Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Craigslist San Diego Frame Purchase Scam

Technically this scam doesn't revolve solely around picture frames but a recent victim reported that he was a victim of the scam and he was selling his old antique picture frame. This scam is for all purposes a "bait and switch" scam that can happen anywhere but the scammers seem to be targeting users of Craigslist that live in San Diego or at least advertising on San Diego Craigslist.

They will normally target victims who are trying to sell something that is hard to sell and have been listed on Craigslist for some time. This means that the seller is getting desperate and is more likely to follow through with the scammers instructions. The price or the type of product being sold doesn't matter. What matters is the transactions that the seller is willing to do.

The scammer will almost always pose as a person that is not in town and will be in town for a short while sometime in the future. Because of their time constraints they have to complete the transaction before they reach town. More than likely, they will be from Africa. Sometimes the scammer will call you but they will almost always contact your through email to show their "interest".

They will feed you a story and try to construct their way to make you believe them and their "unique" situation. The item, the delivery details etc aren't important. What is important is that the scammer will always insist that they need to pay by credit card, normally Visa or MasterCard.

The card details that they offer the victim will be real. The money will be transferred and it will show in your account. The glitch will be that the scammer will say that they have unfortunately given you too much money by mistake and ask that you wire the money back to them. They will insist that you use Western Union. Western Union is great for scammers because once the money is picked up from the other end it is impossible for the money to be traced and recovered.

The victim will normally not see any problem with this as they already have the money in their account. Correcting the mistake won't seem to pose any issues so most victims will happily comply. The only issue is that this is where the scam happens. After the scammer has received his "extra money" from you, he will perform a "Charge-back" from his credit card. Most charge-backs are successful and if you haven't taken the money out from your account, most western banks will comply and deduct the money out of you account.

Ultimately, the scammer will get his money back plus the extra that you have sent to him over Western Union. Your item will most probably be lost because of the bogus shipping address that was provided. This scam really screws with legitimate sellers so those in the San Diego area should be particularly careful of whats going on. Some tell-tale signs will be the buyer coming from Africa, wanting to buy an item unseen and also insisting on using credit cards only.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Craigslist San Diego Check Scam

A new scam has cropped up and it involves the use of counterfeit checks and it preys on the greed of people who suddenly see their names on a check with a nice sum of money. The problem is that it generally preys on people who have made listing on Craigslist especially in the San Diego area where they seem to have taken root and are starting to search the market for new victims.

Here is how it works. The victim with suddenly get a check in the mail for them with amounts that range from $2000-$5000. The check will come accompanied with some typed instructions that will ask the victim to deposit the money in his/her account then send over a large percentage of it to another account. The victim is asked to keep the rest for themselves as payment for the service.

For the average San Diego Craigslist users this sounds almost too good to be true. They get to keep a small percentage of money for very little work indeed. It is relatively safe since you'll have to deposit the money into your account first before you send anything off.

This is what most people think however the reality is somewhat different. The scammers know there is something called a "float" and a "ledger balance". When you deposit the check, the bank will show your new balance as a "ledger balance" and doesn't actually reflect the true amount of money that you can access. The check would still be clearing and unfortunately for the victims, it will never clear since the checks are always fake.

The problem is that many users don't know that the balance that is shown by the bank isn't real until the check clears. They will mistakenly think that the check has already been cleared and wire the money over to the indicated account. Wiring money over is instant and non-reversible. It'll only be a few days later that the bank will call the victim to say that the check has bounced and that they have possibly been scammed.

It is our advice that San Diego readers of Craigslist be particularly careful when they receive a weird check from someone they don't know. It is much better to just throw away the check and pretend that it didn't happen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The San Diego Employment Scam

Scam artists are at it again in San Diego. The latest wave of scams are what we consider an "advance payment scam". It basically is a situation were the victim is made to think that in order to get something done, that he/she has to make some sort of advanced payment to get the wheels going.

Most often the scammer would be very smart to choose a situation where the victim is desperate or highly motivated to get the goods/services done. The latest one is a fake employment opportunity with good rewards for an easy job description. In today's economic climate where there are so many people looking for jobs or even second jobs, the scammer is sure that the victim is highly motivated and thus much more likely to be fall for the trickery.

It all start with an innocent listing of a jobs offer on the San Diego Craigslist "Jobs" section. The scammer is normally smart to make the listing sound better than others however not so good that victims would immediately know something is wrong. It will be something along the lines of $800 per week for "document processing" or "data entry". When the victim calls, it is more than likely that there will be a short interview process that will be conducted over the phone. A few days later the scammer will call the victim and tell him/her that their job application has been approved and they can start the job soon. There is however a catch, that a fee for processing, advance for training etc will need to be paid before the victim can come in. The fee is normally around the $700-$1000 range. If the victim pays this amount they can be sure that they will never see the money again and they won't have a job waiting for them.

Avoiding this San Diego Craigslist scam is relatively easy. There is almost no job in existence that requires the employee to pay for some sort of processing or advanced training fee. If they find that it could potentially be happening to them, they should take the step to inform the police. You'd find that most authorities are happy to take it from there to build their case.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Craigslist San Diego Fake Money Scam

Scammers are starting to prey on Craigslist users in San Diego again with the latest scam that involves fake money. This isn't anything new but it is still very damaging to the victims and they might even be caught for trying to use the fake money which they don't know about.

This is a classic deception scam with the aim to exchange fake money with items that can then easily be resold to regain the value of the bought item. The scammers will usually choose items like electronics that can be liquidated fast and also retain its value well in the short-term.

The scammer will just browse through his edition of the San Deigo Craigslist and spot highly saught after items, most would be Iphones, Ipads etc which they know they can re-sell on very quickly. The price doesn't matter because obviously the money they are going to use to buy the item will be fake with no real value.

They will call the victim and set up a place where they can meet which is very public like a mall or park where the scammer can "inspect" the object and follow-through with the transaction. Since the victim won't be a banker or anyone who is an expert at handling money he/she probably won't know its funny money until it's too late. A mall or a park also gives the scammer a quick way to blend in to the public and get-away should the victim find out quickly that he has been given fake money.

Craigslist users in San Diego are advised to be very careful with transactions. We recommend that they learn how to tell fake money from real and take the time to study the notes carefully to avoid being scammed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Craigslist San Diego Car Scams

Of all the different sections available in the San Diego Craigslist the cars section is the most active. This is understandable since it offers a great alternative to buyers heading to car yards and paying top dollar. It also represents a good deal for sellers as they can advertise for free and have a huge audience of buyers who will look at their offering. Unfortunately, it has also become place where scammers love to fish for victims.

Looking through your San Diego car listings on Craigslist there are obviously going to find some obvious scams but that does not mean that there aren’t some very intricate scammers out there that are absolute professionals. It is very hard for normal buyers to avoid these scammers unless they know what to look for. That’s what we’re going to try expose in today’s blog post.

The most serious of these scams involves overseas money order, or overseas checks which are take a notoriously long time to clear. What the scammer does is he says he will buy your car but says that he is overseas and can only offer you a international check or money order which you can clear from your bank. This fella will then overpay you on the money order. Since you’re already got it in your hand you can clearly see that it’s true. The scammer will then ask you to go ahead with the check or money order deposit but ask you to write a check to him to “re-imburse” him for the extra money he paid. Little do you know that the check or money order is fake and can’t be cashed by the bank. The bank won’t tell you until it’s too late and by that time you would have already sent your money to the scammer with no hopes of having it returned.

It is vital that Craigslist buyer and sellers in San Diego be vigilant about these scams. It happens more than you think and it’s a terrible feeling to be the victim of these scams. Buyers and Sellers have to be on-guard at all times against scammers. If it sounds a bit fishy then it’s better to not proceed with the transaction.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

San Diego Craigslist Home Rental Scams

San Diego Craigslist has become the new medium for old-school scammers. For those in the know it is called the "confidence scam". The scammer will act all confident and take money from you and never render you the service that was promised. In this case, it is a rental scam with a group setting up shop in San Diego and using Craigslist as the advertising medium to lure victims.

Here is how it works, the scammers will use the Multiple Listing Service for homes in San Diego and find a nice house that is vacant, good neighborhood and one that basically ticks all the right boxes. The scammer will then get their hands on untraceable mobile phones. The next step is to make a fancy listing on Craigslist and use those untraceable mobile phones as a contact point. As for the picture, its as easy as taking a picture with their mobile phones and uploading it to the Craigslist site. Naturally the price will be very attractive to lure in the victims.

When the victims call the confidence scam starts. The scammers will do their best to "rent out" their place and since getting breaking into a San Diego house isn't all that difficult, they will do it and just change the locks. The scammers will do all the normal things that house agents do and ultimately get the victims to pass them the "deposit" which is normally in the thousands. The last thing they will do is to dump the untraceable phone and the scam is complete.

San Diego Craigslist knows of this issue however find its extremely difficult to detect the scammers from the proper real estate agents. Craigslist has already received multiple complaints about this but they can only recommend the victim lodge a police report with the San Diego police department.

It is recommended that people looking to rent in San Diego verify that the listings that they see on Craigslist is real before putting down any money. This can be done by insisting that the "agent" shows you their real estate license and never to pay in cash. A check to the real estate agent's company is always preferred.