Getting scammed on the internet is nothing new. There are plenty of websites which scammers like to use, and there are several ways in which these scammers steal your money. One of those ways is through Craigslist ads. Believe it or not, you just cannot trust people these days. Being scammed has become commonplace and sites all over Roanoke, Virginia have people just waited to scam your money. Sometimes these scams are hard to spot; they seem so real. Others are easier to spot. However, whichever crafty way scammers have chosen, we want to help you in being able to spot the fake ads. We also want you to know what to look for specifically, so here are five money scams to watch out for on Craiglist Roanoke.
1. Fake Money Orders or Checks
This one has become a problem not just on Craigslist Roanoke, but other sites as well. If a buyer tries to pay you with a money order, check, or wire transfer, you should take that as them waving a huge, red flag. There is almost no reason anymore to use any of these services through Craigslist. Many people have been sent what they thought was a legitimate money order in the amount of purchase just to find out that not only had the money order already been cashed, but its original amount was only five dollars as well. To be safe, you should never accept money orders, check, or wire transfers. If the buyer has no other way of sending the money, wait until you are able to make sure the payment is legitimate and that there is cash backing it up before sending whatever was purchased. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. Fake Craigslist Protection Plan
This one is kind of ingenious, but do not fall for it. It seems like a great idea - basically, you pay for a protection plan which is like insurance in case you get scammed (ironically), your purchase never arrives after paying for it, merchandise arriving broken or not working, and other such problems. Just FYI, Craigslist does NOT have any kind of protection plan, so if anyone tries to offer you one, you'll know immediately it is a scam. Don't answer any emails inviting you to purchase such plans either. It is better to avoid returning emails or texts which claim to verify or protect purchases via Craigslist. There is no such program. You buy from Craigslist at your risk.
3. Fake PayPal
Some scammers use the promise of paying with PayPal for sending and receiving money via Craigslist. Even PayPal warns to be wary of buyers/sellers who want to use their service for transactions. PayPal is a safe and effective way of transferring money, but be sure you have received money before sending purchase or allowing a buyer to take purchase. PayPal instantly credits accounts when successful payments have been made, so be sure to check before proceeding with purchases or sales. Be aware; some scammers know how to send a fake PayPal confirmation email. Do not go by that! Fraudulent PayPal emails will have slightly "off' characteristics, such as not using your full name or complete PayPal address. Be sure to check your account to be sure before continuing.
4. Fake Craigslist Site
This one may surprise you, but some scammers have set up fake Craigslist sites to lure in buyers with all kinds of "products." Scammers use fake Craigslist sites with similar domain names in hopes that people were searching for Craigslist, such as for Roanoke, will end up on their fake site instead. It is easier than you imagine because not everyone that pays attention or notices the difference. It is easier than you think for some of these scammers to make convincing fake Craigslist sites. These sites look realistic and could easily trick even the smartest of shoppers. Craigslist reminds you that only the real site will have the correct domain which is http://www.craigslist.org. If it doesn't have this specific web address, the site is fake.
5. Non-Local Ads
When searching Craigslist Roanoke, you should automatically be wary of non-local ads. After all, there is a local Craigslist in just about every city and state. At least there is one close to every area. There isn't much of a reason for there to be non-local ads, for the most part. So, when you see a non-local add, it is generally a good idea not to pursue it. First of all, posters of non-local adds are unable to meet up with buyers. This means what they have for sale may not even be legitimate at all. You've probably heard of the man who ordered an iPhone 7, but received an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 3 instead. One woman thought she was getting an iPhone but instead only received a box with iPhone shaped chocolates in it. Another reason to beware of out-of-town ads is that it requires transferring money, which, as mentioned above, can be a real issue as well. Especially out-of-country ads should are suspicious, so proceed with caution! Craigslist Roanoke is set up for transactions in and around Roanoke. It is best to stick with that area.
TIP: When meeting someone for a Craigslist transaction, be sure to meet somewhere well-lit, busy, and bring a friend along just in case. Always choose a public meeting place and if possible, opt for an indoors meeting place where there are plenty of people around. It's sad that people can't be trusted, but it's the truth. The better prepared you are, the less likely you'll be hit with a scam. Be careful!
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker