Craigslist is a place where people go to find good deals on furniture, cars, trucks, rentals and other things. Both buyers and sellers have conducted thousands of successful and mutually beneficial transactions on the site. In recent years, there has been an increase in scammers using the online site to post fake ads for apartment rentals or to pull other types of money scams. They're becoming more sophisticated in their methods, so both buyers and sellers must proceed in their transactions with caution. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Sacramento.
1. Realtor warns of Sacramento Craigslist housing scams
A Sacramento area realtor is warning everyone looking for a home rental on Craigslist to be careful. He shared that recently, two of his listings were hijacked by a scammer. The photos and information from his ads were stolen and the thieves used a different contact number and changed the financial terms. They substituted the application fee for gift cards that were to be sent to them via text. They accessed the funds through the gift card which could not be traced. Victims responding to the phony ad were simply out their money.
2. Discussion forum highlights the number of rental scams in Sacramento Craigslist
A group of Craigslist users got together to talk about recent housing scams that are circulating on Craigslist. It's hard to find a legitimate rental without going directly to a broker or realtor that can be verified. Users who have been dealing with these scams are getting tired of experiencing one scam after another. Up to 75% and sometimes more of the rental ads are phony. whenever you're asked to pay through Paypal, gift cards or some other type of wire transfer, the odds are in favor of it being a scam.
3. New Type of housing scam on Craigslist Sacramento
There's a new kind of housing scam that's being perpetuated through the local Craigslist ads. A local woman was in the process of closing on a bank-owned home and the place was supposed to be vacant, but it wasn't. A guy advertised the house on Craigslist, claiming to work for a real estate company. Two roommates paid $2,900 to rent the home for first and last month's rent. The guy even took them through the home and showed it to them. This is the story that they're telling. The fake listing is known as cash for keys. The story they are telling may or may not be true. Some scammers create a fake listing so they have proof that it existed. Then they break into a vacant home and live there until they are detected. They are really professional squatters. After they break into the homes claiming to have paid money, they take advantage of tenant's rights laws and they refuse to leave unless the owners pay them to leave. They charge less than it would cost in legal fees to have them evicted.
4. Beware of Craigslist fake Paypal scam
There have been a series of Paypal scams originating on the Sacramento Craigslist and other classified ad websites. A buyer contacts the innocent seller and makes arrangements to purchase an item that they've listed for sale. They offer extra money to pay the movers. When they send the Paypal payment it is for a lot more than the agreed upon price, so they ask the seller to return the excess in funds to their Paypal. The crooks get the money through their fake Paypal and a few days later they learn that it was a phony Paypal payment and that they're just out the funds that they sent. They have a system that is specially rigged to send phony payment confirmations so the selling believes that the Paypal has been sent and just hasn't appeared on their accounts yet.
5. A new twist on an old scam in Woodland
The Yolo County DA is warning of an old scam with a new twist in the Sacramento area. Scammers are using Craigslist to post fake rental housing scams on the site. They post a very low rental price which sounds too good to be true and it actually is. Scammers lure victims in with the low price. They use photos and details of legitimate ads they've stolen from other sites. After the potential renter responds, they are asked for a deposit. No contract is offered and it's done without even showing them the home which doesn't really exist. They've viewed pictures of vacant or abandoned houses. Once the money is sent, the scammer disappears. It's hard to believe that people are falling for this obvious scam that doesn't go through any elaborate processes, but they do. Scammers are resorting to simple tactics and it's working for them. What's new in this type of scam is that the scammer has done research on the potential victim and locates friends or people they go to church with. They form a relationship and tell them that they know some of the same people and this is what lulls the victims into a false sense of security unless they check it out first.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker