As an avid user of Craigslist I feel it is my duty to post a quick blurb about all the scams I have run into and how I have thus far avoided falling for them.  It is no secret that Craigslist is full of scammers and sheisters but how can you weed them out and not fall for their tricks? The answer is three part:

  1. If it is too good to be true, it usually is
  2. Check the Email Address
  3. Google it

It’s that simple. Lets look at some examples.

Recently I was looking for a new vehicle on Craigslist and I saw a Jeep that was posted and had an amazing price (too good to be true).  Ignoring rule #1, I emailed the seller, and engaged in an amusing conversation.  Here is the exact email I received:

Hello Chris,
The 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited is still available for the price listed ($9500). No trades at this time!!!
My name is Jose Lopez and I thank you for the interest in my car. Before we go any further I must inform you of my present situation. Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Yellowknife, Canada, as I just got a great job at Nuna Logistics, the company in charge with the ice road to the diamond mines in north. That is also the reason for selling. The only way we can complete this deal is online. I already left the car within the custody of a shipping company which will handle the delivery. I can proof that as soon as I’ll get an online tracking number from them.
And as a safety way to do this, I suggest we use eBay. I will list my car on their website with a buy it now offer for you. You may then purchase it and take advantage of their vehicle purchase protection program which will assure you that you’ll get what you’ll pay for. Rest assure that my car is in perfect working condition with outstanding autocheck score.If you are really interested in it let me know and we will find a way to finish this asap.
Thanks for understanding.
Jose A Lopez

Needless to say, I ended communications with this guy immediately.  Another neat little trick he had was to mask his email address.  He used an email address that made it appear that he worked for a school however when I hit reply it changed his email to something different.  You will also find that if you do a Google search for “ Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Yellowknife, Canada, as I just got a great job at Nuna Logistics, the company in charge with the ice road to the diamond mines in north.” it pulls up multiple results showing that this is a scam.

Now I am also trying to sell some wheels on Craigslist and again I have run into a scammer.  Here is the email I received this time around:

Well, i’m okay with the condition and price also ready for purchase. I could make payment via my business or personal check which could be cashed instantly or deposited for clearance so you can be rest assured all is okay before the pick up.

I’ll be responsible for the pick-up and the movers fee will be included in your payment to avoid delay, cost of postage and to enable them schedule an appropriate time for the pick-up at your location as i have other properties to be moved.

Would love to view it but i’m afraid that might not be possible due to my work frame. Do send me more pictures of it. If you’re okay with the plans do write back to me with your full name and address including your cell and land number so i can make out payment.

Hoping to read from you!
Thanks.

Once again, if you Google portions of this email it pulls up results indicating this is a scam.  I am not sure how it works, as I would be selling an item and would not release it until the funds actually showed up, but regardless it is a scam.

So to avoid falling for these you should ask yourself is it too good to be true?  And if it seems legitimate hit reply and see if the email address changes.  If you are still in question, Google both the email address and various parts of the email.  This should pull up results if it is a scammer that has been around for awhile.  And finally, all Craigslist dealings should be done in person and with cold hard cash or at a bank.  This will reduce the likelihood of getting conned.

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