Craigslist can be an exciting marketplace of steals and deals or a gateway to a sold out show. But the site is also ripe with scammers who are looking to profit off of your willingness to fork over cash to total strangers.
In July, Jamie O'Leary lost $1,500 when she fell for a fake Craigslist ad referencing a cheap rental home. After seeing the home, O'Leary wired cash to Nigeria, and was told she would subsequently receive keys and a rental contract. But the keys and the contract would never come. The home, O'Leary learned, was actually up for sale.
Last year, Romanian and U.S. authorities arrested more 100 people involved in eBay or Craigslist scams. Romanians pretending to be U.S. citizens had advertised the fake sale of expensive items on the online marketplaces and required wire transfers before delivery. The scams cost Americans more than $100 million.
The key to avoiding these cons is to be a defensive online shopper.
Here are some tips on how to use the site without being scammed: