Craigslist Scams

Craigslist is a great service but if you deal with people you aren’t meeting face to face you risk getting scammed.

Craigslist is a great resource for selling things, finding apartments, locating services and meeting people. Most of the time transactions go smoothly and both seller and buyer are satisfied with the Craigslist experience.

Danger awaits the unwary buyer or seller on Craigslist. Most these scams follow the same pattern you see on eBay and other online auction sites. Try posting that you have a piece of jewelry or some other easily-mailed valuable item for sale and the first response you get will probably be someone trying scam you.

Craigslist Nigerian Scams and More

Emails from Nigeria offering you more than your selling price if you accept their check or money order are typical. The fact that this is a scam may seem obvious but there are lots of variations on this theme that fool people every day. Don’t add your name to the growing list of Craigslist fraud victims. Be smart, be aware and if in doubt ask your friends or someone with internet savvy what they think if things sound fishy.

This page details a few common Craigslist scams but no list is ever complete because new versions of old scams appear all the time. Once you know the common themes these criminals use you can usually spot them a mile away and they become little more than a subject of amusement.

To help keep yourself safe from scams, Craigslist advises that any business dealings be done with people in your own local area. Don’t do business with folks who live far away. As with any online financial transactions, prudence and common sense are paramount. I once received an offer for a purchase where the person said they lived in California but requested that I email the item to somewhere in Oregon. Now what’s wrong with this picture?

Beware of anyone offering more than what you asked for. This is too weird. Who would do that? Especially since Craigslist is known as the place to go for good deals. Other clues include poor grammar and misspelled words. In the offer I mentioned earlier both Oregon and California were misspelled and English was obviously not their native language. That doesn’t necessarily mean the inquiry is coming from abroad but it’s certainly a red flag.

Craigslist provides the following advice on avoiding scams to anyone using their service:

  • Trust your instincts
  • Deal only with local buyers and sellers
  • NEVER wire funds to a distant buyer, via Western Union or any other carrier
  • Be wary if the other party wants to use an escrow service such as BidPay, Squaretrade, or even PayPal
  • NEVER give out personal financial information (eBay or PayPal info, checking account number, SSN, etc.)
  • always remember the most important rule — BUYER BEWARE

This advice isn’t specific to Craigslist. It’s just all-around good advice. Below are the top three Craigslist scams.

  • The buyer or seller doesn’t live near you.
  • The buyer or seller wants to pay by cashier’s check, US Postal Service money order, Western Union, or escrow service (BidPay, Squaretrade, etc.).
  • The buyer or seller won’t agree to meet with you in person.

If you happen to see something on Craigslist that looks scammy, you should send an email to “abuse@craigslist.org” and give them as much detail as you can about the listing. Make sure you include URL (or 8 digit post ID number) in your email. If you’re selling something and you think a con artist has expressed interest, forward it to “abuse@craigslist.org”

Make sure you are really on Craigslist!

There some sites out there that attempt to capitalize on Craigslist’s success. Some have similar domain names and the owner’s hope that you will make mistake while typing in the URL and end up on their site instead of the one you intended. Sometimes you will find nothing more than advertising but a couple of these imposters are phishing scams with layouts that duplicate the real Craigslist to fool you. The real web address for Craigslist is www.craigslist.org although the www in the URL can usually be replaced with the name of the city you whose listings you wish to explore (chicago.craigslist.org, newyork.craigslist.org, or losangeles.craigslist.org). If you go to the main address I just listed you will be able to find the local listings you’re interested. Just make sure that you haven’t ended up at www.craigslist.com or www.craiglist.org or some other common misspelling of the Craigslist domain. You’d be surprised at how many people type in the wrong address and end up somewhere they didn’t mean to. People often fail to realize their mistake so pay attention to any clues telling you that something is “phishy” about the site. If there’s any doubt, go back and re-type the URL or do a search for “Craigslist” to be sure.

Craigslist’s New York apartment classifieds are a con artist favorite

Fraud in New York City’s Craigslist classifieds has become so pervasive that Craigslist has considered charging a fee for its ads. Their hope is that by putting a charge in place, they will discourage phony listings. Most of these fraudulent postings are common bait and switch schemes. However, some of the cases reported involved more elaborate schemes run by professional criminals. These scam artists have managed to bilk apartment seekers for thousands of dollars. Everyone knows how competitive the New York apartment market is, with too many people looking for far too few apartments. Some bold con artists have capitalized on this situation and used it to their advantage.

Image Craigslist Apartment Rental Scams

Read more about Online Rental Scams

Craigslist Car Scams

Buying and selling cars on Craigslist cab be a huge money-saver for both parties. Both can expect to make or save more than if they had gone to a dealership. This makes the Auto category in Craigslist’s For Sale section very active, especially in urban areas. With so many people exchanging so many cars for so much cash, it was only a matter of time before the criminal element took notice. Fraudulent postings are now a common occurrence.

Image Craigslist Car Scams

Craigslist Ticket Scams

Craigslist provides an excellent means to sell unneeded tickets to sporting events, shows, concerts, festivals, fairs or even airline tickets. All you need to do is make a post and wait for the emails and/or phone calls to start coming in. Finding deals or tickets to hot shows or “sold out” events has made it one of the first places to turn to when you want to purchase tickets, especially when they’re for premiere events. Many of these tickets are sold for top dollar, but considering the considerable cost of tickets, even face value can mean a lot of money is going to change hands.

Image Craigslist Ticket Scams

Read more about online ticket scams

Phony Escrow Service Site Scams on Craigslist

Purchasing something expensive over the internet presents a problem. How do you pay for it when you know nothing about the seller and vice versa when you’re the one selling something? The solution for many is to use a third party escrow service. Escrow services are preferred because they protect buyers and sellers making transactions. Unfortunetely, scammers have devised a way to take advantage of the trust people place in escrow services and rob them blind.

Image Craigslist Escrow Service Scams

Read more about craigslist escrow scams

Phony Money Orders and Bad Check Scams on Craigslist

There are some things that should immediately raise red flags for anyone buying or selling on Craigslist. A few of these are:

  • Buyers wanting to pay by money order
  • The buyer is from another country or continent such as Nigeria in Africa
  • The inclusion of “business partners” in what should be a relatively simple sale
  • Over-complicated payment and shipping processes which try to trick you into shipping the item for sale first and them paying later.

There are many variations on this theme and many will involve official looking packing slips and money orders or checks from institutions you trust such as Western Union. Many times the wording of the emails sent to you will seem odd and the grammar poor. That’s because they are little more than form letters with terms and language designed to excite you, confuse you or put you at ease with what is nothing more than an old fashioned Nigerian 419 scam.

Sometimes you will receive a money order first. If you decide to take the risk and accept payment by money order, make sure it clears at the bank before you send them your goods! These money orders will often bounce or be counterfeits and if you ship your goods to the buyer right after you drop the payment you received off at the bank you may be in for a rude surprise. If someone wants what you are selling so badly that they want it shipped halfway around the world then they can probably wait a few more days for it to be shipped. Don’t be swayed by threats if the buyer starts using them on you. Insuring that someone’s payment is valid is quite fair.

Read more about Counterfeit Money Order and Check Scams

Counterfeit Money Orders

Nigerian Counterfeit Check Scams

Craigslist Purchase Protection Program

Some Craigslist users have reported something called the Craigslist Purchase Protection scam. What happens is that after you email someone about an item you get an email that has text to the effect of:

Craigslist Transaction Confirmed! Purchase Protection Granted!

Per your request, we have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate. Please follow our instructions to complete the transaction safely.

Craigslist Transaction Confirmed!

Current status: Payment pending

Here would be some details about the Craigslist purchase you supposedly made

Complete your Craigslist transaction in 5 easy steps:

* Craigslist accepts the transaction and offers purchase protection to the buyer

Next you’ll receive a document that may appear to be an invoice. Relax, it’s a phony. There is no official Craigslist buyer or purchase protection program. Craigslist doesn’t officially back any transaction. Taking care of business is your job.

Pay attention to those alert boxes at the top of Craigslist postings because they are there for your benefit and warn about these and many other scams on Craigslist.

Craigslist Scam Related Links:

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67 Responses

  1. Delores Braasch says:

    Every time I have listed on Craigslist, been scammed. Present listing included. I wish these people could be found and arrested. Process is scary.

  2. P Oed says:

    Yes CraigsList is pretty bad, but most of the bad things are from CL users and not CL. It is scammers heaven. You can find bargains and you can sell your stuff, if you can work your way through the mine field. I have sold over $6000 worth of stuff in the past year and have not been scammed or murdered yet. Knock on wood and have my fingers crossed. Be very very careful.

  3. Andrew Thorne says:

    Hi Dolores,

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been scammed, but I have been scammed as well. However, I want to make sure that every single fraudulent buyer gets what he/she deserves and that is why I am reporting mine everywhere I can. For example, I use forums and websites like ebuyersreview*ed and badbuyerlis*t as well as fraud rec**d to submit their details and make sure that other sellers are aware of these irresponsible people.

  4. Vickie says:

    I have couple things on there for sale and it’s my first time but I got a email on a new vac that I don’t like and want to sell but mail seems weird…they say they can’t see it today as family death and work mornings only can see it evenings and ask nothing about it but does ask for my ph number and wants to come to my home , they pick out a place to meet (Walmart) which is a given as there’s always one everywhere, they seems more interested in meeting than the vac…sketchy it seems…feel there’s something going on

    • Greg says:

      I am moving and having been selling a lot of CL over the past month. I often have 5 or 6 items listed at one time and weekly I get 5 or 6 of these types of emails. Very convoluted days that they can meet me to pick up the “item” (They never say dining room table, or wall clock). I created a dummy Gmail account that I now use for all CL transactions. I responded to one of the emails but never heard back. I can’t figure out what the scam is. I do meet people at my home to sell items, but only after a few email exchanges and/or talk to the on the phone. If anything sounds odd in the least I back out. I also don’t tell them where I live until they are on there way over. I tell them to call me when they are getting in the car and I will give them an address. I have had a dozen good sales and canceled only one that seemed sketchy. This does not include the screwy emails like you described. I still get several a week and ignore them all.

  5. Kathy says:

    I have had great luck on CL; however, only sell local, only accept cash and meet outside of your home in a public place that has plenty of traffic.

  6. Sofia says:

    Scammers are also fishing for emails and phone numbers. We will not sell through CL anymore. We have been getting messages asking the same question over and over. Even asking where we live. Pretty scary. Try EBay or Oodle.

  7. Dawn says:

    People try to scam me buy sending me a counterfeit cashier check sent it and over paid for what I was asking for on craiglist and wanted me to cash check and sent back rest if money western union. I contacted craigslist and I is a scam. I am so happy I did not follow through with the scam. If I get a check saids global giving for a certified payment don’t cash it report any scam

    • margie says:

      The latest scam I see is in posting for Jobs. “help wanted”. Then they send an automated response that they are interested in you but only if you use their link and have a credit report completed. Then after the credit score is revealed, they will interview you. This part time job posts every day. And the name of the company doesn’t exist in the area. And it is clearly an automated response because I sent my resume in twice (by mistake) and each response came back the same. Worries me about my resume being out there. Will leave off some of the info next time. (at least half of the address) Be aware. I did notify Craigs List of this job posting.

      And the other is “I don’t get off of work until 3:30 and would like to come over and look at your item. What is convenient for you?” So I ask how long will it take them to reach my “city’, asking “where do you work”. They only want correspondence by offering a business email but no such business exists. And I also add that I live in a gated community (which I do) and let them know they have to have ID to get through the gate, (which they do) and a sign at the gate clearly says “you are being videotaped” Never hear from the scammers again.
      I have sold a lot on Craigs List but not recently. Recently has been scammers responding.

  8. jaz says:

    I’m not sure if its a scam or not but everytime I call the numbers to ask about a car no answer, then minutes later I get a text saying the from the military and that that’s there only way of communicating thru email. Not sure about that tho??

  9. Lori says:

    I always get the same response to my ad: I want to buy it now thru PayPal but I can’t pick it up. I’ll have a moving company come get it…just give me your PayPal info

    • sarah says:

      This is exactly what just happened to me. I sent them an invoice via Paypal but they said it “didn’t work” and asked for my email address over and over. Even though I already emailed them an invoice which means she had my email address. It was so bizarre.

      • sarah says:

        Oh and that she would have a moving company come and get it because she wants to buy it as a surprise for her new house. Whatever that means…

    • Tease Them says:

      I usually just tease them. I look up some local FBI office address and give them all the info. E.g I used the FBI agent’s name and the office address. Most of those morons don’t bother to check and they fell into it. A few days later they will come back with lies like “my secretary screwed up and sent too much money etc”. I always reply happily and say sure I am happy to return the money as soon as our receptionist in FBI contact me when she receives the money …

      The person will never come back again … 🙂

  10. Cw says:

    I have a strange situation. I am selling a car and a person with an Ohio number texted (I’m in Texas) and said he’s shipping it locally. Anyway, he sent a check including shipping of the car in the amount. I took it to my bank and they thought it was a bit fishy. Went ahead and deposited it and there’s a 7 day hold. I don’t understand what (if it is in fact a scammer) would get out of me if the check clears. Am I missing something? It’s just strange and I wish I didn’t follow through with it now. We are waiting to see if the check clears.

    • Naibi says:

      Hi what happened after all? Someonw from out of state is wanting to buy from me and they said they are going to send me a check… It seems weird that someone from far away is looking at other craiglist location websites

      • Sheila says:

        Same thing happened to me. Just received the check and it was for an absurd amount. I emailed and she said the rest was for the movers but didn’t want me to ship it until the check clears. So I’d like to know what happened as well. I’m really nervous about this

        • MSH says:

          Hi, this is scam. I was scammed out of $1400 today. This is exactly what happened to me. I sold my old snow blower for $350. But he sent me a cashier check for $1750, the rest is for the “mover”. After the check cleared, I deposited $1400 to his Wells Fargo account. Well, this morning I found out that my bank is taking back the “cleared” check. Now I am out of $1400.

          He has the gall though.. this morning he sent me another message saying that he wants to cancel the sale and wants the remaining $350 wired to a money gram account. He still thinks I am such a dope that I haven’t figured it out yet.

          I guess the joke is on my. I feel so stupid.

          • Susan says:

            Thank you for your posting… You might feel as you were at a loss but look at it this was…. you saved me from being scammed the same way.
            After giving him information, I received another e-mail basically the same. That is when I began to get skeptical. They couldn’t get here to look at the items nor did they list the items they wanted but they wanted to send me a check and the movers $ would be included
            So thank you I definitely benefited.

      • Laura k says:

        I really did look at craigslist websites while searching for a specific item, I kept to cities within 5-6 Hours of my home and found what I was looking for, I did have to drive almost 6 hours to pay for and get the item but we called and spoke with the seller, it was successful all around and we paid in cash, I might suggest that all sellers post with cash only in their listings, legitimate buyers will not balk

    • Boss says:

      Even if it clears it could take up to 2 weeks for bank to declare it counter fit. By that time they HOPE You will wire money to the SHIPPING COMPANY as they are after that amount. Their goal is to have seller transfer funds for SHIPPING COST. They are not interested in your car, motorcycle, jet ski, or whatever else You might be selling. Once You transfer money to Shipping Company that’s it, they are gone

      • MSH says:

        The scammers are exploiting a hole in our banking system. The bank clears the check and makes the cash available way before they can actually verify the check’s legitimacy. By the time the fraud is detected, the check’s receiver has given the extra fund by cash to the sender.

        This really needs to be fixed.

    • Will brisbin says:

      I was wondering if the check cleared and what other trouble happened. I’m going through the same thing. I haven’t deposited the check yet, I’m a little leery.

  11. Diana says:

    I just posted my couch for sale on CL, immediately i got a response from NY, I am in Washington State, that they want the couch, i should take off Craigs List and I should send them all my contact info and they will mail me money. Immediately I am concerned…. not sure why, but am following my gut. any suggestions?

  12. steve Heron says:

    I just purchase a car on craigslist, met the guy in person 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 – $2500, 1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 runs great, new brakes, working AC $2500 obo, post id: XXXXXXXXX, met in person, drove the car worked fine, paid his wife after she gave me the title. One hour later drove car to the store and would not shift gears, stayed in low. Called him back stated he sold it working, now its not his problem. Told me he would come check out, then told me its not his problem, ask him to help, not willing to. I am going to take him to court and sue. He will pay for the act of stupidity……We need to make sure these things do not happen to people, these websites that sell need to be govern by law to protect consumers, this will get worst before its gets better.

  13. Brian says:

    As soon as I list something….especially if it is of high value, I will get a text from someone claiming to be out of town, using poor grammar, wanting to buy the item sight unseen and needing my Paypal account to send me the money. Of course, a broker or pickup service will come get the item. The most reason was an alleged American Airlines flight attendant who is gone all the time but really wants my dining room set. Yeah right.

  14. Naibi says:

    Hi.. can I get some advice.. I am selling an item and someone from miles and miles away wants to buy it.. they said they will send me a check and they will arrange pick up after check clears… should I be on the look out? Do you prefer to sell locally?

    • Josh says:

      It’s most likely a scam, be safe and wait to sell it local

    • Hollie says:

      This happened to two of my postings, I don’t understand because I wouldn’t send it until the check cleared am I missing something?

      • Sheila says:

        Same thing here Hollie. I don’t understand

      • Dave says:

        They are sending certified checks that are counterfeit. They will give you the cash immediately but won’t clear or prove counterfeit for weeks or months. So you think it’s cleared and pay then 45 days later the bank hits you with the bad news. If you the them the bank turned it over to the police and are investigating sometimes they will leave the money in the account so it clears and don’t get investigated then you can cash it a week later and keep it all!

  15. Tony says:

    Selling 4 tires @ wheels on Craig’s list got a text the guy says I will pay you the $500 plush handling fee of $200, will send a bank certified bank check by USPS, cash check and the money will be in your account with in 24hrs, they will have the shipping amount included in check to NY, I am to be in contact to pay the shipping fees, I will make sure the check clears after a week, and contact the shipper for his pick up and amount to haul items from Washington state to NY. I’m sure it’s a scam and that OK I’m not paying more then what was included forcshipping, the day of the pickup will be on a street corner with police presence, keep in mind I’m waiting over a week or longer to make sure check clears and am in no hurry as its a scam just play along is all what have you got to advise ??

  16. Pat says:

    I got scammed and I am out of $2500.00 for a truck that was listed on Craig’s list for sale and it was local, got the same story that she was in the military and was going to be deployed this month. Me being in the military and all it sounded very legit and this was my first time buying anything on Craig’s list!! Never again and the name this person was using was hellen storm. I can’t believe how legit this was with emails from eBay motors and all! Just sick over losing my money.

  17. tim mattox says:

    I have sold occasionally on CL and most exchanges have gone well. I encountered a typical scam on the first time and received a certified check from an escrow account in the amount o $1980 for a $200 item. I have researched to become aware of scams, but today I encountered a situation which may or may or may not be a scam. Mike sent me a text on “behave” of his boss and wants me to email his boss with details and bottom price (email only). I was very explicit with details (and pictures). Why do they want my email address?

  18. Janice says:

    OK, I thought that something was a little fishy about this transaction but I had been trying to sell the item for so long that I threw (some) caution to the wind….Texted me because I left my cell no. on Craiglist’s listing, said he would send me a cashiers check for the total of the item and to pay his mover (its like $1200 over the price of my item) his mover would pick up the item and I give the over amount to pay the mover and keep my part. I don’t see what the scam could be if I check the “check” out at the bank before I do anything or let anyone take the item….BUT now I’m scared because I gave my address to send this “check” to me….should I be worried???

    • China says:

      Be very scared. I just went through a similar ordeal. The check will check out originally, but trust me the check is either stolen or counterfeit and the bank will come after you if you deposit the money and pull it out. I just had to file a police report. My buyer claimed to be in the military in Hawaii, he mailed me a check for $2500.00, but the item I sold him was only $450. He said I was to deposit the check and withdraw the extra money and wait for his “pick up agent” to come for the extra money and the item. Well again this man claimed to be in Hawaii, the check was mailed from California, and the check was written from an account in Virginia. None of the names matched, nothing matched. I deposited it because the buyer kept pressuring me. One day he called me from a New York , he was clearly Nigerian and driving a taxi, NOT IN THE MILITARY IN HAWAII. I waited 10 days to see if the check was returned. It wasn’t. So just now I called Suntrust, the bank the check was written from. They told me the check is counterfeit. The names to do even match the account number on the check. I am about to file a police report as soon as I get out of work

    • Tami says:

      Hi janice- Anything to add to this post? Did you get the check? Was it good? I’ve got the same thing happening I’m waiting to see what happens!

  19. Kimi says:

    I have a painting reposted for sale. Got a text asking if still for sale from 84X-XXX-XXXX. They said send my name and address so they mail me a check. They said after the check clears, we would meet up. T
    I asked if they live in Virginia, they said yes (with a south carolina area code) I said OK, but gave my post office box. They said the check would include payment for the IR movers, and $50 extra for myself. Too strange they’ll make a purchase without seeing it in real life. Then for me to cash it and Western Union the mover’s portion because they “trust” me. So I wrote back Forget mailing the check. We can meet I’ll bring the painting and they bring cash….smart ryt? No answer yet…go figure!

    • Mindy Weidner says:

      Yeah – definite scam. I recently posted an item for $375 and within 10 mins got someone asking if it was still available. Then they went into this long spiel about how they’ve been in an accident and need to send me a cashier’s check – they’ll pay $30 extra to keep them #1 so they get to buy it – and they’ll even wait for the check to clear. So after I told them I’d only accept cash, paypal, or credit card they offered certified check. Then I mentioned that it had to be from a bank in my state because I intended to cash it at the bank it was drawn from as I didn’t EVER deposit checks into my own bank account. Lo and behold I got no more texts after that 😉 Basically, if you deposit a certified/cashiers check or money order to your account your bank will clear it in a day – but then about a week later when it’s deemed ‘fake’ YOU end up having to pay your bank back! I’m surprised more folks don’t realize this! Plus, in today’s world, there’s absolutely NO excuse to not be able to pay via paypal or credit card or cash if you’re within 60 miles (oh yeah, I even offered to deliver the object to their home (or local cafe) so they didn’t have to pay for this ‘shipping company’ they used – legit folks would’ve jumped on that offer!)

      I think if anyone EVER adds extra money to ‘hold’ the item or whatnot you can pretty much guarantee it’s a scam.

  20. KY says:

    I’ve got a text from 214XXXXXXX to buy my item from craiglist. They said send my name and address so they mail me a certified check for the total of the item and $50 extra for myself to run around. The rest of the check was to pay his mover (its like $1600 over the price of my item) his mover would pick up the item. Then he keeps texting me all day long from another number 724XXXXXXXX to check whether I receive the check or deposited it. So many texts in a day made me suspicious!
    I received the check the other day (Wells Fargo) and my bank did not deposit it because there were so many red flags to it. The name for the phone number did not match with the name on the Mailing addresss and name. Also the name on the check was totally different.
    The buyer told me that he was at PA, then the mailing address was NJ and the address on the check was OR! Sooooo complicated!!!

    Then, I decided to cancel the whole process and texted back to the buyer that my bank refused to deposit the check and I decided not to sell the item. And I did not get a response. Only sell locally! and only get cash!

  21. Aaliyah says:

    OK I’m suppose to get paid every week for posting ads on craglist does this sounds any funny?

  22. Lethie says:

    I also get constant emails about sending a check and waiting for it to clear to have movers.come pick up the items. This happened on a van a dog and shocking collars that I had. I usually don’t respond back to those emails because it’s odd to me that they would be.looking in my area on capitalist and because mainly I’m terrified to give out my address. You never.know with people these days. Extremely odd!

  23. PJ says:

    We had a $500 priced item on CL and within minutes of posting received a text that they were interested. Then emails started. The guy claimed to be deaf and could not talk. Told him after a couple emails that we were not interested in completing the transaction with him. Next email said he was sending a check for the item by UPS and provided a tracking number. The check arrived by UPS for $1967.00. None of the addresses provided added up. I contacted my bank and they called the bank the check was drawn on and the account did not exist. In the mean time this person has sent several text messages trying to complete the transaction, which was, keep $550 for the item and give the rest to the shipper when they arrive, the email sent prior was to get a money gram and send it to a Dxxx Hxxx in Michigan. The person went by the name Kxxxx Mxxxxx, the check was out of California for a Steel Company. Suggest if anyone falls victim to this type of SCAM, your bank can contact the bank it was drawn on to see if the funds are available. I am glad that I did this prior with proceeding. Saved a bunch of heartache.

  24. DK says:

    What does anyone think of this?

    I was looking for a room to rent and I found a house for $800 per month. So I contacted him to look at the house. He told me that I could, but not the inside since he lives in SC. Then he said that once I sign the papers and pay him (details not given on how) that he would mail me the keys.

    I really think that this is a scam.
    What do you think?

  25. Ryan says:

    Im selling Bunk beds.
    Gary Jackson (obviously fake) emails me and says he is out of state and will be sending cashiers check. Once it clears he will then send movers to come pick it up. Also will be include and extra $50 for holding and deleting off craigslist immediately. I get this same type of scam email with everything i sell on Craigslist. I always delete, but i am left wondering what exactly these people are trying to do…. Almost all have asked for cell # as well.

    Obviously i’m on alert because of how weird the emails are,and I would never let anyone pick up my item unless it was paid for or unless their “cashiers check” cleared.
    So what is the scam? Are there people out there that actually let people take their items without being paid?

    • Thea Weedman says:

      Thank you for posting about this. We have just had the same experience and as a result of reading about this scam on this site, we aborted the transaction. However, this scammer does have our address and cell phone number. What can they do with this info?

  26. Mona says:

    PLEASE READ THIS! I was selling a $500 scooter on CL and received a text that buyer was in NY (I am in AZ) but wanted to mail me a cashier’s check, then when it clears, send movers to get it. The check came, cleared my bank, THEN 2 months later, the bank notified me that the check was a fraud and put my account negative. The account on the phony cashier’s check was a real account but the account owners were also victims of the scam, so when they realized the money has been taken from their account, they reported the transaction and it took 2 months to come back to me, so just because the bank calls to verify the funds are available on the account does not mean it is not fraud. IT MAKES NO SENSE for an out of state buyer to pay a mover to pick up an item and ship it to them in another state. CL is for people seeking a bargain…..paying more than the item is worth after shipping, etc. is NOT a bargain and nobody in their right mind will pay MORE than the item is worth, unless it is a scam! THESE ARE ALL SCAMS! It can take up to several months for these phony checks to come back as fraud, just because it clears does not mean it is good! Take heed, you have been warned!

  27. brian says:

    I have had nany parties offer to send checks for more than I am asking. They say to give them my info address, phone number, etc and ask that I send the items aa soon as the check arrives. I always give these jokers the address for the FBI in Washington. Never hear back from them for some reason. LOL!

  28. Tom says:

    Yup… posted 4 like new tires on Craig’s List and within the hour had a text offering to send a check and have a “mover” pick up the tires after the check cleared. Uh, who buys used tires sight unseen? Googled phone number and found it’s from an area 900 miles away – second flag.
    And also found it listed on other sites as a “scam” number. Third flag. (Don’t you just love Google?) Came to this site because I was curious how the scam worked if the check clears. Now I know – check might clear but takes longer to be found counterfeit or fraudulent. Thanks to those who set this site up and posted! Love that suggestion of giving scammers the FBI address! But, the basic rule hasn’t changed since cavemen were trading rocks – if it doesn’t make sense from the start – walk away!

  29. Glenda says:

    We recently responded to an ad on Craigslist. They were selling an ATV, locally, our area. Brute 750 4×4. But….no phone number. Contacted the phone number listed on ads posted below the original ad. Contacted that number. We were told “I’m selling this for my sister because she doesn’t have an account”. Sent me an email address…Contacted this email address and after several attempts I was informed she was using “EBAY” account. “Better secured”. The name is Connie Larkins. Come to find out, the ATV is nowhere near the state of New Mexico and I would have to give all of my personal information and they would contact me. Free shipping at their expense. Have tried reporting this to no avail. Beware, sad story given about recent divorce, clean title, etc. etc, etc.

  30. bryan says:

    some guy mailed me a check of $2400 for a part-time job posting that ive applied for..story goes that his mom is moving in on the 23rd of march(i got the check on the 20th) and he needs me to help his mom settle in and help her out 3 times a week.but before that, i have to come a day before so i can pay the moving guys and they can give me the key to the house.this guy urges me to deposit the check right away so the bank can clear it right away.hes giving me $550 up front for my service and the rest i would give to the moving guys.what really fishy though is how this guy is not specific with the job that he wants me to do,and the working hours..this guy also gave me a made-up address that doesnt show up on google map..i feel for those people who applied for jobs posted on CL ads to get by but still got ripped-off by some inconsiderate people..ill keep the check for now and try wear this scammer out..by tge way,he had an american name but has a thick accent when he called me.

    • Jude says:

      Thank you so much for this warning. My situation is exactly this this thus far and I am supposed to receive ck in advance for wk not even done. All the red flags and if course my own gut saying too good to be true. I am first time dealing with this/Craigslist..So forgive myself for getting in this deep. But..haven’t screwed up yet. So my question is right now. Prior to getting or dealing with this 99% likely scammer..what’s best way to help OTHERS AVOID THIS. AND “NAB” THIS CROOK BEFORE THEY KNOW IM ONTO THEM?/ THANKS!

    • Lory says:

      Never apply for a job if you don’t see a real address. I’m still worried that scammers have my resume and my address. They haven’t sent any checks, by the way.

  31. Kevin says:

    I am selling stuff on CL and within 15 minutes of posting it, I got a text from a guy in Washington, I live in Missouri. I had the item posted for local people. He sent me a check by USPS priority. The return address was from Seattle and the check was supposedly from a company around Dallas. He bought my item for $900, but made the check out for $2300, here again the other $1400 is for the movers coming to pick it up. I am going to call the accounting department of the company that supposedly made out the check and see what happens. Also may go to their bank and see what happens. I will probably wind up tearing the check up. Seller Beware!

    • Cam says:

      You’re screwed, it’s a counterfeit check. They bounce a couple months down the road. If you deposited it or sent any money it’s game over.
      Really, this page is just proof that you people need to use common sense. Why would anyone from out of state be prowling your local craigslist for a 900 dollar item that they’d spend 2300 on? Cmon.
      They play off the absolute stupidity of people.

  32. Jane says:

    Post an item on CL. Its my first time to sell something. Been buying stuff locally and meet the person, pay cash. So i thought why not sell my stuff that i dont really use anymore and probably someone is looking/in need of it. The next day i posted it, got several text messages stating they are interested and one guy said he will give it to his daughter who is in Texas as a gift (im in chicago). He asked more question about the item and texted me this “It is okay by me, I will be paying you through paypal and shipment will be handled through my personal UPS account”. So i told my husband right away that i have a potential buyer. So i asked him his location, probably could set a meet up instead. He just replied me that he is sending it to Texas. I felt something is not right here, followed my instinct and did my research. His area code is in California. Then i sent him a message “Im a first time seller in CL, and prefer to get paid in cash upon collection. I have other people inquiring about it too and instructed them the same. For this item has sentimental value and i would like to meet the next person who i will pass it on :-)”, never got a response from him. Hahaha! Good thing i followed my instinct!

  33. Ace says:

    I’ve sold an HDTV, Car and bedroom set on Craigslist without any issues.
    It is a great place to sell your items or even your services.
    But common sense is a must and when selling keep it simple cash only! NO EXCEPTIONS meet during the day in a populated area “Bring a friend with you”. And never ever hand goods over until cash payment is in hand and verified not counterfeit.

    It’s unfortunate that people scam but it’s also unfortunate that people who lack common sense don’t know they lack it.

  34. Kelley says:

    I have one fishing for me. Little do they know I have turned the tables. I string them along . These people are not going to ever stop until it’s been a con on them. Then they will not know if it’s for real or not

  35. Beth says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am selling a bike for $200. I received a text from Michigan (810-XXX-XXXX) and I am in Georgia. This person claimed to want to buy my bike and pay for shipping. The offer was 200 for the bike an extra $100 for my time and 1200 for shipping. Its the same certified check offer that will be overnighted via USPS. I knew right away this was a scam. Its sad that these people have nothing better to do than to go around trying to steal money instead of getting a real job.

  36. Don says:

    Even supposed “local” buyers can also be a long distant scam in disguise. I get a lot of people who answer my ads for items for sale with local info like next town over ans even in your own town info claiming that they are interested in your item. One way that I separate these clowns from the real deal is to ask for their phone number so that I can call them with location and dicker the price. I never give out my address or phone number until they do. I have had a lot of “prospective” buyers tell me that they found another item instead (usually within minutes of me asking for their number) which generally let’s me know that the possibility that it’s a scammer is high.

  37. Chaz says:

    Is this a scam.?
    Walmart mystery shopper.
    Filled out short general application. Said I was interested. Received text saying congrats.sending first assignment. FedEx overnight letter w/ $1500 cashiers check. With instruction to deposit into MY CHECKING ACCT(1st flag). Will be available in 24 hrs. Then purchase 3money cards(ONEVANILLA) at Total cash amount of $1200. Take pics front N back with camera phone, don’t activate or register them and email pics to a “get paid email address. I keep$300 balance. I texted back some questions about form letter, poor copy of retailer logos (2nd &3rd flag),why I had 6stores I could go to that sold product, NOT jus Walmart, why? Text responded was “no questions jus deposit check!” I’m not a sensitive person or anything, but that text rubbed me the wrong way. I jus said answer my questions, they can’t be the 1st you heard of them! Haven’t heard from them since. Keeping cashiers check as souvenir and sharing story w/ kids and relative. Shame, I really needed that money.

  38. Ausie says:

    Concession Trailer scams are big all over the country. 2-3 guys post over and over. Price is usually in the 2000-2500 range but they file exceptions. Look for the same photos in all ads. DO ONT SEND MONEY! The scammers are there but the trailer does not exist. Typical story of a military transfer, divorce, moving, etc. If they have a phone nuber to text only, it is a scam.

  39. Ari says:

    If your buying a car (like me) you’ll come across a lot of scammers. They will post very up kept vehicles like 2006 Volkswagen Jetta with great mileage and a whole bunch of awesome addons and the price will be like 1500-2000. I’ve revived about 6 different responses today where the scammer says they want me to give them my info and money threw eBay protection network so that we are both insured. They also insist that you’ll get 7 days to test drive the car and you’ll revive it by a truck. Not to mention they say that your deposit won’t be taken by them unless you like the car. It’s all bullshit

  40. Ashton says:

    Yea I was scammed yesterday this person was faking to be the owner of the property of a home In napa . Turns out it isn’t him he stold the home owners identity said they are dr . Blah blah got me good I belived them lost all my money I should of know it was to good to be true. My first time trying to looks for apartments or a home to live in of my own and this happens. Makes me sick.

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