Craigslist can be a convenient site to go to when you need to buy or sell something, and a lot of people all over the country use it every day. But even though it has its perks, this website can also pose a threat because there are scammers who use it to trick people or hurt them.
Therefore, if you are going to use Craigslist for anything at all, it is important to be aware of the potential risks, and to take steps to keep yourself safe. One way to do that is by knowing how to recognize a scam so you won’t become a victim of it.
Continue reading for a few tips on how to avoid Craigslist scams so you can use the site to your advantage without needing to worry as much about being taken advantage of by a con artist.
Do Research on the Seller or Buyer
This might sound a little odd at first, but if you want to keep yourself safe, it might be a good idea to do some research into the person who is selling you something or buying something from you on Craigslist.
With the internet, you can look up information on someone surprisingly easily and quickly. Start by going to Nuwber and typing in the person’s name or phone number. Find out if they are being honest about who they are, and see if they have any police records, lawsuits, etc. This might help alert you to a con artist before you even interact with them any further.
When Meeting a Buyer or Seller, Have a Friend with You
If you are planning on meeting a buyer or seller in person, it is a good idea to have someone you trust there with you, such as a friend or family member. That way, if you don’t feel safe for any reason, you will have someone there to support you and help you stay safe.
Inspect a Product Before Buying It
It might be convenient to do business with someone on Craigslist even when they are not located nearby, but if it means that you won’t be able to see the product you’re buying in person, it might not be the best idea. That’s because scammers might pretend to send you the product you purchased after you submit your payment, even though they have no intention of sending it to you. Also, if you can meet in person and inspect the product carefully before paying for it, you have the chance to back out of the deal and avoid having your money stolen.
Don’t Pay for Something, or Hand Over a Product, in Advance
Finally, whether you are buying or selling, don’t submit or accept payment until the transaction is definitely agreed upon and complete. As a seller, don’t hand over an item until it’s paid for. As a buyer, don’t submit payment in advance if you haven’t inspected the product. Also, it is a good idea to accept cash payments so you can rest assured the buyer won’t trick you into thinking you’re getting a check or wire transfer even though you really aren’t.
Overall, Craigslist can be a good place to turn to when buying or selling. But, because there are some risks of dealing with someone who isn’t being honest and might be trying to take advantage of you, taking steps to stay safe is always wise.