Every day, newspaper headlines highlight stories of individuals who become a victim of a Craigslist scam. Thousands of Americans fall victim to the scams on Craigslist every year. The only way to prevent becoming a victim of a scam is to become educated on the scams that are out there. With dozens of different scams out there such as the money wiring scam, selling Craigslist cars should be done with caution. While posting a vehicle on Craigslist, there is a good chance that you will receive an e-mail from someone trying to take your money. The Craigslist used cars section provides leads for scammers to pursue.
So you have a vehicle for sale on Craigslist and are not having much luck. All of the sudden, you receive an e-mail from a buyer who is interested in purchasing your vehicle. The buyer is ready to send the money without even examining the vehicle. You think to yourself “Why would this person want to send me money without even seeing the vehicle?” Without giving it much thought you gladly accept the offer. What makes the offer even better is that the buyer is willing to pay above and beyond the asking price so that you can ship the vehicle to wherever they are at. They explain that they will send you a check in the mail for the full amount plus a few hundred dollars for shipping. You begin to think that this offer is too good to be true, but what do you have to lose? The seller is going to send you a check that you can cash.
There is however one catch to this transaction. Once you have cash the check, the buyer instructs you to wire money to the shipping company so that a vehicle can be picked up. You gladly send the shipping company $1000 out of the check that you just cashed. A week goes by in your bank calls you asking for the money back because the check that you cash was in fact fraudulent. Now you must pay back the full amount of the check that you cashed. In the end, you are out the money that you wired to the alleged buyer.
This scam happens every day on Craigslist and thousands of people lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars each day. The scammers who are running this operation are usually located in another country such as South Africa, where they can hide behind the computer with little to no worry about being questioned by authority.
When it comes to selling Craigslist cars, never accept a check that is sent to you in the mail. It would be wise to not accept any check at all for a vehicle. Any vehicle sold should be done on a cash only basis. Selling your vehicle on Craigslist used cars can literally save you hundreds of dollars in advertising costs, but could cost you thousands if you the become a victim of a scam. To be on the safe side, do not deal with buyers who would like you to ship your vehicle.