If you’re one of the millions of people that use online classifieds such as Craigslist or LetGo daily, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for potential scammers. These individuals use a variety of different schemes to trick buyers out of their hard earned money. Buyers aren’t the only ones that need to be wary however. Sellers also risk receiving fake payment methods for their listed goods. While scammers are certainly an issue, there are some things you can do to avoid the more prevalent Craigslist and LetGo scams out there.
How To Avoid Being Scammed On LetGo or Craigslist
Make Sure The Person Is Real
One of the most popular LetGo app scams out there involves impersonation. In most cases, the scammer will impersonate a trustworthy individual who people can also feel sympathetic towards. Why would a scammer go through all this trouble and lie about their personal information? Well for one, it’s difficult to get someone to send you money if they don’t trust you. Additionally, if the person feels sorry for you, they may be more likely to go through with your request.
So given this, how can we separate the scammers from legitimate buyers and sellers? The best way would be to verify the individual’s identity. An easy way to do this is with an online person search service. Simply compile a report and use that information to cross reference with the individual’s LetGo profile. If the information matches up then you’re good to go.
Be Careful Meeting A Buyer or Seller In-Person
Whether you are buying or selling a product, be wary of meeting someone face-to-face. You don’t truly know who this person is and if they may possibly have a criminal record. If you are willing to risk your safety and meet in person, bring a friend. This will not only help you feel safer, but will help you avoid being ripped off. If you can’t bring a friend, make sure to use your cell phone to tell a friend or family member about the exchange and when and where it is.
Be Careful Of Highly Popular Items That Are Majorly Discounted
A tell sign that someone selling on LetGo or Craigslist is a scam is the deal seems too good to be true. For example, a great deal on a new and never used iPhone shouldn’t be 50% off. That’s a sign that the seller is trying to deceive potential buyers. Likely, the iPhone has been used before and is damaged in some way, or possibly contains malware for hacking purposes.
Keep An Eye Out For Red Flags
Aside from the above, there are many other Craigslist and LetGo scams to watch out for. For example, bait-and-switch apartment schemes, car scams, and fake escrow services, just to name a few. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-identify red flags associated with these scams.
If you come across a buyer who is only willing to pay via check, money order, or a money transfer service (such as Western Union) be wary. Checks and money orders can be faked. And while Western Union is a legitimate business, many scammers use this service to commit fraud. This is because money wired through Western Union is almost impossible to track once it has been removed from the account.
Vagueness about the item being bought or sold, along with poor grammar and misspellings, is another red flag of a potential scam. In this case, the email or message will never refer to the item by its actual name. That is because the scammer is mass-sending these “cookie-cutter” messages to as many people as possible, hoping that a few of them fall victim to the trap. Learn more about how to tell if someone is scamming you.
Honestly, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to be cautious. Use common sense when dealing with an offer or listing that seems too good to be true, because more often than not, it is.
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