People that spend a lot of time on Craigslist have to be careful that they don't get scammed out of their money or even have their identity stolen. Even when you think that you're using every precaution possible, it may not be enough. If you're in Wyoming, it's important that you know what types of scams are going on in the area. Below are five of them. Although these are the ones that are making the biggest headlines right now, don't assume for a single second that these are the only scams that are circulating in the area.
1. Please Make the Housing Scams Stop
You might think that in a place as sparsely populated as Wyoming, that the housing scams wouldn't be as prevalent there. If that is what you're thinking, you would be incorrect. It seems that the same old housing scam exist here that exist everywhere else in the country. It involves taking houses that are actually for sale or rent and posting them on Craigslist, only the person that does it changes the contact information so that you're contacting them instead of the rightful owner. Of course, they want you to wire money to them and then once they have your money, they disappear. It seems that these housing scams will just never stop.
2. The Housing Scam with a Twist
This is just another take on the same old housing scam but it seems that the people that are doing it are becoming more and more bold with each passing day. Recently, a Wyoming Sheriff's Office was taking to social media as well as news media outlets in order to warn the public about people who are not only posting houses for rent that weren't theirs, but were also breaking into these houses and changing the locks. That way, people that unknowingly rented from the scam artist actually had an opportunity to get into the house. The problem is, they often don't know there is a problem until the rightful owner shows up to find a bunch of strangers living in their house.
3. The Problem is Bigger Than You Think
Apparently, Wyoming has had more than its fair share of issues with the housing scams. It's gotten so bad that the Better Business Bureau started looking into things and they found some startling information. Overall, more than half of the ads for housing that appear on Craigslist are scams. In addition, they found that even though the website is supposed to have its own team looking for fraudulent ads, they miss more than half of them that come through. For the ones they do catch, it usually takes almost a full day of the ad being posted before they realize there's a problem. In a place where housing is scarce, such as in Wyoming, this can be an even bigger problem.
4. Be Careful Who You Trust
When you see something on Craigslist that you think you can trust, it automatically makes you feel a little bit better about the ad you're reading. Many people have tried to sell something on the site only to be asked by a potential buyer to send money to their PayPal account. They usually make up some story about being too far away to meet up personally or even being afraid to meet a stranger in order to make the transaction. People think that because they're talking about a PayPal account that everything is legitimate. Make no mistake about it, these are not real PayPal accounts and even when they are, that still doesn't mean that the person you're dealing with is being honest.
5. You Might Not Want to Buy That Car
Trying to buy or sell a car on Craigslist can be nerve-racking, to say the least. When you're buying one, be careful because you have to remember that the scam artists you're dealing with are often professionals. Everything may look perfectly normal and you may think that you've explored every possible way that they can scam you out of your money but the reality of the situation is that it happens each and every day, just like it did to the family in this clip.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker