And when you use Craigslist, you definitely get what you pay for.
Don't get me wrong, craigslist is a wonderful tool that really has no equal when it comes to advertising and getting your property, be it real or personal, on the web. Need to sell an old lawn mower, throw it up on Craigslist. The garage sale of the internet will take all ads.
Unfortunately, that's ALL ads. Scammers, phishing, Nigerians trying to make a buck or anyone else. They're all there. With the advent of email came spam. With craigslist, we have to be ever vigilant that the scammers aren't going to take advantage of us. Typically when you look at ads on craigslist, you can often times tell that something isn't right. The ad may use British English, or dropping "the" "on" "an" or "a"are all good indicators of someone overseas trying to bilk you out of money.
However, there are other ways that people scam on Craigslist as well. Most recently we have seen people posting houses listed for sale, either through other Craigslist ads or simply stealing photos and descriptions from the MLS and posting them as "for rent". They then will tell you they're out of the country, and need you to send the money to them somewhere, go to Western Union, or send them money some other way. This does not happen if it's a legitimate sale! You will more often than not have to fill out an application to rent, call and talk to the person who is renting the house, or talk to a local property manager. NEVER send money if you haven't met with someone to show you the house first!
Most recently, I heard of someone who had posted an ad looking for a place to rent. The person who was looking was contacted by a "real estate agent" who had a place to rent. The problem was, the person who was claiming to be a real estate agent wasn't. The house for rent was managed by another property management company.
We need to be ever vigilant when dealing with posting or replying to ads placed on Craigslist. Before replying to an ad, think about the quality of the ad. Is it legitimate, or is there something that just "isn't quite right?" If you are contacted by someone, are they asking you to send money or receive money before looking at a property or before sending you an item? Are they asking you to receive money via some form and send money back to them?
Be aware of what you're looking at, and what you're clicking on. Hover over links before clicking and see what URL the link is actually taking you to. It may say google.com, however does it really go there?
As I said, craigslist is a great tool for finding advertising for properties or other products to buy locally, but if you REALLY want to see what's on the market, look at my website and do a specific property search for properties that interest you, rather than everything that is thrown up on Craigslist. Visit http://shawntucker.com to search for properties you'd like to see, and give me a call for more information on anything that you might find.