If you have ever thought of listing your old bicycle on Craigslist or even buying a second-hand computer from the website and then bailed out thinking that it might be risky to buy/sell from Craigslist, then you are not alone.
For the people who do not know what Craigslist is, it is a website or rather an online database for people to list the products they wish to sell. It has a geographical concept that ensures that you are shown the items on sale in your vicinity.
This website is pretty easy to use, and you can list your product on sale in seconds, but with its ease and perks come people known as scammers. Hundreds or even thousands are scammed each day through this website in different ways, but don’t worry! We’re here to help you.
Top 12 Safety Tips For Avoiding The Most Common Craigslist Scams
We have compiled a list of suggestions that can help you have a smooth buying or selling transaction. Find below a list of safety tips to avoid the most basic scams on Craigslist.
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1. Try to Deal Locally
This is the website’s top advice to avoid many scams. Always give preference to a bicycle available for sale 20 minutes away from your house than the one which is a hundred miles away.
Transacting in your area will enable you to settle a sale in person. Additionally, there’s a scarcer chance of a language barrier obscuring the deal’s details.
2. Use a Temporary Number
You should never provide your primary number when buying or selling on the website. Instead, always try and get a virtual phone number like Google Voice number, which is disposable and cost-free.
These numbers are not traceable and can be deleted quickly. This tip will also ensure that the scammer does not use your primary number against you.
3. No to Wire Transfer
If the seller is asking you for full payment or advance payment, then there’s a big chance that it might be a scam or a fraud.
Always avoid making any payment before checking the product yourself physically. This step will also ensure that you are not exposing your bank details.
4. Deal in Cash
In the 21st century, it has become paramount to go cashless, but if you are using Craigslist, avoid online transactions. Dealing in cash is the best way to avoid any credit card scams.
It is the most secure way to buy/sell on the website. Moreover, if you are still paranoid about carrying a large sum of money out in the open, try to transact at a police station or even at a busy cafe. It minimizes your risk of getting robbed.
5. Examine the Product Beforehand
It is advised for you to examine the product before making any payment.
When you feel that the product is worth the money and looks like the listing, then you can proceed. As we’ve already mentioned, no advance payments!
6. Meet at a Public Place
If you have decided to buy a product, always insist to meet in a crowded place.
This tip will ensure your physical safety. “Deal locally and face-to-face” is Craigslist’s top advice to bypass scams.
7. Trust your Gut
Learn to trust your gut feeling. If you feel that something isn’t appropriate, you should drive away from the offer, especially when the product’s price is overwhelmingly lower than the market value.
8. Never Go Ahead with the Shipping Offer
You should not go ahead with any listing in which the seller insists that he/she ships the item as it might indeed be a scam.
These scams usually involve an advance fee or a shipper’s fee, and you may never get to see the product. Rollback over to Tip 1! Dealing in your locality is the best choice.
9. Never Rush It
If the seller tells you that someone else is looking at the product or that they need funds fast, take a breath! Do not try to rush the transaction, and if he/she still insists on doing so, it might well be a scam, and you should let it go.
Take your time and think twice before proceeding with any listing on the website.
10. Identification Check
If you don’t trust the person completely, then there’s one thing you can do to have a sense of calm.
Go to Nuwber, an online database that helps you get details of any person just by typing his/her name. Search for the name or the phone number and see what information you get. Check whether it’s the same as the seller provided you with. If it’s not, the person’s probably a fraudster.
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11. Avoid the Emotional Story Scam
Do make sure that you don’t buy only because the seller tells you a touching story and so you feel sorry for them. These are standard scammer techniques.
12. Avoid the Employment Scam
Generally, people who are desperate for jobs and money fall prey to these kinds of employment scams. A scammer usually posts a listing about a job that doesn’t exist to get out details like your Social Security Number, address, previous jobs, etc.
They may also ask you to pay so that they can get your background check done. We’re sorry to tell you, but when you hear something about payment before you know that there is a job, it is most likely a scam.
These are some of the tips you can use to avoid getting scammed on Craigslist. We know that sometimes the website can get overwhelming and that the low price gets the best of us, but we always need to learn how to trust our instinct before engaging in any sale.
There are so many diverse styles that scammers can use to steal your money and private data so they can eventually rob you of your identity. By being conscious of what’s occurring on Craigslist, and only buying/selling locally, you’ll be ready to dodge the scams and avoid getting ripped off.