There are wonderful treasures to be found on Craigslist, and if you have stuff you don’t need, you can make good money selling it there. Unfortunately, though, Craigslist is riddled with scammers. Keep your money safe by following these seven tips when using the popular online
Be familiar with Craigslist
Lots of Craigslist scams can be avoided by knowing some basic information about the site:
- The Craigslist URL is http://www.craigslist.org. Scammers often create lookalike sites to lure buyers into paying for items that don’t exist. Always confirm the URL before finalizing a purchase.
- Craigslist does not back any transaction on its site. If you’re offered purchase protection at a price, you’re looking at a scam.
It’s always safest to finalize a transaction in person. Dealing with a local also lessens the chance of there being a language barrier that obscures the details of a deal.
Examine the product before finalizing a sale
Don’t rely on pictures alone when buying something on Craigslist. Ask to look at the item in person.
Don’t accept or send a cashier’s check, certified check or money order as payment
It’s best to pay for online items that are purchased from a distant and unknown seller using a credit card. This way, you can always contest the charges if the sale goes south. If you pay with a cashier’s check, certified check or money order, there’s no way to reclaim your funds should the need arise.
Use cash — safely
If you’re dealing with a local, the most secure way to pay or collect funds for a Craigslist transaction is with cash. To keep it even more secure, you can make the exchange in a safe place like your local police station or even at Acclaim FCU. Bring along a counterfeit detection pen to be certain you’re not getting scammed with bogus bills.
Don’t share your personal information
There’s no reason a buyer or seller needs to know your checking account number, your date of birth or the name of the high school you attended. If a contact is asking too many personal questions, back out of the deal.