Craigslist Tucson – Whether it’s a sketchy email, a suspicious phone call or those pesky pop-ups on your computer, scams are showing up everywhere these days. It’s based on data from the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona. The BBB keeps track of how many people report each type of scam through its Scam Tracker page. Dozens of southern Arizonans have reported various frauds through this website over the past year, but the true number of victims is likely much higher.
THE IRS SCAM on Craigslist Tucson
This is the top scam reported in southern Arizona in 2016, with 24 complaints logged. The caller claims to be with the IRS and threatens to sue, arrest or deport the victim if they don’t pay a heavy fine for outstanding penalties due. They also ask you to “verify” your personal information like Social Security number and birth date, which can open the door to identity theft.
“You hear IRS, and that throws you into a real dither,” said Camille Gannon, a Tucson grandmother who got this fake call twice this year.
Fortunately, she trusted her hunch that the caller was a phony and didn’t lose her money. But many others have fallen victim.
“I get a little bit annoyed that these people are clever enough to do this,” she said.
• BBB TIPS: The IRS will not call you and demand money over the phone. Never provide personal information over the phone. If you get this IRS scam call, the BBB advises you to simply hang up the phone and don’t engage with the caller.
THE EMPLOYMENT SCAM
This scam has had 14 reported victims this year. These are fake mystery shopper jobs. The scammers will send you a fake cashier’s check and ask you to cash it, send back most of it via Western Union, evaluate the service and keep some of the money for your work. The cashed check will bounce and you’ve lost the money you wired off to the scammers. This scheme is big in Tucson, where many are looking for extra jobs and quick cash.
“It’s also targeted toward college students,” said Susann Miller, with the BBB of southern Arizona. “Anyone looking for some money on the side.”
• BBB TIPS: Always investigate an employer first, and always confirm the legitimacy of the check with your local bank.
ONLINE PURCHASE SCAM
The third-most popular local fraud was reported by eight victims.
This one traps people who are trying to save a few bucks by buying things on eBay or Craigslist. Scammers lurk on these online shopping sites, posing as sellers. They often demand payment through prepaid Visa cards.
Once you send the payment, they will disappear and you’ll be left empty-handed.
“Especially with the holiday shopping season coming up, this is going to be a big one,” Miller said.
• BBB TIPS: Check the seller’s rating history. When making a payment, use a PayPal account attached to a credit card. It’s a big red flag if the seller requests any other type of payment — like iTunes gift cards or prepaid Visa cards.