Scammers from all around the world have discovered that they can make a quick shady buck by taking advantage of innocent consumers, looking for a good deal on Craigslist. The number of money related scams are increasing daily. People using the site to find a rental, buy or sell a car, or find a new job are all at risk for becoming victims of one type of scam or another. The Craigslist Denver region has been no exception. We found 5 dastardly scams that you need to watch out for in the listings for this Rocky Mountain city, as reported by the victims, the media and local law enforcement who have about had enough.
Craigslist Denver PayPal Scams
PayPal is a legitimate resource that guards customer information very well, but they are not immune to crooks using their services to rip people off. In October of 2014, a new scam was reported by the Denver Police Department. Suspects were contacting sellers on Craigslist by email and telling them that they want to purchase the items they have for sale. Next, they inform the sellers that they have sent too much money to their PayPal account and ask for a refund via a wire transfer to a third party that is out of state. After sellers send the money, they learn that the PayPal account was a phony and there were never any funds sent. This makes it difficult for honest buyers and sellers to know who to trust when entering into negotiations for a purchase or a sale using PayPal or other similar payment methods. The rule of thumb for staying safe is to question any activities that seem to be unusual and refuse to give out your personal information. Nobody that’s legit is going to send you an over-payment then ask for a refund.
Denver car selling scam
In October of 2016, a new scam on Craigslist Denver was identified. Scammers were posing as locals and placing advertisements for cars for sale. They were crafty and included plenty of pictures along with detailed information, along with phone numbers that appeared to be from the Denver area. Damian Martin had just turned 16 and gotten his driver’s license and was looking for a car to buy. As he was reviewing the postings, he said that something didn’t seem right. There seemed to be a lot of duplicate ads with the same details down to the mileage numbers and the model years, but they had different pictures. He became frustrated because in their search, all they found were scams and no honest postings of cars for sale. The deals seemed too good to be true, which raised serious red flags. They followed through and contacted the sellers, who insisted that they couldn’t talk on the phone and demanded email contact only. The sellers emailed them and claimed to be from out of state, even though the phone numbers provided looked like Denver numbers. The sellers insisted on having the money for the vehicle sent through eBay and promised to ship the vehicle afterwards. This is becoming more common and while most buyers avoid these scams, some fall for it, send the payment and never see the car.
In 2015 a Quibids money scam appeared on Craigslist Denver. A scammer claims to have a phone for sale, but when they’re contacted, they say they’ve already sold it through Quibids, and they refer the potential buyer to a site where they claim to have purchased and resold 3 phones as a bait to lure them into the scam. They even send pictures along with descriptions of the phones. The scammers help to connect them with the actual auction listings on the site, where they will bid on the phones and never win them. When Craigslist becomes aware of these scam posts, they flag and remove them.
Craigslist Denver Rental Scam
Another way the scam might operate is by asking for information that might allow them to steal your identity and then use it for obtaining credit cards. This might come in the form of a credit check or asking for your social security number. This is something a lot of landlords and Denver property management companies do, but you should make sure to meet with your Denver landlord in person before giving them this kind of information. If there’s anything that seems fishy about the deal, break it off.
Woman worked for a fake rental scam
The posts advertised the rentals and required a $350 holding fee and when customers couldn’t get anywhere with the rental agency, they sought a refund, but the phony business would disappear. The case has currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office.