Craigslist NC is a great place to find low cost goods (and sometimes even cool free stuff) but anyplace there are people conducting legitimate transactions, there are always scammers looking to take advantage. It seems unfortunate that often those who can least afford to fall prey to a scam are the ones that do. In today’s North Carolina consumer alert, we take a look at four Craigslist NC scams that have been sweeping the state.
Over payment Scam on Craigslist NC
This is the scam that was tried on me when I was selling an antique Victrola. There are two ways this scam can work. The first is when the scammer contacts you about an item and asks if they can pay for the item including shipping and then you arrange to ship the item. They send a cashier’s check or bank check and then when the “delivery” people turn up, they ask for the shipment fee. The check is a fake, they get your item and you pay them for the trouble of stealing from you. The other version is that the buyer “mistakenly” sends too much money and asks you to wire back the difference. The check they send will later be revealed to be fraudulent and you’ll often be out both your item and some cash.
Fraudulent Ticket Scam
Scalped tickets are expensive and often go for double, triple or much higher multiples of face value. You can always find these pricey tickets on Craigslist NC and as bad as the outrageous prices are, you know what you’re getting into. That’s not the scam. The scam is when you pay an outrageous price for a ticket to a concert or sporting event and when you get to the gate you’re turned away because you bought a counterfeit ticket. State of the art printers have made it easy for savvy scammers to create and print realistic looking tickets that have seals and holograms on them that look totally legit. If you can’t buy the tickets from Ticketmaster, the venue box office or a legitimate reseller, just pass on it.
PayPal Payment Scam
In this scam, you post an item for sale and you’re contacted by an eager buyer that pays via PayPal and you ship the item. This can work out several ways. They may send you a fake payment confirmation from PayPal to try and con you into shipping the item. Or, they send you a real looking email payment confirmation from PayPal with a link for you to click to “confirm” or “receive” the payment. They use this to steal your PayPal login information and as much money as they can. The other version is to pay you through PayPal but have you ship to an alternate address. Then they cancel the payment because PayPal only permits you to ship to the authorized address associated with the account. You lose your item and don’t get paid.
Rental scams on Craigslist NC has taken on many different faces, but one of the most common (and worst) is when a prospective tenant is taken for his or her deposit. Most rental scammers on Craigslist NC have no properties to rent out. They usually pick a property they believe they can sell, put pictures of the property up as advertisement on Craigslist NC, and wait until someone takes the bait. If the price is good enough or if the property is attractive enough, someone will definitely take the bait along the way. Once you’ve given up your security deposit and the landlord all of a sudden disappears, then you’ve probably just been scammed.