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article imageBeware of scammers running rampant on Craigslist

By Micki Hogan     Apr 5, 2013 in Business
A site created originally for use by the general public has become the hub of scams and Internet fraud. By posting an ad or responding to one, chances are you are likely to become a target for fraud.
Most likely, we all have used the international online site at one point in our lives. Craigslist, a international online site created by Craig Newmark in 1995 was designed to be a free classified website. It began in the local San Francisco area as a community posting page that quickly became an international web hot spot. The online classified page allows anyone to post classified ads in many categories from housing to employment. There are community pages and a pet section used often as well. The site even offers a free section and a section to be used as a forum.
In general most posters do try their best to abide by Craigslist's terms of use. But it appears that scams and fraudulent posters have begun to over run the legitimate posters. Often posts will appear with no true intention of the post. Offers of work or housing with no contact information provided is often a poster attempting to obtaining your email address. By not leaving contact information a person wishing to respond to the ad must contact the poster by sending an email. Once the email is sent the fraudulent poster then begins to spam your email inbox. If you respond with a telephone number to be reached at rest assured you will begin to receive text offers and messages of winning lotteries or getting an inheritance from a long lost uncle.
Another way these scammers are obtaining our information is by responding to the ads we post on the classified website. Anytime one posts an ad to sell an item or offer employment you are putting yourself at risk of an onslaught of scams contacting you with fake offers and attempts to gather more personal information. Simply adding your phone number to an ad allows the daily text and phone calls of fraudulent offers to begin. Receiving texts, emails, and phone calls all hours of the day can be quite frustrating to a legitimate employer looking to hire a legitimate employee.
There has always been controversy about the site as many posters have used the site for criminal activity. Most recently, Richard Beasly was sentenced to death for the killing of three men he and minor lured to Ohio in the hopes of employment. Once the men were there Beasly robbed and killed them. His crimes went undetected until Scott Davis escaped after Beasley shot him in the arm.
Simply put, check the source. If you are looking to find employment or even a new pet on Craigslist, do your research. Investigate the place you are wanting to apply at. Enter any phone numbers given or received into your search bar. Often these scams have contacted countless people and chances are one of them has researched the fraud before you. Trust your instincts, if it sounds to good to be true, chances are it is just that. To good to be true. Be safe, if you plan to meet with someone from any online site bring a friend and meet in a very public place.
Here is a great website that explains in detail some of the most common scams on Craigslist. It is always a good idea to be over cautious and aware of scams that seem to plague a once very useful website.
More about Scam, Craigslist, Scammers, Fraud, Fraud ring
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