It’s funny how creative people get on Craigslist and other Free Classifieds.
The scariest thing is that I’ll bet their “creativity” is actually working on a few people.
I’ve written similar posts about Craigslist scams before, but the one I was the target for recently was a bit more unique.
I recently posted an ad on Craigslist for a 2008 Honda Civic. Basically I’m just testing the market on a car I’m leasing for business, but I think it’s an interesting case study too.
Here are a few of the emails I’ve received:
First Indicator of a Craigslist Scam:
The vagueness of the question. “Is this posting…”
Tip: If someone sends you an email that doesn’t say EXACTLY what the product is, it’s probably a scam.
Second Indicator of a Craigslist Scam:
The follow-up email they sent:
What made this scam attempt a bit unique was that they mentioned the brand of the car I am attempting to sell.
Most follow-up emails will still be vague and un-targeted.
Third Indicator of a Craigslist Scam
Offering MORE than the asking price. Maybe this has really happened for some, but I’ve been selling and buying things on Craigslist for 4 years now and have NEVER seen this happen.
The people who use Craigslist legally are generally looking for good deals.
Forth Indicator of a Craigslist Scam
Shipping, Out of Country Transaction, Asking for PayPal email ID, Shipping Companies, etc.
Fifth Indicator of a Craigslist Scam
I mean, it’s not a requirement to spell or write correctly to sell things online, but things like “Hoping to read back from you soonest…” is pretty obvious.
Again, the thing I thought to be creative on this one was that they actually did mention the brand of the product when they emailed back.
Got this warning on another Free Classified website that applies to Craigslist too.
[Website name] is meant to be a local service for those in Utah and the immediately surrounding areas. However, individuals outside of the country will frequently contact sellers or post their own fraudulent ads. Do not be misled! These are not honest people with exceptional deals, but criminals trying to take your money. Watch for the following signs:1. Buyer explains that they are currently out of the county.
2. Buyer offers to pay with a money order or cashiers check for significantly more than the asked for price.
3. Buyer explains that a third party or service will pick up or deliver the item.
4. Email inquiry is poorly written, generic, or strange sounding.
5. Offer is simply too good to be true.
Have you received emails like these when selling products on Craigslist?
If you’d like help listing items on Craigslist in a professional way, contact us today. (include “CL Listing Help” in the message for a special MM discount)
I just received another email this morning, another perfect example of an attempted Craigslist Scam.
Notice how they follow they same warnings we’ve talked about:
- “…item posted…” (not specific about WHAT the product is)
- “…ready to pay for it immediately without any delay…” (this doesn’t happen very often, if at all, on Craigslist)
- “…tell me what price exactly will be your best asking price…will wait to read from you.” (grammar and unclear – if they had actually looked at the product, they would KNOW the asking price)
Hope these updates help you in your quest to make money via Craigslist: