In this day and age, it’s a rarity to find someone paying full price or settling for the first offer they find. Gone are the days where we would hit up our local mall, or visit a brick and mortar business. But if and when we do, it’s only to compare prices or offers on the internet, more specifically on Craigslist!
For most of us, we’re able to say that snatching or offering a deal on Craigslist is worth the work, but for others they may ask how safe is Craigslist? Craigslist can be as safe as you make it to be. How do you do that you ask? Here’s a few red flags you should watch out for while surfing the interwebs:
1) Hunting for Phone Numbers
The internet is a free-for-all of information, which can also include your personal information. Scammers are getting pretty sneaky and are collecting personal phone numbers through Craigslist Ads. Case in point, when you’re placing an ad or responding to an ad, avoid using your personal phone number to communicate with buyers or sellers. Otherwise you’re asking to be bombarded by a number of unwanted spam and scam calls.
2) Rackin’ Up Unknown Charges
Don’t believe everything you hear. Scammers are now responding to ads but tricking sellers into thinking they are busy at work and can’t talk until later. Instead of leaving you with a contact number, they request you enter your phone number into a website that “stores information” for them. Don’t fall for it! Aside from never hearing from the “interested buyer” ever again, you’ll start seeing unknown charges per month on your phone or credit card bills. Unfortunately, the only way out of this vicious cycle is to cancel your card.
Similar to this, is the call back number they give you that appears to be an answering service. Innocent as it may sound, the number is actually a pay-per call number, which won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but can still charge you up to $25-$30 per call before you even realize what you’re calling.
3) Too Good to be True
If it sounds, looks, or feels like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Craigslist has been a source for jobs for quite some time now, and scammers are taking advantage of the mass amounts of people who rely on the service to find their ideal job. The most obvious red flag for scams like these is an easy job that compensates really well. For those who unfortunately fall for this, they can become victims of fake background check services, credit report sites stealing personal information, reimbursement when signing-up for “free” offers, fee-based training, or false focus group and survey sites.
So the next time you’re planning on posting an ad, accepting a job offer, or finding a great deal on Craigslist, protect your personal information and do your due diligence to understand if you’re dealing with a genuine person or someone who just wants to add you to their list of scam victims.