Wondering how to report a scam on Craigslist? We can help! Whether you’re new to Craigslist or a long-time fan, Craigslist is the online classified website that never goes out of style. You can buy a boat, find a date, connect with a missed connection, look for a rental, or (unfortunately) get scammed! If you want the benefits of Craigslist, without the risks, these are the scams you should watch out for and how to report a scam on Craigslist!
What is Craigslist?
Craigslist made the classified section cool again when it first started as a San Francisco-based email list in 1995, led by Craig Newmark. Fast forward and what started as an email list between friends has grown to a company that is worth about $3 billion and is still owned and run by long-term CEO, Jim Buckmaster. Doing Craigslist’s due diligence they attempt to warn users to avoid scams, but many don’t realize they’ve been scammed until it’s too late.
8 Common Craigslist Scams to Look Out for Include…
- Rental & Housing Scams: Scammers list fake house and apartment listings on Craigslist, hoping that a victim will fall for it. The scammer then takes their first month’s rent, in exchange for nothing in return.
- Dating Scams: Scammers pretend to be someone looking for a date, only to trick you into catching feelings and giving them a bunch of money.
- Identity Theft Scams: Scammers ask for victims’ personal information and use it to pretend to be them, and then they drain their bank accounts.
- Overpayment Scams: Scammers pay their victims for their products in fake checks, then state that they “accidentally overplayed you.” You cash in the check and give them their extra money back, then the bank calls claiming that the check is fake. You are now responsible for paying all that money back.
- Employment Scams: Scammers pretend to have job listings, and victims apply to them not knowing that its a scam. During the interview process, scammers collect their personal and financial information so that they can steal their identities and money.
- Ticket or Gift Card Scams: Scammers sell fake tickets or gift cards in exchange for their victims’ money. Scammers will also ask you to pay for items in gift cards since this method of payment is untraceable and makes it difficult for victims to get their money back.
- PayPal Scams: Scammers ask for you to pay for your items using PayPal, or they request to use PayPal to purchase your items. Once the money is transferred over, it’s hard to get it back but not impossible.
- … and more! If that list seems intimidating, remember that many people use the classified site without incident. However, if you suspect that you’ve been scammed (or just want to be prepared), do the following!
How to Report a Scam on Craigslist
1. Go to the Scam Reporting Section of Craigslist:
On the homepage of Craigslist and, on the left-hand side, select the tab labeled “Avoid Scams and Fraud”: Contact Craigslist
2. Next, Determine the Type of Scam:
3. Flagging a post:
Go to the specific post that is fraudulent or breaks the TOU. The quickest way to have a post removed is by flagging it. If a post receives enough ‘flags’, it will be automatically removed and/or removed by CL staff or their automated system.
4. What to Do Next:
5. Take Further Action: Some scams aren’t immediately visible when you first view a post or use Craigslist, yet may become obvious during follow up messages with the scammer. For example, the scammer may write to you and ask for your Social Security Number or other private information, under the guise of you applying for a rental property or a job, etc. If you aren’t sure what type of scam you encountered, go to the “Help” section, found here.
Whether you’ve been the recipient of harassing or phishing emails/spam, over-posts, fraudulent posts, prohibited posts, suspicious emails, calls or emails asking for a code, or been flagged/or accidentally flagging a post incorrectly, that link will allow you to take additional steps. The help section will give you the ability to report any spam, scams, or personal harassment including posts showing your name, phone number, address, photograph, or business information without your consent.
If you have lost money, been put in danger, or don’t feel that Craigslist took the action that you wanted, contact your local law enforcement and review Craigslist’s statement on pursuing a subpoena or reporting copyright violations.
If you were scammed out of money and want to find out more about the scammers or spammers you encountered, go to Social Catfish and search for any details you uncovered… by profile photo, phone number, username, email address, or more!
Social Catfish is your secret weapon at catching fraudulent scammers and stopping them in the tracks. It is different than a standard search, as it connects to multiple searches across the country and looks at public databases. Don’t be scammed, when you can find out the truth about Romance Scammers and Catfish using Social Catfish!