad on Craigslist robs a woman of her money
Juleah Murphy was recently the victim of a Craigslist money scam. She saw an ad posted on Craigslist for a work from home job that pays $300 a week. She responded to the ad and a man named James contacted her. He said he was an Arizona realtor and that he would pay her $300 per week to advertise homes for him. She agreed. James mailed a check to her but it was made out for too much money. When she talked to him on the phone about it, she explained that it was for too much. He told her to go cash it at a Wells Fargo bank and send him the amount that was over the $300 agreed upon. She did as she was told, but the check bounced. Shcalleded him back and he denied that it was a scam. He stopped talking to her completely after this and she is left with the debt that cost her a lot of extra money in bounced check fees.
3. Fake landlord swindled a woman out of $1,200
A woman responded to an ad on Craigslist for a home for rent on Lynhaven Avenue. The fake landlord communicated with her only via email. He gave her an application to submit and he directed her to deposit $1,200 into a bank account. She did as she was asked and their agreement stipulated that when the funds were received, the keys to the home would be mailed overnight delivery to her. The keys didn’t come and she emailed him again. He then instructed her to send an extra $200. At this point, she knew that something wasn’t right and asked for a refund. That is when all communication stopped. When they tracked down the real owner of the property it was discovered that he had nothing to do with the ad or the Craigslist email and it was a scam that involved the use of his property.
4. Tish Thompson warns of rental scam
Realtor Tish Thompson is warning residents throughout Virginia about a rental scam that is circulating through Craigslist in Virginia. The scammers are taking legitimate listings with pictures and using them to create fake ads. They advertise nice homes for rent for a low price. They pretend to go through a real estate company but this is fraudulent. They give instructions on how to send money, but they steal the money that is sent for rent and deposits then disappear. She has been contacted by victims of these scams and wants to warn the public about them.
5. Franklin County house involved in a rental scam
A Franklin County real estate agent listed a home for sale with a legitimate advertisement, when it was brought to her attention that the same listing appeared on Craigslist. It’s an elaborate scam that uses the name of a dead person to appear legitimate. They’re duping people out of their money by using the stolen pictures and descriptions of the homes then setting up phony email and contact information. They instruct victims to wire the deposit money to an untraceable account, then disappear. At least two people that the realtor knows of have lost money to the scam and ten others were nearly duped.