Classified ads scams

It is very easy, fast and even free to submit classified ads online. Anyone can access your ad which is an advantage for sales but also an opportunity for scammers.

In classified ads scams, the goal of scammers is to get money from you. For this, they reply to classified ads by pretending to be buyers, or they publish their own classifieds as sellers.

The scammer is a buyer

classified ads scams

We can note two major techniques.

  1. The buyer is immediately ready to send you the amount of money corresponding to the price you ask for the good you sell and awaits your approval. If you are OK, he will tell you that due to administrative difficulties, it is first necessary that you pay extra expenses (e.g. customs). But this cost will be reimbursed to you by adding it to the initial cost of the good. He will give you a fake address for the payment of these fees in order to receive the money. You’ll have more news about your buyer.
  2. The buyer actually sends you a personal check (or another evidence of payment) for the purchase of the good you sell on a classified ads website. But surprisingly, the amount is not correct. It is higher than the agreed selling price. The buyer admits the mistake and proposes that you put this personal check in your bank anyway and send another personal check to him corresponding to the difference. (e.g. : You received a personal check of $300 whereas the selling price was $200. So the scammer proposes to send back a check of $100), If you accept, you will find out that the buyer’s check was bounced and that you have just lost the amount of the difference sent to the scammer.

In all cases, the buyer will be ready to buy the goods from the classified ads without having seen them. This is understandable for a small object but difficult to admit for a vehicle for instance

The scammer is a seller

Besides the simple scam of cashing your payment and never delivering the goods, scammers may also ask you to pay administrative fees like in the case where the scammer is a buyer. But now, the costs (Customs, for example) are on the buyer !

When you want to buy or sell on a classified ads website, beware when your contact is abroad. Scammers are usually located in foreign countries. If you have been scammed by someone located abroad, lawsuits will be very difficult to achieve.

During classified ads scams, it is not uncommon that the buyer or the seller sends you a scan of an official document (e.g. passport) to gain your trust. It is surely not his ID but most likely the one of someone previously scammed !

2 thoughts on “Classified ads scams”

  1. Scam Attempt on Craig list

    good evening
    After review, I agree to buy it as is. I inform you that I am from New york City, however I’m traveling (outside USA). I would like to proceed with the sale by a reservation of the good since I will have little time on my return to take care of it because of my job. In this case I intend to send you all the funds at first by a payment by post and once you have the money, we will set a date to arrange an appointment at your home to pick up the item. So if you agree on this way of proceeding, please provide the following information so that I can send you the funds.
    First names:
    Address :
    Firm price:
    Fixed and mobile tel number:

    Upon receipt of this information I will do the necessary at the post office
    Looking forward to reading from you.

  2. Hello
    I also received an email via Nelson Anderson, following the sale of an air conditioner on craiglist. I immediately feel a scam but I wanteed to know more …

    Oct 19, 2018 at 21:29, Nelson Anderson wrote:
    I am currently traveling, if this method of payment is OK, give me your coordinates for the deposit of the check
    Posted: Thursday 18 October 2018 23:33:44
    To: Nelson Anderson
    You are close to me, where exactly ??
    sent from my Iphone

    On 18 Oct. 2018 at 22:00, Nathalie Bonchemin wrote:
    I received your message and confirm the purchase. I will pay you before to come and pick up the good at your home, I want the good to be reserved for me. For the payment, I chose to pqy you with opt a certified check which is a very reliable way that I use for security reasons. if you agree then please send me your postal coordinates for sending the check:
    Last name and first name:
    Postal address :
    Global price:
    Phone number:
    NB: once you have cashed the check, I will send someone to pick up the item at your home.

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