TOP TIPS TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED OR HURT ON CRAIGSLIST
Craigslist can be a great resource for people trying to find affordable, or even free, products online. However, it can be a hunting ground for people who are trying to scam or even physically harm you.
So how do you get great deals while also keeping your finances and yourself safe? Follow some of these tips to be sure you aren’t scammed or harmed when purchasing off of Craigslist.
CASHIER’S CHECKS, MONEY ORDERS, AND WIRE TRANSFERS
If you ever come across someone selling something with the request that you mail them the payment or send it through something like Western Union or MoneyGram, you may want to rethink your purchasing arrangement.
Often, as soon as these people get the money, they don’t deliver on what they were supposed to send you. The best way to pay for items on Craigslist is with cash in person. This ensures you won’t have any issues with your bank, and you know you’ll be getting what you’re paying for.
MEET IN A SAFE PLACE
Occasionally, people place ads on Craigslist to lure you into a quiet and remote location. When you arrive, they may intend to do you harm. The best way to avoid this, is to agree to meet in a populated, well-lit area. You could even choose to meet near a police or fire station for added security.
If you mention this and the seller or buyer isn’t willing to meet you there, you may want to avoid any business with them.
RESEARCH THE BUYER OR SELLER
Check out the name, email address, or other identifying information of the person you’re speaking to. The Craigslist community is good about reporting and reviewing people who have scammed them to keep others from experiencing the same thing.
ONLY WORK WITH LOCAL PEOPLE
The best thing to do when on Craigslist is to only work with people who are in your location. This will keep you from being scammed, according to Craigslist officials. Some sellers will go the extra mile to lie about their situations to convince you that you must work with them over the internet or through the mail.
CHECK GRAMMAR AND SPELLING
Of course, the average person may put a misspelling here or there, but many scammers tend to send out listings or respond to listings with horrible spelling and grammar issues. This is a tell that they are probably not an honest buyer or seller.
KEEP YOUR INFORMATION PRIVATE
Craigslist advises users not to use personal information in listings or public replies to listings. The only reason they would need to know about it is if you are interested in purchasing from them. Keep your address completely private to avoid unwelcomed visitors to your home.
Although these tips may make you feel that Craigslist is a bad place to shop, it can be a very great online forum. Most people have a good experience when they follow these simple tips.