Messing with Craigslist Scammer: How to spot a Scam on Craigslist
Craigslist is the modern version of classified ads that were previously published in newspapers. A great place to sell locally, Craigslist can come in handy for offloading your old merchandise. However, if you plan to use these classifieds frequently, you will need to know how to spot a Craigslist scam. But, how do you know if a Craigslist ad is a scam?
Here are a few quick tips for spotting Craigslist scams:
>> Avoid deals that seem too good to be true.
>> Look out for ads that display a sense of urgency.
>> Watch for deals where the seller asks for money upfront to secure the item.
>> Be smart about how you pay.
>> If an ad offers an item for sale that doesn’t match the image, it’s likely a scam.
>> Don’t send money to someone offering a deal from out of your local area.
>> Avoid ads with multiple misspellings or grammar errors.
>> Make sure the seller is willing to meet in person.
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If a Craigslist ad doesn’t feel right, it’s probably a scam. Even Craigslist encourages buyers and sellers to trust their instincts. If something seems off, abandon the deal.
Dangers of Selling on Craigslist
Don’t buy items from a Craigslist seller who seems too urgent
You may see Craigslist ads offering hot deals because the seller is “moving soon” or “needs cash quickly.” Beware of ads that show a strong sense of urgency. Often, urgency is used to compel a buyer to buy without making time to research or consider the transaction in more detail. If sellers want to entice you into a quick deal, there is usually a reason, and perhaps not a good one.
Rules for Selling on Craigslist
Never send payment in advance for a Craigslist item
Craigslist is intended to be a localized selling site. Users are even routed to their local area when they search for Craigslist in an internet search.
Sellers should be willing to meet in person and bring the item they are selling. If a seller encourages you to send a down payment or any form of money before receiving your item, this is a strong indication that they are trying to scam buyers.
“Some Craigslist scammers may ask you to send money to a foreign address because they “have suddenly been stationed overseas,” or something similar. These posts often promise that your item will be shipped when they receive payment and are almost always a scam.”
Meet with a person Physically to make your Craigslist purchase
Meeting the Craigslist seller in person gives you the opportunity to review the item before locking yourself in the bargain. You also want to think about your own payment method. If you are buying an item at a lower price, cash is always a good way to go. However, if you are making a larger purchase, such as a car, you can consider a cashier’s check so you have proof of the transaction.
Meeting in person also gives you a chance to look at the item and determine the status. If the item is damaged, you may want to negotiate a lower price or forgo the transaction together. When selecting your payment method, avoid giving out any identifying information that could be used against you.
Craigslist ads are meant to promote transactions between buyer and seller. If the seller offers to use third-party services or encourages you to pay through the money transfer company, this is a warning sign that something is not right.
Make sure to exercise caution when meeting a seller in person. This article offers some safety tips.
Be Attentive to the Craigslist ad description
Craigslist prohibits the use of identical ads to prevent spamming. To circumvent this rule, sellers sometimes post an identical ad with a different image. If the image doesn’t match, that’s not a good sign.
In addition, avoid ads that use vague or overly generalized language. Genuine sellers typically provide a wealth of information to describe the item and its condition.
Craigslist ads Awareness: grammar errors, special characters and multiple misspellings
It is not uncommon to see some errors in Craigslist ads. Humans make mistakes. However, if the ad is fraught with many errors, abuse of punctuation, and an abundance of special characters (such as ! and % &, among others), then it is likely a scam. Avoid these Craigslist posts. Check Craigslist to see some examples of proven scams. Here is an example of what this type of scam might look like: