Whenever you decide to use Craigslist to buy yourself something, it only makes sense to make yourself aware of the type of scams that you're likely to encounter on the site. You can't be absolutely sure that any ad you're responding to is not a scam so it requires you to be diligent in order to gather as much information as possible. The only thing you really can be sure of is that if you spend enough time buying or selling on the site, you're definitely going to run across some scams. If you're in the Tampa, Florida area, here are five of the ones that seem to happen the most frequently.
1. Fake checks
This is a scam that's been going on for a while now and it happens in a lot of different cities. For some reason, people are still being taken advantage of by those who run this type of scam so it's definitely worth repeating. In this particular case, it involves someone saying that they want to purchase an item that you posted for sale and then paying for it with a fake check. Clearly, the moral of the story here should be not to accept checks of any kind when you're dealing with someone on Craigslist. That's because it's not always possible to verify that the check is fake right away so if you deposit it and then it’s determined to be invalid, you're on the hook for any money that has been spent in the meantime.
2. Check out movers before you hire them
This is another scam that happens all over the country. In almost every case, people advertise moving services on Craigslist. The problem is, once you hire them and they show up to move your stuff, they wait for payment before they leave for the so-called destination. You pay them, then you get to your new house and you realize that none of your stuff ever got there and you can no longer reach these movers. It's a scam that's been going on for a while. In reality, you shouldn't be hiring anyone unless you can verify whether or not they're actually legitimate
3. Don't buy those tickets
This is yet another scam that seems to be prolific nationwide. Say there's a popular event coming to town and you've been dying for tickets but they're sold out. The next thing you know, somebody advertises tickets to that exact event on Craigslist and they're being sold at a discount. You can almost bet that you'll either never see those tickets or you'll get something that isn't valid. Either way, you're out the money and you still don't get to see the event.
4. Stay away from housing ads on Craigslist
It's been talked about many times how many housing ads there are on Craigslist, not to mention the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are not legitimate but it’s worth mentioning again because this is one of the most frequent types of scams going on in Tampa and virtually everywhere else. If you absolutely feel like you must answer an ad for housing that you found on Craigslist, make sure that you verify that the information is correct before you provide personal information or give anyone money.
5. A housing scam with a twist
This is another housing scam, but at least the person who did it was somewhat creative in the way they went about carrying it out. They placed an ad for a house for rent on the site and of course, they made the price so low that you couldn't help but want to know more. For every person that responded to the ad, a $100 fee was charged for a so-called background check, as the supposed homeowner kept telling people that they couldn't rent to just anyone. Apparently, they made a small fortune off of this scam until their own bragging got them in trouble. It comes back to the same thing that it usually comes down to when you're talking about ads on Craigslist or anything else that’s similar. You have to be careful who you decide to trust. It's a very bad idea to trust the ads at first glance. Don’t just provide people with information or give them cash because you have no idea who you're dealing with on the other end. It’s also worth noting that if the price seems too good to pass up, passing it up is probably what you should do.
A Guide to Using Craigslist Tampa
Craigslist Tampa is a wonderful resource for locals in the area who have an item that they want to sell or for buyers who are looking for an item that is used. There are also dangers involved with using the site. We've prepared a guide to using Craigslist Tampa to help you know what the site is, how it can benefit you and how to stay safe while using with website.
What is Craigslist Tampa? - Craigslist Tampa is an online classified ads site. It's called Craigslist because it was created by a man with the first name Craig. It started out as a website that listed events going on in Craig's local community. It became popular very quickly and now it has grown to become one of the largest online buying and selling site in use within 500 cities and 50 countries throughout the world. It provides categorized classified ads such as cars and trucks, appliances, electronics, furniture, homes for rent, personal ads, lost and found, and much more.
How does Craigslist work? - I you just want to look at the ads on Craigslist you don't need to sign up or register. If you want to make contact with the people posting the ads then all you need to do is sign up for an account. It's absolutely free and in most cases, it doesn't cost you anything to sign up, view ads or post items that you have for sale. Contact occurs through the site unless you provide personal contact information.
Is Craigslist Tampa safe? - The short answer is no. There is always a risk of being harmed by meeting strangers or scammed with dealing with them online. In addition to this, children should never use the site unsupervised because although it is monitored by staff, there are explicit ads posted in the personals section. On top of that, scammers have been known to contact sellers and con them out of their money.
Buyer beware - There are no guarantees or buyer/seller protection programs associated with the use of Craigslist Tampa. You use the site and deal with the people and businesses posting ads at your own risk. This is why it's important to become aware of the kinds of scams on the site and how to spot them. If you're considering dealing with a business that lists their services on the site you should consult with the local Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints lodged against the company. The BBB can also give you an idea of what kinds of scams have recently been reported in your area.
Scams on Craigslist Tampa
The leading scam that is found on Craigslist Tampa is for vacation rentals. While its true that some people rent out their summer homes as vacation rentals, scammers have learned that they can dupe victims out of their money by stealing home for sale ads from other sites, using the photos and details, then posting the homes as vacation rentals. This is a vile scam because a lot of out of town people want to reserve a rental home for a short period of time when they're on vacation.
Fake home rentals are also on the rise. Scammers make up excuses why they cannot meet with renters personally and they insist on taking are of all correspondence online and payments for rent and deposits via wire money transfer.These are blatant scams and it's best to deal with landlords that you can verify as being legitimate as those who are willing to meet with you in person.
Fake vehicle shipping scams are also common on Craigslist Tampa. Scammers list a car or truck for sale at a low price, but they come up with a sob story of why they cannot meet with you in person. When a person wants to buy the vehicle that cons have listed for sale, they insist on going through Ebay motors which is a reputable site. They send an email to the buyer which looks legitimate and has agreed to buy the car. The email includes the eBay logo, and a link to the payment and shipping section but it's a phony site that has nothing to do with eBay. After you wire the funds, you are out the money.
Craigslist Tampa contains a high number of fake vacation home rental ads, among the others that we've listed here. As a consumer, it is up to you to protect yourself from becoming the next victim of a Craigslist Tampa scam.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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