Craigslist Scam Alert

From the Giles County Sheriff’s Office: We urge our citizens to beware of a popular Craigslist scam. Criminals are posting vehicle ads on Craigslist that lure in victims with low prices in an effort to steal their credit card information.

Here’s how it works:

Ads for vehicles are posted claiming that the seller will sell below what would be considered market value. The potential victim replies to the ad and is contacted back by the criminal who posted it. The criminal will give reasoning as to why the vehicle is so cheap, such as the vehicle belonging to a deceased child. They will go on to say that it is unbearable to look at the car anymore and they want it gone fast. The buyer will be told that they need to email their name, phone number, and address so that Ebay’s buyer protection program can contact them to have the vehicle shipped. The criminal will urge that this step is to protect both parties.

Ebay warns that if a Craigslist advertiser asks a customer to use their buyer protection program for a vehicle not listed on Ebay, then it is a scam. Best practice for buying items on Craigslist is to personally meet the seller and inspect the merchandise. In instances like the one described above, the supposed “seller” never ships the vehicle and gains access to financial information through the fake return call from Ebay.

If you have questions about the authenticity of a purchase it is always best to not follow through with it. Consumers can also usually flag scams through online sales/auction pages.