Conmen Seeking Suckers: Beware of Stolen Merchandise on Craigslist

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How to Avoid the Hot Items Scam

Whether you're buying a TV, a car or just an old piece of furniture, remember the golden rule of buying stuff on Craigslist: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A selling price way below what you'd be willing to pay should automatically raise some red flags, and could indicate a lot of things. Perhaps the item is actually broken or defective, and you won't discover you've been scammed until you get home. Perhaps it's just a bait-and-switch, and the seller will either jack up the price or swap in an inferior product once you get in touch. And it could even be an attempt to lure an unsuspecting buyer into an armed robbery.

But there's another possibility if a posting seems to good to be true: You could be buying stolen goods.

Yes, Craigslist can serve the same function as a pawn shop when it comes to unloading merchandise that fell off the back of a truck. And the last thing you want to do is unwittingly something "hot": If the stolen item is traced to you, at best you're losing your new TV and at worst you're facing legal consequences.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus has some basic guidelines for making sure you don't buy stolen items from the site, including checking the serial number with the manufacturer and asking the seller why the item is so inexpensive. For more helpful tips, check out the video above.



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Bill

There too are a number of other that should be mentioned. One is to suggested meet for the transaction in a aparking lot. Likely to end up as robbery or worse.
I did a ton with Craigs List last year and with pick up only. Took exeception one time and got ripped by the buyer.
I recommend pick up only.

September 01 2013 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
barryaclarke

You also have the scammers who will say they have a company check for more than your selling price. They want to send a moving van to your home with the check and they want you to give them the difference. Of course afterwards, you have a worthless check, your out not only your furniture, car, or what ever you are selling, but some extra cash too. I have played along with their game and I see where others are turning the tables on these "fools" too and is costing them time and money.........................

September 01 2013 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
red

craigslist is what u make it--i have sold and bought lots of stuff with no trouble. plus i have met some really nice people--if you have a minimal amount of common sense all should be alright--cant go wrong with too good to be true, it is not might be

August 31 2013 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tmspitrow

i buy and sell on craigslist.
when i buy i get the sellers drivers license number and license plate number.
if the seller will not show dl,i will not buy.

thats simple.

August 31 2013 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
PAM

I am disapointed that you would use the incorrect cliche that pawnshops are the place to find stolen merchandise of any kind. The documented fact is that one half of one percent of stolen items pass through pawnshops. This is due to the strigent local and state laws that require valid picture or passport identification. Some state and city laws also require snapshots or fingerprint for any transactions. That is why pawnshops have finally come into their own, as a great option to buy or sell merchandise with-out the fear of stolen items. I think this commentary has shown that it is safer at pawnshops than craigs list!

August 31 2013 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcrisp2061

I have several items on craigs list...and what do i get in response.. some lady sending me pictures of herself in a bikini and half nude photos... I have spamed her over and over again and she just keeps sending me her photos... how do you get rid of crap like that...

August 31 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jcrisp2061

I have severl items on craigs list... and what do I get...some broad sending me half nude pictures of herself and no matter how many times I send her to spam... there she is again in another half nude photo.. how do you get rid of these crazy people.....

August 31 2013 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chibblitz

Ebay is much better than craigslist.

August 31 2013 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jjbwnyc

i am an old pro to craigslist unfortunately. it was once an awesome site. i can read into the fake ads. i use a seperate email addy when applying to that site to control the junk.

August 31 2013 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
billrenaud77

Also, beware of hiring handmen advertising on craigslist,,
I hired one at my condo in cleveland, he was absolutely terrible,, messed up things and never came back to complete the job,, I made a major mistake in paying hm during his first visit and he has had every excuse in the book when I keep asking him to complete the job and never calls back, I wish I could find a way to black list him.

August 31 2013 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply