Craigslist is known as a great site to sell stuff. And you can pick up some bargains too. But if you’re not careful you could find yourself—scammed, robbed and beat up.
Personally I’ve never bought or sold anything on Craigslist. A friend of mine told me about her first time buying something on Craigslist. She needed a double stroller for her vacation. And she found someone selling a “practically new” double stroller for only $65.
Since it was her first time buying anything on Craigslist, she went in person to see the stroller. The seller gave her their home address. When she arrived at the seller’s home, she thought it was a great buy and bought it. So she got a $150 stroller for just $65.
This story had a happy ending, but unfortunately not all Craigslist stories end this way.
Beware of Craigslist “Robbery by Appointment”
In fact, scenarios like this one where the buyer and seller meet robberies are up. They are called “robbery by appointment.”
Some sellers and buyers are being robbed for the item or cash at gunpoint. In other words, say you’re trying to sell your laptop. And the buyer agrees to purchase your laptop and suggests a place to complete the transaction. When you arrive with the laptop in hand, you’re beaten up for your laptop. So you don’t get any cash (only bumps and bruises – Ouch!) and you’re laptop’s stolen.
To avoid these types of issues, arrange to meet the buyer/seller in a busy public place. With these types of crimes on the rise, special police units are advising you to complete your transaction online and mail it. If you have to meet in person, then choose a safe place like your local police station.
Check out the video below for more tips to avoid “robbery by appointment.”
Craigslist Scams are Real
A good rule of thumb is—If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. One person was convicted of scamming people out of more than $80,000 on Craigslist for popular event tickets. Buyers were purchasing hard-to-get tickets at extremely low prices, but they never received anything from the seller.
There have also been a number of complaints about:
- Used car sales, where the car only runs for a short period of time. Victims try to resolve the issue with the seller, but often have to spend thousands to get the car running.
- Rental properties posted that are not really available for rent. Victims are lured in with nice properties offered up for below market rental prices. These scams leave victims without any rental property and out of their cash deposits.
Here are some other useful articles to help you avoid being scammed on Craigslist: