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  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boat scam, craigslist, Georgia,   

    Anybody can be the victim of a scam 

    Anybody can be the victim of a scam

    Whenever we post about a victim of a scam we’ll inevitably get a comment from a reader that states that they would never fall victim to a scam. Sometimes, we’ll get less respectful comments like “How can someone be so dumb to fall for that?” The truth is that anyone can fall victim to a scam. It doesn’t matter what your education level is or your financial and social status. Scammers tend not to discriminate and will target just about anyone, from the poorest of the poor to the one percent.

    Recently, a successful professional man was scammed out of $13,000 after he attempted to purchase a boat he found on craigslist. The man lives in Georgia while the boat was said to be in Miami. The Georgia man took every precaution and then some when researching the boat and the people who claimed to be selling it. He even formed his own LLC in order to transfer the money for the boat to the purported sellers. However, like most online vehicle scams, the boat never arrived and the $13,000 was long gone. Investigators say that it’s highly unlikely the man will ever get any of his money back.

    Scammers will adjust their approach depending on their target. Considering this man was fairly educated the scammers employed many different tactics than they would if their target was a less financially well off person. Please keep in mind that whenever we discuss romance scams, the victims in those tend to be above the average when it comes to terms of wealth.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or if you have a vast stock portfolio. Anybody can be the victim of a scam and it can be just as devastating financially and emotionally no matter who you are.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , , ,   

    Rental scammer posed as military member 

    Rental scammer posed as military member

    Rental scammers are always looking for new excuses to give their victims as to why they can’t meet them face to face. Most recently, rental scammers used the excuse of social distancing to explain their reluctance to meet. In the past, a popular excuse with scammers was that they claimed to be working overseas on a religious mission. All the excuses are used to achieve the same effect. They do this to try to avoid suspicion in the fact that they don’t have the authority to rent the property they claim to own and to get you to make a payment sight unseen. One of the classic excuses seems to be making a comeback and that’s the scammers posing as members of the military.

    San Diego, California is a huge military town, especially for naval forces. The city has seven military bases mostly for the Navy and Marines with a single Coast Guard base. Scammers will try to use the city’s relationship with the military to their advantage. Unfortunately, it worked against one family in San Diego who were looking for a new place to live. They had found a listing on craigslist that appeared to be a really good deal. The person who claimed to own the property also claimed that they were stationed overseas with the Navy. The family wired $1600 to the scammer before they found out the listing was a fake. The scammers had even used the picture of a real serviceman who passed away a few years ago. This scam isn’t limited to just military towns as it has been used all over the country.

    If a prospective landlord ever says that they can’t meet you in person for whatever reason, it’s almost assuredly a scam. Also, if the landlord requests payment through unconventional means like wire transfer or gift cards, it is also almost assuredly a scam. If they claim to be currently overseas for whatever reason, they are almost assuredly a scammer.

    While you may be in a rush to find a new home it’s always worth taking the time to research the property. You should always do a reverse image search to make sure the property ad isn’t being copied from a legitimate realtor or landlord. Lastly, you should also check with the county’s tax assessor’s office or website to find out who the true property owner is. This research may take some time but in the end, it’s worth it to avoid finding yourself in a situation like this.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, ,   

    Scammers target man whose dog passed 

    Puppy scammers still finding victims during pandemic

    Adopting a pet into your home is a great way to deal with not only loneliness but also anxiety and depression during the current crisis. That’s exactly what one Los Angeles-area man wanted to do especially after losing his beloved canine friend of 16 years.

    The man was looking to adopt a Rottweiler puppy but found the prices from breeders to be too high at $3,000 to $4,000. Unfortunately, the man turned to one of the worst places you can go to adopt a pet, Craigslist.

    The man found a listing for Rottweiler puppies but the people giving them away were supposedly in Montana. The person claiming to give the puppies away said they had to because their son was a breeder who died from cancer. All the man had to do was pay $280 to an alleged shipping company called Blessing Air Movers. When the payment through an online app didn’t go through, the movers asked for payment in Walmart gift cards. Then the shipper asked for more money for a special crate to ship the puppy in. Of course, the puppy never came and probably never existed.

    While our hearts break for this man, the number of red flags in this scam may have set some type of record.

    For example, when adopting a pet, you should try to only deal with local breeders. Fraudulent out of state shipping costs are a hallmark of this scam. The scammers also had a sob story for why the puppies were being given away at such a discounted rate. These stories are used in several scams and often involve a relative dying or a military member shipping out among others. Then there’s the shipping company that uses a vaguely religious name. Many scammers use religious subtext in their scams either to gain the trust of someone of that religion or just to appeal more trustworthy in general. Both payment options of a cash app or gift cards should have also been red flags as these are often used by scammers to receive untraceable or unrecoverable payments. And lastly, if you find yourself having made a payment to a potential scammer and they keep asking for more money to rectify the situation, it’s more than likely a scam.

    As always, we recommend adopting a pet from one of your local shelters. As even mentioned by the SPCA of LA in the article, shelters will often have purebreds in their population. Some even have reservation lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. Not to mention that the cost will probably be minimal or even free.

     
  • Geebo 7:31 am on April 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    Virtual rental scam keeps claiming victims 

    Virtual rental scam keeps claiming victims

    Last week, we posted an entry about victims who were taken in by a new type of rental scam. In this scam, phony landlords are saying they can’t meet with prospective renters because of the quarantine. The scammers would then send their victims a link so they could take a virtual tour of the home. As with all rental scams, the scammers would collect rent or deposits for properties they don’t own. Many of the victims move into the property thinking they’re now renting the property only to find out that they’ve been had. Now it seems that this virtual rental scam is becoming more commonplace.

    More recently in Texas, a woman and her son had moved into a new home before finding out from the property manager that she was there illegally. She had found the listing for the home on craigslist. When she had inquired about the home, the scammer sent her a link to a website called Rently so she could see the home virtually. Rently is a legitimate website but anyone can go on it and view rental properties. The scammer then collected the first month’s rent of $1500 through a payment app. After the woman realized she had been scammed she was able to get her money back from her bank’s app but it most cases, that money is lost forever.

    One of the red flags, in this case, was that the photos of the property were watermarked by the rental company. The scammer said that the rental company wasn’t moving the property fast enough so they listed the property on craigslist. Scammers often copy legitimate listings from rental companies or real estate agencies to pass off as their own. Another red flag was the scammer asking for payment through a payment app. You should never use Cash App or Venmo for payments to someone you don’t know as these apps are favored by scammers due to their anonymity.

    Even in the time of social distancing, you should still always ask for a face to face meeting. You can still practice safe social distancing during one of these meetings. Always do a reverse image search of the property to make sure the listing hasn’t been copied. Lastly, you should also check with the county’s tax assessor’s office or website to find out who the true property owner is. This research may take some time but in the end, it’s worth it to avoid finding yourself in a situation like this.

     
  • Geebo 8:22 am on April 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , craigslist, , ,   

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products 

    Some sites slow to pull bad COVID products

    As we have mentioned before, the current pandemic has been a boom period for all sorts of con artists and scammers. The scams started even before coronavirus even started claiming all the headlines. Even before stay at home orders were issued, scammers were already online selling masks that didn’t exist or harmful snake oil cures. Even with all that we currently know about COVID-19 these scams are continuing unabated. Now, these scams even have an air of legitimacy as many of them are appearing on legitimate commerce sites. The problem is that these commerce sites are slow to pull any dangerous or false products if they even pull them at all.

    A tech company by the name of Proxyway performed an investigation into several e-commerce sites that were selling harmful products that either claimed to test for or cure COVID-19. These dangerous products were reviewed by medical professionals to determine how harmful they were. The sites that Proxyway investigated were Alibaba, AliExpress, Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay. Alibaba and Craigslist would take up to a week before the hazardous products were removed. eBay would take an average of three days while Amazon would take an average of two. While two and three days may seem like a short time, any number of people could have ordered these risky products from what they might assume are legitimate retailers.

    While sites like Amazon and eBay employ reviewers to look out for unsafe products they’re still not infallible. Craigslist is worse since it relies on community policing which has bitten craigslist in the past. Just because something is on a website, no matter how legitimate the website might be, you can’t assume the product is safe, especially when it comes to COVD-19.

    As of the time of this posting, there are no cures for COVID-19 and there are no commercially available home testing kits.

    For all valid information about COVID-19 please visit Coronavirus.gov.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , ,   

    Sick puppies still being sold online 

    Sick puppies still being sold online

    As we have stated in the past, Geebo does not accept any listing that’s selling or giving away pets. One of the reasons we do this is to try to prevent puppy mills and illegal backyard breeders from continuing their abusive practices. Sadly, some of our competitors do not share our stance and allow these practices to flourish. In turn, consumers are still using these platforms to purchase purebred dogs only to find out that the puppies are sick or dying.

    In Albuquerque, a family bought a miniature schnauzer off of craigslist for a steal. After they took the puppy home it turned out that the puppy’s health records had been faked and the puppy died from the deadly parvovirus. In Lehigh Acres, Florida a couple bought a husky puppy from someone claiming to be a professional breeder on craigslist. When the couple took the puppy to the vet it was reportedly sold at too early of an age and was infested with hookworm. That puppy shortly died soon after as well.

    This has become an all too common occurrence. When purchasing a living creature as a pet you shouldn’t look for bargains to be had as that usually means there’s a reason why the animal is being sold for so cheap. The same caveat applies to puppies as it does with most things being sold online; if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If there’s a specific breed of puppy that you have your heart set on, do your research. Look into what needs and behavioral patterns the dogs have and research the breeder as well to make sure they are ethically raising their animals. We also always recommend adopting a puppy or even an adult dog from your local shelter. Adopting a new member of your family is not something that should be done rashly. Carefully think it out before adding an addition like this to your home.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , , , , , , ,   

    The Armslist gun sale scam and more 

    The Armslist gun sale scam and more

    We’re back again with another trio of scams to be on the lookout for.

    It seems that the much-criticized Armslist isn’t immune to scams as a woman from Western Pennsylvania has been charged with defrauding users of the website. The woman allegedly advertised several firearms for sale on the controversial site and collected the payments for them in money orders. However, she did not have any of the actual guns for sale and she’s accused of keeping all the money for herself. There’s no word on whether or not any background checks were completed on any of the victims.

    ***

    A man from Silver Lake, Washington was trying to sell his late wife’s wedding ring on craigslist when he was approached with an out-of-state offer. The man then received a bogus email stating that the money for the ring had reached his PayPal account. The man sent the ring but the money wasn’t actually there. Amazingly, after he contacted the police the ring was found in Illinois. This is a rare occurrence on the scale of a solar eclipse. Ok, maybe not that rare but it is remarkable that the man was able to get the ring back as in most cases once the item has been shipped it’s usually gone forever. In most cases, you should only deal locally and only in cash and when completing the transaction it should be done at a local police station.

    ***

    Lastly for today, a rental scam that we’ve discussed before has started popping up again and that’s the lockbox scam. The scam works like the typical rental scam where someone claiming to be a landlord will rent you a property sight unseen if you wire them a deposit. With the lockbox scam, the phony landlords have somehow gained access to the realtor’s lockbox on the property that contains a key to the home. A family in Phoenix, Arizona recently fell for this scam and even moved into the property after wiring their money to a scammer. Sadly, they had to be evicted from the property. Under no circumstance should you ever wire funds to someone you’ve never met. Most legitimate property managers will do background checks on prospective renters and will meet them in person.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , Mueller Report,   

    Mueller Report states craigslist used by Russians during election 

    Mueller Report states craigslist used by Russians during election

    It’s been no secret that Russians tried to influence the 2016 Presidential Election. Their attempts to use social media to try to sow discord among Americans has been well documented. Facebook, Twitter, and many other platforms had to deal with the army of bots used by foreign actors leading up to the election. With the release of the redacted Mueller report, we can see for ourselves the lengths Russians went to in trying to interfere with the election. But would you believe that one of the tools they used was craigslist?

    TechCrunch is reporting that in the Mueller Report it states that Russia used craigslist in the US in order to recruit people for their misinformation campaigns.

    The Russian influence operations included things like recruiting individuals to walk around New York City “dressed up as Santa Claus with a Trump mask” (the relevant section is on page 32 of the Mueller report). Craigslist may have also been used in other schemes — like hiring a self-defense instructor to offer classes sponsored by a Russian operative working under the persona “Black Fist” to teach African-Americans how to protect themselves in encounters with law enforcement.

    This should come as no surprise as craigslist has long been a haven for hate speech and political agitation. Material that craigslist does little to discourage. As we have seen, many platforms allow this kind of behavior from users since it’s believed to increase engagement. Facebook has been accused of using similar tactics to keep users engaged as their userbase is reportedly plateauing.

    Was craigslist a willing tool for the Russians. No, not at all. However, craigslist has a history of turning a blind eye to foreign placed ads.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , craigslist, , , , ,   

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case 

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case

    What a $5 car may look like

    As of today, craigslist will start charging $5 for car listings. So as of tax day if you’re selling your car on craigslist it will cost you a fiver. While craigslist has not publicly stated the reason for the change, many speculate that the move will cut down on scam listings. It will be interesting to see if craigslist users will balk at the new fee and if scammers will be willing to pay the fee. Not to mention that it’s almost ironic that craigslist is now starting to act like so many newspaper classifieds that they helped close down.

    ***

    KATU in Portland, Oregon is reporting on a new safety concern when it comes to using ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. Their investigation found that many minors are using the ridesharing services even though their terms of service require a passenger to be at least 18. Some drivers will refuse the fare if they know the passenger is under 18, however, there are many drivers who either don’t know the rules or don’t care. According to KATU, some parents are even ok with their older kids using an Uber or Lyft. If you’re a parent, would you be ok with letting your kid use an Uber or Lyft alone?

    ***

    Lastly for today, it was recently reported that the investigation that allegedly caught New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft using a massage parlor did not find any evidence of human trafficking. Critics have dismissed this investigation as a witch hunt of sorts and that police were just looking to arrest workers and johns. However, in many cases, those being trafficked are unwilling to testify against their traffickers due to fears of reprisal or threats of violence against their families. To refer to human trafficking as an overblown problem is to dismiss the safety and welfare of all those being trafficked against their will who are treated as slaves.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Canberra, climate change, craigslist, drones, Nipsey Hussle, , , Wing   

    Australian drones, craigslist funeral scalpers, and Amazon employees on climate change 

    Australian drones, craigslist funeral scalpers, and Amazon employees on climate change

    In the Australian capital of Canberra, a fleet of commercial delivery drones has officially been launched for service. The drones are owned by Wing, a subsidiary of Goole’s parent company Alphabet. The drones were tested in the area for a year before officially launching. At first many in the areas surrounding Canberra complained about the noise the drones made, however, the new fleet of drones are said to be quieter. That doesn’t mean that there have been safety restrictions applied to the drones’ usage. The drones can only fly during the day starting at 8am and are forbidden from flying over busy roads and crowds. So far, the drones have been only making small deliveries such as coffee and takeout orders. Are we one step closer to drone delivery becoming an everyday occurrence, or will they be more of a nuisance if deployed on a larger scale? Only time will tell.

    ***

    If you follow entertainment news at all, you may have heard about the unfortunate murder of L.A. based rapper Nipsey Hussle. He was gunned down outside of his own clothing shop in L.A. towards the end of March. The rapper was so beloved that there will be a memorial service for him at the Staple’s Center arena. The tickets to his memorial were given out free on a first come first serve basis. That hasn’t stopped scalpers from trying to sell the free tickets on craigslist for upwards of $500 a piece. Craigslist themselves have removed the ads scalping the tickets to the memorial. While we applaud craigslist for the move we have to wonder why craigslist doesn’t use this power more often when it comes to other questionable items for sale on their platform. If you did happen to buy a ticket to the memorial service on craigslist you may be out of luck. The tickets’ distributor says that the tickets are being distributed through a mobile app and are non-transferrable.

    ***

    A group of Amazon employees that number in the thousands have called on the retail giant to do better when it comes to affecting climate change in Amazon’s daily business. While Amazon has promised to “reach 50 percent of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030” some Amazon employees say that’s not enough. 4,520 Amazon employees have signed an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for better environmental protections during Amazon’s daily proceedings. If you scroll through the names of the signatories of the letter you might notice that the majority of them are technical engineers and managers and not many warehouse workers. Amazon has been widely criticized in recent times for their alleged mistreatment of workers in their distribution centers. One has to wonder where the open letter is for that.

     
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