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Here Are Popular Scams on Craigslist or How You Can Report a Scam on Craigslist


scam on craigslist

Craigslist is a popular site where you can easily purchase absolutely any item that you need. From real estate purchases to hair accessories. The more popular the site became, the more scammers appeared on it. Every day they ask themselves the question “how to scam on Craigslist?”, which is why they constantly come up with new scam schemes.

Today we will try to figure out how to spot a Craigslist scam and how to report a Craigslist scam.

If you are wondering “how to avoid scams on Craigslist?”, here are some tips:

Pay Attention to the Literacy of the Ad

how to report a scam on craigslist

Try to look at the literacy of the ad writing. Most often, scammers do not monitor punctuation or spelling of words, because they write several hundred ads a day. Also, many scammers live abroad and do not speak English well. Therefore, if you see that ad or answer has a spelling or grammatical error, then be careful with this Craigslist user. This could be one of the signs of a scam on Craigslist.

If you are a seller, then look at how the buyer composes an offer. Regularly, scammers do not write about a specific product when purchasing. For example: “I am interested in this product”, instead of “I am interested in your sofa”. They also send a hundred such letters a day, which makes it difficult for them to tailor their letter to each ad on the site.

Be Careful with Checks

craigslist reporting scam

By agreeing to such a purchase, they may send you a check, which in the end turns out to be fake. This is called a “fake check scam on Craigslist”. But don’t worry, you can report Craigslist scams at any time. We’ll tell you how to tell a scam on Craigslist later.

Another Craigslist fake check scam is that you may receive a check for an amount that exceeds the value of the item being sold. Never settle for a check that exceeds the value of the item you are selling! After receiving such a check, the buyer will ask you to send him a change. Once you send change and try to cash the check, you realize that the check was actually a fake, and your money was simply stolen by a fraudster. Be careful!

In general, if you are still wondering “how to spot a check scam on Craigslist?”, Then everything is easy enough, the buyer will simply send you a check for more than the price of the item you are selling.

Do Not Disclose Personal Information

report craigslist scam

The next “how to spot a scam on Craigslist” method is also quite simple. Pay attention to what the customer wants you to do. More often than not, scammers on Craigslist ask for more information about you. A real buyer will never need extra information about you! He is only interested in buying. The fraudster will insist that you provide more personal information, such as your bank account or social security number. The buyer does not need such information, even if he claims that he needs it to make a payment. If a fraudster tries to find out more information about you to establish that this is a real buyer, insist on cash or a check at a local bank.

Carefully Study the Item You Are Going to Buy

Photos alone are not enough to get a complete picture of what you are going to buy! If you are in doubt that you are communicating with an honest seller, then feel free to insist on seeing the item in person. And even more so when it comes to something valuable and expensive, such as electronic devices. Make an appointment and check-in the person to make sure that the equipment is working properly.

Choose Those Sellers Who Are Close to You

If you have a choice between a seller who is in the next block or a seller from another state – always give preference to the first one, even if the goods from another state are slightly cheaper. The fact is that it is always safer to deal with locals, moreover, you will have the opportunity to complete the transaction in person and closely examine the goods that you are going to purchase.

Try to Use Cash

how to avoid scams on craigslist

By far the safest way to pay when buying anything on Craigslist is cash. After all, as we have already explained, fake cashiers check Craigslist scam is a very popular type of scam. But if you are afraid of transferring a large amount of money to a stranger from the Internet, then you can make the transaction in a safe place (for example, the local police station). A conscientious seller is likely to support your idea because he is also at risk. And if you accept cash, then we recommend that you purchase a pen to identify counterfeit banknotes. They can often be found in various stationery stores or on the Internet. The price of such a pen is on average $5, but it can save you from bigger losses.

Unfortunately, even the most vigilant users can sometimes fall prey to deception. Well, it is not worth keeping silent about it. Let’s find out how to report a scam to Craigslist.

How Do I Report a Scam on Craigslist

how to spot a craigslist scam

What can I do if I get scammed on Craigslist? Most importantly, do not despair. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a Craigslist reporting scam, or you suspect that you are communicating with a scammer, there are several ways on how you can report it. But please note that no guarantee lost items or money will be returned. However, try your best to prevent re-scam on Craigslist with someone else.

  • Find a message that is (or appears to be) fraudulent and click on the flag icon above it. Messages that have collected a sufficient number of such marks are removed from the site by an automated system or by Craigslist employees.
  • If you receive an email that seems suspicious to you, then scroll to the bottom and click on the link under the heading “Please flag unwanted messages (spam, scam, other)” to notify you about it. 
  • The previous two ways of how to tell a Craigslist scam are perhaps the simplest and do not require a detailed description. If you would like to send a detailed report about the Craigslist scam, then use this form. Here you need to indicate some of your data (name and email) and write down why you think this or that message is a scam. At the end of the form, you need to indicate a digital identifier (you can find it under the publication itself).
  • You can also report a scam on Craigslist to the Better Business Bureau. There is a special report form here, by filling out which you can help the organization investigate this fraud and also warn other users. Here you can provide detailed information about the scammer and tell how it happened.
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