Avoiding scams on Craig’s List

Saige Heyer

Craigslist has become quite popular throughout the years, which gives scammers plenty of chances to prey on unsuspecting customers. Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to avoid getting scammed.

When trying to avoid a scam, deal locally with people you can meet in person. This rule especially applies to renting housing or purchasing goods because you don’t want to do this without seeing the seller first. If the individual or organization refuses to meet face to face, they are probably a scammer.

One of the main reasons to avoid a scam is to avoid identity theft or losing money. Because of this, you should never wire funds using Western Union, MoneyGram or other similar services. Fake cashier’s checks and money orders are common and banks will hold a person responsible once they’ve discovered a fake payment.

Never give out your financial information or submit to a credit or background check. Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services. Only a scammer will “guarantee” your transaction. Craigslist is not involved in any transaction.

If you believe you have been scammed, a few places you can report it are the Internet Fraud Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission.

Internet Fraud Complaint Center


In preparing to file a claim here, please have the following information available:

• Name

• Mailing address

• Telephone number

• Name, address, phone number and web address — if available — of the individual or organization you believe scammed you

• Specific details regarding the scam transaction

• Any other relevant information you think will support your claim

Federal Trade Commission

Online: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov

Phone: 877-382-4357