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  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scam 

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scams

    This past week the Portland, Oregon office of the FBI issued a warning about online puppy scams. There are many online scams that involve pets but the specific one the FBI is referring to is where the scammers will promise you a puppy for a certain price and will then try to get you to pay additional ‘fees’.

    According to reports, in many, cases, the puppy doesn’t even exist. Signs to be on the lookout for that your purchase of a puppy may be a scam is if the seller asks you to pay by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit card. These payment methods are surefire signs of a scam. If you do end up making an additional payment for a puppy the scammers will try to get you to make additional payments for such things as shipping fees, special shipping containers, or some form of insurance. A great number of these scams can be found on craigslist even though craigslist specifically bans the sale of animals except for re-homing animals with a small adoption fee. You couldn’t tell by looking at craigslist as puppy ads are abundant in their listings but then again, craigslist hardly does any moderation of their own site.

    The FBI also offers tips to avoid scams like this such as…

    • Meet the pet in person if at all possible.
    • Don’t pay to ship a pet if you can’t verify the seller is a reputable breeder.
    • Do your homework on the seller before sending any form of payment. Look for contact information, check credentials, and confirm reviews from previous clients.
    • If you virtually chat with the seller, watch for odd phrasing or typos.
    • If the seller asks you to pay via wire transfer or gift card, don’t. There’s a huge chance it’s a scam.

    Another resource you can use is the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association’s list of known pet scammers. While the list is not comprehensive as new scammers are constantly popping up it’s a great place to start to make sure you’re not dealing with a scammer. If you’ve been the victim of a puppy scam you can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    For this and many other reasons, Geebo does not accept ads for pets. Instead, we always recommend that if you’re making a pet a new addition to your family either use a local reputable breeder or adopt a pet from your local shelter.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , grants, , , , ,   

    Just another day of classifieds crime 

    Just another day of classifieds crime

    One might think that after over 20 years of having online classified ads being so prevalent online that most people would become more aware of the pitfalls that have become inherent when using some of the less reputable sites and apps. Here are some of the stories that have happened just over the past 24 hours.

    While not technically a classified site even though it does have Facebook Marketplace, a tired old scam has targeted Facebook messenger uses. It’s the grant scam which promises users large government grants to do with what they wish. The only catch is that you have to pay a fee, usually of at least several hundred dollars, in order to process the grant. Of course, you’re expected to wire the money to whoever is supposedly managing the grants. To be clear, the government does not use Facebook Messenger to offer grants and they never offer grants unsolicited. Also, you should always be suspicious of any transaction that requires you to wire money as once the money is wired it’s virtually untraceable once it’s gone.

    In Youngstown, Ohio, there has been a rash of robberies through the marketplace app LetGo. In these robberies, the buyers are posing as men in their 30s and 40s but when the seller shows up to the meeting place they’re approached by teens who then rob them. The article we linked to does have some good safety tips but leaves out the most important one. Don’t just meet someone during the day in a well-lit and well-traveled area as even there robberies and worse have been committed. Instead, insist on meeting at a local police station. This one simple step goes a long way in discouraging scammers and thieves from trying to take advantage of you.

    In the Kansas City area, one man was swindled out of close to $400 after buying tickets from a supposed seller off of craigslist. The scammer had official looking documentation that carried the Ticketmaster branding, the only problem with that is the arena where the concert was being held doesn’t use Ticketmaster to distribute their tickets. The tickets never appeared and the would-be buyer was out of $400 before buying more legitimate tickets from a reputable dealer. The victim, in this case, was an IT specialist who admits that he should have known better showing that it’s people of all stripes and backgrounds that can fall for a craigslist scam.

    For our next story, we stay in Ohio, Hilliard to be precise where police have discovered a counterfeiting operation that was using OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace transactions to allegedly try to launder the money. In this instance, the phony bills were not theatrical money as has been the more popular counterfeit scam lately. Instead, these bills were manufactured and ranged in denominations from the humble $1 bill to the much more respectable $100 bill. Again, the article we linked to has several tips to prevent yourself from being ripped off by counterfeiters even claiming that the marker test isn’t always reliable as some fake bills will show as genuine when the special anti-counterfeit marker is used. In this case, the bills should have been easy to detect as they had markings on them in one of the Chinese languages.

    While not every marketplace platform is perfect, there are very few that go the extra mile in trying to protect its users. For example, Geebo reviews every ad in order to try to weed out the ads that are obvious scams and setups. Maybe if our competitors were more concerned about user safety they wouldn’t keep cropping up in the daily headlines for all the wrong reasons.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist   

    Craigslist is a billion dollar company, but should they be? 

    Craigslist is a billion dollar company, but should they be?

    If you’re unfamiliar with the AIM Group, they describe themselves as “a world-class business intelligence consultancy focused on digital marketplaces and classified advertising.” Or as they’ve been described by some, an industry watchdog for the online classifieds industry. They once famously called craigslist a ‘cesspool of crime’ and we’re unapologetic about it. But let’s face it, they were right. However, the AIM Group has released a new report that shows craigslist may have broken the old adage of ‘crime doesn’t pay.’

    In a recently issued press release, the AIM Group has announced a report that says craigslist is now a billion dollar company. Now some may scoff at such a paltry amount of revenue when it’s compared to companies like Apple and Facebook but to keep the amount in perspective, craigslist only has 50 employees. For an equivalent of a modestly successful ‘mom and pop’ business, craigslist had done all right for themselves.

    But the success has not come without controversy. It almost seems like craigslist has reinvested little of that money back into the infrastructure of their own website especially when it comes to user safety. Without even delving into craigslist’s questionable past of facilitating human trafficking, the number of violent acts that have been perpetrated against craigslist users has been unsettling over the past two decades. The fact that a number of murderers have been branded by the press as the ‘Craigslist Killer’ over the years can attest to that. It’s still no different today as just in the past day there have been headlines mentioning craigslist about scams, opiate dealing, and stolen goods. This is an addition to the almost daily headlines of robbery and assault.

    With all that purported money you would think that craigslist could invest in some site moderation to help keep scammers and robbers off of their site in order to better protect their users. Instead, it seems like they’d rather spend it on lavish homes in ritzy New York City neighborhoods.

    Craigslist can continue to play off their ‘We’re the little guy’ reputation all they want when in reality they’re just another greedy corporation.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, prop money, ,   

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams 

    Movie money props used in craigslist scams

    Police in Stafford County, Virginia, are reporting an uptick in crimes involving counterfeit money. There have been at least two reports of people who were selling an item on craigslist who were paid in phony cash. Not just any phony cash mind you, but bills that were specifically printed to only be used in theatrical or film production. So how did movie prop money end up in the hands of con artists? It’s actually easier than you think.

    Most movie prop houses work closely with the Secret Service to make sure that their fake money looks legitimate on screen but no so real that it can be passed off as the real thing. In the past, it may have been difficult and expensive to obtain such prop money, however, in these days where anyone with a camera-enabled smartphone where just about anyone could make a movie, prop money has become much more easy to obtain. For example, one movie prop company will sell you a $10,000 stack of prop $100 bills for just $25.00. While the bills could not obviously fool professionals, they have been known to fool many an average consumer. Here’s a video that goes into great detail showing the differences between prop money and the real thing.

    Of course, there are several ways to prevent yourself from being ripped off like this. The first and most important is to always meet the buyer at a local police station. While not foolproof, a scammer is less likely to try to pull something like this when there are several police officers around. The second thing is to inspect the money for markings that say something like “For motion picture use only” or something to that effect. Lastly, there are markers you can buy that if you mark the money with them they can tell you if the money is real or not. Since just about anyone can buy this prop money, just about anyone can be fooled by it. So don’t be just anyone. Also, you probably shouldn’t use craigslist as it’s rife with scammers like this.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    Amid shutdown, federal employees forced to sell belongings on Facebook and craigslist 

    Amid shutdown, federal employees forced to sell belongings on Facebook and craigslist

    Today, the government shutdown reaches its 24th day. This is the longest government shutdown in American history. 800,000 federal employees are going without their paychecks because the President is throwing a tantrum like a tangerine toddler over a border wall that would actually do little to stop the influx of immigrants that we should be welcoming into this country. Most illegal immigration doesn’t even take place at the country’s southern border with Mexico but rather through people who have stayed in the country after their travel visas have expired. But far be it from the truth getting in the way of a President who was elected on a platform of fear and intolerance. Meanwhile, the federal employees caught in the crossfire are in danger of having their lives ruined.

    Due to their lack of income, many locked out employees have taken to selling their possessions on places like Facebook and craigslist. So not only are they being driven into poverty by their own government but now these employees will have to deal with many scammers and con artists that prey on people like this on the less than scrupulous classifieds sites and marketplace apps like craigslist. The Coast Guard even published a survival guide recommending their members try to get part-time jobs as secret shoppers which has a well-known history of being mostly a scam.

    To make matters worse, the President has the temerity to claim that the unpaid federal employees are behind him and his ridiculous wall.

    President Donald Trump, when asked about the hardship facing workers, said federal employees “are on my side.”

    “You take a look at social media, so many of those people saying ‘it’s very hard for me, it’s very hard for my family, but Mr. President you’re doing the right thing. Get it done.’ They’re patriots,” he said.

    Then again, what do you expect from someone who made a business out of declaring bankruptcy on multiple occasions? However, Mr. Trump right now is the worst kind of bankrupt, morally bankrupt.

     
  • Geebo 9:58 am on December 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, Edge, , , , , ,   

    Netflix phishing scam returns, Google becomes Microsoft, and watch out for phony shipping companies 

    Netflix phishing scam returns, Google becomes Microsoft, and watch out for phony shipping companies

    Today we bring you a few consumer protection stories that we think you should be aware of.

    First up is the return of the Netflix phishing scam. This is not a new scam but it seems to be making the rounds again. Reports from all over the country are stating that people are receiving emails that appear to be from Netflix asking customers to update their payment information. If you receive one of these emails do not click any of the links contained in the email. Doing this will take you to either a malware infested site or will try to obtain your credit or debit card information. Anytime some service requests any kind of information change, go directly to the site in your web browser instead of clicking any links.

    A former Microsoft intern is claiming that today’s Google is acting more like yesterday’s Microsoft. The intern used to work on Microsoft’s Edge Browser and claims that Google purposely tries to slow down other browsers than Chrome on some of their services such as YouTube. This is reminiscent of the browser wars of the early internet when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer gained the majority of the browser market by being included by default in Windows. The only difference this time is that Microsoft blinked and they are changing Edge to be a Chromium-based browser. Chromium is the engine that powers the Chrome browser and many of its offshoots like Opera and Vivaldi.

    Lastly, the state of South Dakota is warning consumers to be wary of phony shipping companies that are claiming they reside in the state. The state’s Attorney General is saying that people are being tricked into sending money to phony shipping companies when buying cars off of craigslist. If you’re going to buy a car online we hope that you would purchase the vehicle through Geebo.com, however, we always recommend shopping local when looking for a vehicle and using a safe place to conduct the transaction. However, if you do need to deal with a shipping company for whatever reason, a quick Google Maps search using the company’s supposed address should be able to tell you if the company actually exists or not.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on November 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, ,   

    Don’t fall for the craigslist copycat rental scam 

    Don't fall for the copycat rental scam

    On other classifieds sites, there are rental property scams abound. One of the most common scams is that the con artist will copy an ad from a legitimate real estate site, then will repost the ad on a site like craigslist claiming that they are in control of renting the property. Since a lot of people’s first go to site for rental properties may be craigslist scammers will use that site in droves to try to take your money. But what if you see an ad on a real estate site then see an ad on craigslist for the same property at a different price?

    While this is a rare occurrence, a woman from New York was looking to find a rental property in Florida. She first found a property on a legitimate vacation rental site but then found the exact same property for rent on craigslist for a cheaper price. Wanting the better deal, the woman sent money to the person who allegedly placed the craigslist ad. The woman sent $3500 for a rental deposit, the check was cashed and the woman never heard back from the craigslist renter. The alleged con artist also tried this scam on a Canadian family and law enforcement was involved leading to the suspect’s arrest.

    If you see two ads for the same property and the one on craigslist is at a lower price, it’s almost guaranteed that the craigslist ad is a scam. On craigslist the ‘if it’s too good to be true, it probably is’ adage applies more than on any other classifieds site since craigslist doesn’t moderate their ads or submit them to any kind of review process. They only care about the quantity of ads and not the quality.

     
  • Geebo 11:02 am on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, kansas city, ,   

    Real Estate agent saves renters from scam 

    Real Estate agent saves renters from scam

    Online con artists are always changing and adapting. That’s part of why the term ‘con man’ is actually short for ‘confidence man’. When the general public starts catching on to one scheme, con artists will tweak the scam ever so slightly that it almost becomes a brand new scam. For example, in the past scammers would list a property for rent in craigslist that isn’t there’s and would use various excuses as to why you had to wire them the deposit money before even seeing the property. Some of the more popular ones were that the ‘landlords’ were leaving the country either because they were church missionaries or they were in the military having just been deployed.

    It’s rare when I hear about a new rental scam but today seems to be that day. In the Kansas City area, a Real Estate agent saved a family from losing out on their money after one of the realtor’s property was listed on craigslist. The renters were about to send money to someone in Texas who was claiming to be the landlord of the property. The phony landlord claimed they were having problems with the realtor and decided to rent the house out themselves. Luckily, the renters called the realtor before sending any money. The realtor informed the renters that the scammers had copied the realtor’s ad and reposted it on craigslist, which is usually the heart of the scam.

    Rental scams are one of the most prolific scams on classified sites that don’t monitor their ads. Usually, the scammers try to rope you in with a too good to be true price and some kind of story designed to lower your defenses. If you’re ever unsure about who is truly renting a property you can always check with the county assessor’s website or office. Taking that little extra step could mean the difference between finding a new home or losing that down payment you needed for a new place.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on October 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, Tennessee   

    Are you in danger of this twist on the check scam? 

    Are you in danger of this twist on the check scam?

    I’ve been writing about various scams for quite some time now. One of the more prevalent scams is what’s referred to as the fake check scam. How this scam usually works is when you post something for sale online, you may receive a check for more than your asking price. The person who sent you the check will say something along the lines of the excess amount was a mistake and that you should deposit the check then wire them back the difference. You should never deposit one of these checks as they often turn out to be counterfeit and you could end up being responsible for paying the full amount of the phony check to your bank. Now, there is a variation of that scam which targets people who write personal checks in their daily lives.

    While this may not technically be a new scam, it is the first I’m hearing about it and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard of a new scam. Anyway, in Tennessee, an IT professional discovered that several thousand dollars were missing from her checking account. When she contacted her bank it turned out that some unscrupulous type was printing out cashiers checks using her banking account information. While the bank was able to return her money to her, the scammer used the bogus checks to buy a motorcycle off of craigslist. That means that whoever was selling the motorcycle basically had their motorcycle stolen.

    So how did a con artist get a hold of this woman’s checking account information? Well, if you write personal checks on a regular basis any number of people would be able to ascertain your account information since your account and routing numbers are printed on each check. Then a phony cashiers check with your information could be produced on just about any printer. While writing checks is slowly becoming a dying practice, there are still some holdouts. I’m sure we all either know someone who still writes checks or have run into someone who still uses checks as their primary form of payment. In our digital age, while not perfect, debit cards are a much more secure and convenient form of payment. If you know an avid check writer, please consider sharing this story with them in hopes of keeping their personal finances safer.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, George Stanley, , Maine,   

    Man’s home ransacked after malicious craigslist ad posted 

    Man's home ransacked after malicious craigslist ad posted

    There’s a crime that’s been occurring through craigslist for years now that while not as violent as some can be just as devastating. Apparently, if you get on the bad side of one of your neighbors they have the option of placing a craigslist ad telling the internet that everything in your house and on your property is being given away for free. Even though in reality, no one ever gives away all their possessions for free on craigslist, it doesn’t stop craigslist users from showing up in droves to plunder the property like so many Visigoths at the gates of Rome. Sadly, this occurred to one man in Maine.

    George Stanley left his home and business in Greene, Maine, to spend a couple of weeks in Florida. When he returned, he found that his property had been pillaged and much of what wasn’t taken was destroyed. According to Stanley, he had a car on his property that he was planning on restoring. The marauding horde of vandals not only cut the tires off the car, but they also pried open the trunk, hood, and doors to take whatever they could. Mr. Stanley reportedly has cancer and believes he only has a few years left, but now, many of the possessions he had that he used to make a living are now gone and nothing has been returned.

    This unfortunate incident could have been easily prevented if craigslist just took the extra step to moderate their ads. Instead, craigslist let’s just about every ad get posted to their platform unless it hurts their own bottom line. While most rational people wouldn’t believe someone would give away all their stuff in such a disorganized matter, there are a number of people who believe anything they read on the internet and lot of them use craigslist. We at Geebo care about not only our users more than that but also the general public as we moderate our ads and we would never willingly allow our platform to be used to create such havoc.

     
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