Craigslist is still one of the most popular sites for buying, selling and trading. Unfortunately, people that are less than honest have made it a place where you frequently have to be so careful that it’s not even worth using. While there are plenty of legitimate people that post ads on sites like Craigslist, the few that aren’t tarnish it for everyone else. If you’re in the San Antonio area, here are five of the most popular scams that have been happening lately.
1. Technology Takes a Turn
Most of the time, the majority of Craigslist scams involve people finding a way to either steal property or steal money but they have to have the money physically in their hands in order to do it. This particular scam takes things to an entirely new level. It involves people posting ads for basically anything, whether they’re claiming to sell some type of product or they’re requesting services. Whenever you contact that individual, they then send you an email with a link in it, claiming that the link provides additional information. In reality, it doesn’t do anything of the sort. However, clicking on the link does automatically provide these individuals with all of your personal information. These people are learning how to use technology in combination with Craigslist in order to basically rob you blind without you even knowing what they’re doing until it’s too late.
2. Targeting Those Searching for Work
These days, who isn’t searching for a way to make extra money? Whether you’re unemployed or you just need second source of income, a lot of people turn to Craigslist looking for job ads. Individuals are getting more precise when it comes to scamming people out of their money because they make everything look like it’s legitimate. In one notable case, a company even sent someone interested in working for them an application and conducted not one, but five separate interviews. They even had her working for this so-called company for two weeks and then started asking a bunch of personal questions wanting to know specific things about her bank account. Fortunately, this particular individual didn’t fall for the scam but a lot of people provided the information, only to find out that the only reason this so-called company wanted it in the first place was to steal all of the money out of their accounts.
3. The Ultimate Real Estate Scam
In this case, scammers take real houses that are for sale or rent and then recirculate those ads on Craigslist, with one important difference. They take all of the legitimate information off of the ad and replace it with their own personal contact information. They also slash the rental price by about half to make it more enticing. The problem is, they don’t actually own the property. That doesn’t stop people from sending the money and by the time they figure out that whoever they gave the money to never owned the property to begin with, they’re long gone. This is an especially big problem with people that are looking for houses online who aren’t in the area to physically check out a piece of property before they decide to buy or rent.
4. The PayPal Scam
This involves a scam that’s been going on in San Antonio and virtually every other major city for a while now. It goes like this. A person has something to sell so they post an ad on Craigslist. Someone contacts them, saying they’re interested in this particular item. Then they start to tell them about their apprehension when it comes to meeting a stranger in person with cash, so they’d rather send the money through a PayPal account and then once the seller has the money, they can merely drop the items off at a predetermined point where the buyer will pick the item up. It sounds legitimate, but it’s not. The reason the so-called buyer wants your PayPal information is so they can take all of the money out of your account. If they’re especially good with computers and you have your PayPal account linked to your bank account, they’re likely to have access to both before you realize there’s a problem.
5. Loans on Craigslist
There is an entire page full of ads offering loans to people who are in dire financial situations and need money right away. There should be a ton of red flags that go up anytime you see something like this anywhere, but especially on a site like Craigslist. Nevertheless, they’re out there and you know that there are some people who are so desperate for cash they’re willing to put all those red flags in the back of their mind and do it anyway. Sadly, these people aren’t going to see any money, but they are likely to have all of their personal information stolen, not to mention having whatever money they do have in their bank account drained.