Residents of Stockton, California have been using Craigslist for decades to list things that they have for sale. It's a great resource for online classified ads where buyers and sellers to connect. You can find appliances, furniture, cars and trucks, recreation vehicles, home rentals, homes for sale and much more listed on the site. We've seen a sharp increase in the number of scam ads appearing on the site. Some of them are obvious but others are more sophisticated and it can be hard to tell which are authentic and which are posted by con artists trying to deprive you of your hard earned cash. Here are five money scams that you need to beware of when using Craigslist Stockton.
1. Local authorities warn of Craigslist robbery scam
Police warn residents to be on the lookout for a Craigslist scam that lures innocent victims out with ads for cars for sale. Victims respond to the ad and make arrangements to go look at the cars that are listed. They are met by the persons who posted the ads and robbed at gunpoint. Two of the over half a dozen victims have been physically assaulted in the cases and it has happened in broad daylight.
2. Home rental scam on Craigslist Stockton
There have been a series of rental scams appearing on the Craigslist classified ads for Stockton, California. Con artists find homes that are listed for sale on other websites and steal the photos along with detailed information about the home and the address. They post it as a rental but make excuses why they cannot meet with renters in person. They encourage you to drive by the home and if you like it, you must send the deposit and rent money via wire transfer. The scammers say they will send the keys overnight mail but the keys never arrive. Law enforcement warns that these scammers are likely running the scams from outside of this country.
3. Military couple scammed on Craigslist
A young military couple was getting ready to return home from overseas and were looking for a home. After living for years in Japan, they looked on Craigslist for an apartment. They found one in a Hillcrest complex posted for $1,500 per month. They went through a company called F&F Property management and even verified that the company was reputable. What they didn't know is that the man who claimed to work as an agent was a scammer. This con artist used the legitimate company to post his phony rental add and the couple remitted $3,000 to him to secure the apartment for their return. When they arrived, they discovered that there were people living in the apartment already and the company had never heard of the man that they had dealt with long distance.
4. Rental scams circulating on Craigslist
A terrible new housing scam left a tenant and new home owner at odds. Javier Corella responded to an ad on Craigslist for a house for rent. The college student met a man who claimed to be a real estate agent on Craigslist and he even met him at the home and showed it to him. They claim that they paid him the rent money but were surprised when the new owners of the home showed up to do the final walk through on the house that they had just purchased. It was a bank owned home and it was supposed to be vacant, but the college students say that they were scammed by a phony real estate agent who were living there.
5. Real Estate agent warns of housing scams
Chris Palamidessi is a realtor who is warning locals of a Craigslist rental scam that involves several of the homes that he is currently managing. He had posted the homes for sale, complete with photos and descriptions on the Zillow real estate site. Scammers found the ads and stole the pictures and information to post fake ads on Craigslist. The scammers have been making their victims pay an application fee just to apply for the rental with gift cards and then have the victims text the numbers of the cards along with a photo so they can access the money. Beware of any rental ads where the poster makes excuses not to meet with you in person and wants to do everything over the internet or phone. This scam is becoming more common. Also, don't give anyone your personal information unless you can verify that they are who they say they are.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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