The Craigslist classified ads in San Francisco are brimming with postings offering just about everything under the sun for sale. It's a great place to find a used car or truck, books, furniture, appliances or about anything else that you can imagine. There are also rental properties offered for local residents as well as for out of town visitors who just need a temporary lodging spot. It's also seeing more traffic from scammers who try to take advantage of the innocent. You must be careful when dealing with a seller that you don't personally know. Here are five examples of money scams on the site that you need to watch out for.
1. Bay area Craigslist rental scam
These Bay are renters were swindled out of their money through a Craigslist scam. Scammers posted a rental they said that they had available. As it turned out, this was a phony ad that used information that was stolen to represent a property that the con artists didn't really own. The innocent victims who already paid the rent money and deposit had lost everything that they had paid in good faith to a lousy scam operation.
2. San Francisco Police report on two Craigslist scams
The first scam that police are warning residents about is a mail fraud. A woman applied for a job that she saw listed on the site. She was to do yard work. The suspect sent her a check for $2,150 and told her to keep $400 and send the rest back to the state of Tennessee via a moneygram. After the completed the task, she discovered that the check was fake and she was held responsible for the entire amount.
3. Phony landlord rental scam
A woman placed an ad on Craigslist posing as a landlord. She had gone into a vacant home and had the locks changed to a four bedroom home she didn't own. She showed four people the home and collected $1,800 in rent and deposit money and gave them the keys. When the owner heard about people at his home, he showed up and found the people who had been scammed out of their money, then informed them of the real facts about the property. Police are currently looking for the suspect who posted the scam ad.
4. Disneyland Ticket sale scam on Craigslist
A family from Mountain view purchased tickets to Disneyland from a Craigslist seller who collected $500 for them. They had no idea that they had been scammed until they arrived at the gates at Disneyland and were told that their tickets were invalid. This was a tragic end to what was supposed to be a fun filled family vacation. Scammers are selling these types of tickets as well as other event tickets which have already been used or have been counterfeited. When the tickets are scanned they come up as being invalid and it's difficult to know if you're getting good tickets or not when you buy them from a total stranger. These scammers also sell concert tickets and other types so beware and check out tickets from a reputable seller. Sometimes it's best to pay full price so you'll know you're getting the real deal.
5. Dangerous phone purchase scam on Craigslist
Police shot a suspect who was later discovered to be the perpetrator of violent Craigslist scams in the marina area. The man would post a cell phone for sale, then make arrangements with interested parties to meet in a remote location. he would hold the at gunpoint and rob them, also threatening them if they resisted. This is one of the most dangerous scams committed on the site and it's starting to happen more and more. The suspect who took a bullet when trying to elude police officers survived and was in the hospital awaiting arrest when he is well enough to be discharged. You should never meet with a stranger who knows you are carrying cash unless it is in a very public place with a lot of other people around.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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