People in Miami use the popular online advertising site Craigslist Miami for posting a variety of different ads. Here you can find cars and trucks for sale, job opportunities or houses and apartments for rent or sale. It’s a handy site that most people find to be helpful and there are some great deals to be found for those who are careful and know how to spot a scammer. In recent years that has been an increase in scam activity on the Craigslist Miami. Here are five money scams that you need to watch out for.
Room rental scam on Craigslist Miami
An advertisement appeared on Craigslist Miami that offered condos for rent. The scam was directed towards younger people coming to Miami for a visit and in need of temporary accommodations. The problem with the ad is that they didn’t exist. Out of town people looking for a place to rent for a few days are the victims who stepped forward to complain. The police haven’t devoted a lot of time to catch the scammer because they are already overworked and because the losses in each case are under $1,000, they didn’t consider it a priority.
Fake or Cancelled Tickets
Ticket scams are among the more common scams on Craigslist — and elsewhere. While scalpers in general can cost you quite a bit of extra cash by buying tickets cheap and selling them at a steep mark-up, you could lose completely if you’re scammed into buying fake or cancelled tickets.
Some scammers have been able to make fake tickets that look real to a lot of big events like concerts or sports games. According to WiseBread.com, some scammers have even replicated holograms and watermarks on tickets for concerts or events — and even for airplane tickets. Scammers on Craigslist will often list tickets that are either fake or already cancelled — making you pay through the nose for a disappointment.
Fake Craigslist Site
Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of people get scammed by using fake Craigslist sites to begin with. In the past, scammers have used fake Craigslist sites with very similar domain names in hopes of snagging internet searches from the real Craigslist site and convincing users to trust the fake ones. Some of these sites look very realistic and could cost you a lot of money. So, keep in mind, if any Craigslist site does not have the address http://www.craigslist.org, it’s fake.
Fake Money Orders or Checks
Whenever a buyer or seller tries to pay you with a money order or wire transfer — take that as a big, waving red flag. Scammers over the years have developed pretty sophisticated-looking fake packing slips or even money orders claiming to be from trusted institutions like Western Union. Often, these scams are part of a Nigerian 419 scam, and could entice you to send the buyer your goods before the fake check or money order clears. To avoid getting duped, don’t accept money orders on Craigslist — and, if you must use a check, ensure that it clears before sending what was bought.
Fake Escrow Service Site
While escrow services — a service provided by companies that hold onto money for two parties in a transaction until it is complete — can give you a lot of peace of mind when handling lots of cash, they can also be a devious way for scammers to steal your money. Scammers set up fake escrow service sites and get you to deposit money — only, obviously, you never get what you bought and you lose the money. To avoid getting robbed through a fake escrow service, make sure to only use reputable escrow services and suggest picking them yourself when doing transactions.