When the 2003 award-winning documentary on Craigslist; “24 Hours on Craigslist” was posted on YouTube in 2012 and offered an engaging glimpse into the circus of sellers and buyers who understand the free phenomenon that is Craigslist. Although the world’s largest community bulletin board began in San Francisco, it quickly expanded to cities around the world.
As incredible as selling and buying on the service may be, you also have the potential to be swept up in incredible scams. The same astonishing collective of clever advertisements to mundanes has inspired equally brilliant and common attempts to prey on unsuspecting victims. It’s not surprising, though certainly disappointing, to learn that new scams are popping up on the service all the time and that successful scams that have been around for years continue to find new victims.
Craigslist does an extraordinary job of keeping thousands of daily transactions safe. The company offers detailed information on how to keep its clients free from scammers. The dos and don’ts when it comes to avoiding scams are clearly posted on their website. The company has a Security Investigator Thank You page that lists those who keep Craigslist safer by responsibly finding and disclosing security issues. Craigslist helps its customers buy and sell while avoiding scams and fraud by maintaining their number one rule: “trade locally.” A look at two diverse communities on each coast of the United States shows how widespread and long-lasting these scams really are. Medford, Oregon and Medford, Massachusetts have experienced their share of typical and innovative Craigslist inconveniences.
1. The Dial 90 scam
Katie Whitman is not a newcomer to Craigslist scams. The Medford, Oregon resident posted a Craigslist ad for college textbooks in February 2018. What was unusual was what happened next. He posted the closing of his ad around 1:45 a.m. M. And he got an answer quickly, too fast, and in minutes, at 2 a.m. M. She thought it was strange right away. The number was not local, the response was too quick, and it was midnight. He got 11 more calls after the first one at 2 a.m. M. And until 2:17 a.m. M. Whitman knew how to block the number, but three more calls with voice messages came in. The voicemail was an automated voice with the message “Sorry. I didn’t hear that. Dial 90 to communicate with me «. The Craigslist website notes that most scam attempts are emails or text messages from someone who is not local to their area and encourages Craigslist users to negotiate face-to-face and locally. This is the only rule that the company states that it can help users avoid 99% of scammers’ attempts.
2. The rental house scam
Pulitzer Medford Prize winner Oregon Mail Tribune published an article warning of a home rental scam in 2015. The scammer used photos and descriptions of real estate listings to create fake listings on Craigslist that offered the properties as rentals for much less. than the current rates. The scammer asked prospective tenants to wire money for a rental deposit in exchange for receiving the keys. The scammer encouraged victims to cooperate with the settlement by telling them that a previous tenant refused to send payment after settling in the house, so payment first and second was the new rule of thumb for doing business. Medford police noted that scammers generally promised to send the promised key using FedEx, but only after the funds were first transferred. Police cautioned that the scam was not new, but had become more widespread than in the past.
3. The mother-son duo apartment scam
It’s only been seven years since Nicholas and Dorothy Ingemi posed as landlords to scam tenants out of thousands of dollars for apartments they didn’t own. Nicholas was only 21 at the time he joined his mother, Dorothy, in the scam. The two advertised an apartment for rent on Craigslist and collected deposits from their victims. The two showed the apartment to potential tenants, and even gave the key to one. The mother and son had stayed in the apartment because they were homeless and the owner was kind to them. The two took deposits of different amounts, which totaled almost $ 4,000. They were arrested and charged with three different counts of theft.
4. The Easy Yard Sale Scam