Wilmington, North Carolina residents have been conducting thousands of successful transactions on Craigslist. It’s a great place to post items that people want to sell or trade. Some employers post job opportunities on the site and there are plenty of homes listed for rent or for sale there as well. It’s still a good site to use, but it’s becoming more important to use caution when buying or selling on Craigslist. Scammers have become aware that they can take advantage of innocent people by advertising bogus rentals or sales and duping them out of their money. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Wilmington.
1. #1 Overpayment Scam
This old scam has been circulating around Craigslist Wilmington off and on for several years and it still shows up on occasion. A victim reports show he had an old Victrola to sell and so he listed it on Craigslist. He was contacted by an interested party who asked if he could pay by check. He agreed to accept the check then ship the item with the extra money that was to be included on the check. A cashier’s check arrived but it was for far more than the price of the item and shipping. The buyer told the seller to cash it and send whatever was left back via a wire transfer of funds. A few days after wiring the money, the check bounced and the seller was responsible for paying the full amount of the check plus NSF fees, while the scammer was long gone with the cash.
2. Rental scam on Craigslist Wilmington
Melissa Hooton saw an ad for a rental house on Craigslist that looked like the home of her dreams and it was offered for the low monthly rental price of just $700 a month. It seemed too good to be true. She contacted the person listing the home which stated that the house for rent was actually owned by a man who lived in West Africa. The agent said that she could rent the home and Melissa’s spouses drove by the address to check it out. Everything looked on the up and up so they sent in a rental application. After receiving the app, the poster replied and submitted his demands for the couple to wire $500 for the first month’s rent and he would then send them to keys to take a look inside the house. Melissa found out after a little research that the home was offered for rent by a different owner who had no connection to the person who placed the ad. The ad had been stolen and Melissa had been dealing with a scammer. Although she didn’t send the money, the con artist had her personal information.
3. Wilmington family victimized in Craigslist scam
This is a different kind of rental scam. A family from Wilmington rented a home in Wilmington and they had been there for 10 months when they returned to find that there was a locksmith changing the locks. A policeman was there and informed them that they were trespassing. Everything they had was locked in the house. He called the man who leased the home to him and found that the phone number was disconnected. He had come across the home on Craigslist and had paid $4,000 to rent the home for one year. The property owners knew nothing about it and it was discovered that the center had been the victim of a fraud. The con man had broken into the vacant house, changed the locks and rented it under false pretenses.
4. Craigslist Yamaha/PayPal scam
A Wilmington man posted a Yamaha command link gauges and wiring harness on Craigslist for $250. When a buyer showed interest in the purchase he directed him to send a money gram via WalMart. He promised to mail out the items as soon as the money was received. When they never showed up, he noticed that the ad was still running. When he saw the ads on four different boards, he knew that he had been scammed. When he googled the name of the seller he saw that he had a long history of crime.
5. Adoption scam on Craigslist Wilmington
A woman scammed victims on Craigslist and other sites by claiming that she was pregnant and offering her unborn child for adoption. Several victims came forward to say that she had scammed them by offering to help them become parents. She took money from at least 12 different victims in the scam, but she wasn’t even pregnant. The scammer from Carolina beach had a long rap sheet that included this money fraud as well as a host of vacation rental scams. She was captured by law enforcement.