Craigslist SCAM – Seller beware

While cleaning up my house and preparing to down-size, I decided to sell a few items on Craigslist. I’ve done this many time before and have found Craigslist to be a very helpful forum to sell items quickly.  Within hours of my post today I started receiving multiple text messages asking me to email them immediately if the item was still for sale. Craigslist hides your email for your protection and I knew something was up.

I played along and decided to text back that the item was still available and asked for an appointment. Then they responded with a story about being out of town, unable to pay cash, and needing to send a mover to pick the item up. They offered to pay using PayPal instead.

This approach is a way to con you out of your merchandise with very little way to fight back. The intent here is to lure you into a sense that everything is fine, you’re doing them a favor and still getting paid. Why not right? Everyone’s heard of PayPal by now, most people have used it.

PayPal offers what’s called a “chargeback”. When a customer files a chargeback with their credit card issuer, it means that they’re disputing a charge and asking the card issuer for a refund. Guess what happens next? They get their money back, you are out your merchandise, and now you have to fight to get either returned to you. Read more about PayPal’s chargeback policies here.

What’s the moral of the story you ask? CASH ONLY upon pick-up, no exceptions.

Craigslist Safe Zone

For an added level of security, Find a safe location to conduct your CraigsList transaction. Check with your local police department to see if they have one set-up in your town or check out SafeDealZone to find a location nearest to you. Good luck & happy selling!

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