Five Money Scams to Watch out for on Iowa City

People who live in Iowa City have been using Craigslist for many years to list items that they have for sale in the online classified ads. Buyers and sellers have enjoyed making some great transactions ending in mutual satisfaction for things ranging from cars, trucks ,tractors, furniture, appliances, electronics and even homes for rent or for sale. In recent years, there has been an upswing in the numbers of scams surfacing on the site. Con artists have discovered that Craigslist is also a place where they can find innocent victims to trick out of their money. Here are five money scams to watch out for on Craigslist Iowa City.

1. Iowa City police warn locals about check scam

Scammers are at it again and police are warning residents about a rash of fake check scams on Craigslist Iowa City. Scammers call sellers and make arrangements to purchase an item. They send a certified check but when the check arrives, it is made out for far more than the agreed upon price. The buyers instruct the sellers to deposit the check and forward the excess amount to a “shipper” via wire funds transfer. After they wire the money, within a few days of depositing the cashier’s check it is returned to the bank because it is fraudulent. This leaves the seller responsible for paying back every cent of the bad check while the scammer disappears with their money.

2. Craigslist Housing scam

A home that was really being sold by Skogman Realty appeared on Craigslist as a rental. It’s known that three locals fell for the phony ad and believed the fake landlord that told them he was out of town but they could drive by the house and if they liked it, they could wire money for the deposit and rent and the landlord would send them the keys via overnight mail. The fourth would be victim was saved by her mother who saw the for sale sign and contacted Skogman Realty to discover that the home was not for rent but was actually listed for sale on another site.

3. Homeowner warns others to beware of housing scams

A homeowner in Iowa had placed his home for sale online. He learned that the same home he had listed for sale was also appearing as a rental on Craigslist. The homeowner learned that there were people walking around outside of his house and trying to look in the windows from a friend. He also received phone calls from people who wanted to verify the fact that the home was available for rent when they saw the for sale sign. He’s warning home owners to be on alert for this scam as well as people who are looking for a home to rent. These scammers are just out to steal your money and you should only deal with people directly and those whose identity you can verify.

4. North Iowans warned about identity theft

Scammers are trying to rip people off in two different ways with fake rental ads. First, they try to get you to wire money to them for a deposit and rent for a place they do not own. The second part of the scam is that they have all interested parties complete a rental application and provider personal information that can be used for identity theft. Don’t fall for this vicious money scam that can leave you penniless.

5. Family forced out of home because of Craigslist scam

An Iowa family rented a home from a man who was posing as a real estate property manager. Everything seemed to be legitimate until police showed up and forced the family out. The man who went by the name Peter Mponda from Latvia acted as an attorney renting the home out and the family wired the rent money to a woman by the name of Debra Kelley who lived in Iowa. The home was unlocked and the family was told to change the locks via a text message from Mponda. As it turned out, the homeowner lives in Australia.

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