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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , ,   

    The puppy scam that’s even more cruel 

    The puppy scam that's even more cruel

    By Greg Collier

    The majority of time we discuss puppy scams, we elaborate on the one where the puppy doesn’t even exist. That’s the scam where a puppy will be advertised for sale online, and once the scammers get their initial payment, they’ll try to get additional payments from their victims for things like special shipping crates, insurance, and other fees they can dream up. At least in that scam, there are no actual animals being harmed. We wish we could say the same for the other puppy scam.

    The other puppy scam is perpetrated by what’s called backyard breeders. These are people who will breed a popular breed of puppy regardless of the health and welfare of any animal in their care. Their goal is to crank out as many puppies as they can to get as much money as they can. Too often, the animals used and produced are kept in substandard living conditions, and are often sold after contracting a terminal disease.

    A family in Southern California were recently ordered to pay restitution after they were found to be selling sick puppies on Craigslist. One of their victims paid the family $1100 for a goldendoodle puppy. After getting the puppy home, the puppy began to get severely ill. After taking the puppy to a vet, it was discovered the puppy had the deadly parvovirus. The new owners spent $10,000 to treat the puppy, who thankfully survived. But that wasn’t the end of the scam. About a month later, the puppy’s hair started turning white. The puppy wasn’t a goldendoodle at all and had its hair dyed to pass it off as one.

    To make sure you’re buying a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder, avoid places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. That’s where the backyard breeders mostly post their advertisements, and it’s why Geebo.com doesn’t allow listings for pets. Legitimate breeders will almost always allow you to visit their facility and check their health certifications.

    And as always, we would prefer if you adopted a pet from your local shelter instead. Many wonderful dogs are in need of homes, and adoption is a responsible and humane choice.

    Responsible breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and will be transparent about their practices. By taking the time to research and ask questions, you can make an informed decision and provide a loving home for a healthy puppy.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    Used car scammers are selling rental cars 

    Used car scammers are selling rental cars

    By Greg Collier

    A woman from Houston, Texas, was shocked when two men showed up in her driveway looking for the car she had just bought. She had just purchased a 2019 Toyota Camry for $11,000 through a Craigslist seller. A little below Blue Book value, but not an unreasonable price. She even did a car history check, where nothing unusual turned up. Yet, there were the two men saying the car was theirs.

    The two men had rented the car and tracked it using an Apple AirTag. Now, that may sound like a scam itself, but according to police, their claim was legitimate. This left the woman confused because she had the car’s title. Unfortunately, the title turned out to be a fake.

    The car was returned to its owner, leaving the victim out of her $11,000. A man was arrested for selling her the car and producing a fake title.

    Houston police said you can tell a title is fake by holding it up to the light, if you don’t see the state seals, the title is fraudulent. They also suggested taking the title to a local police department and having them check if the title is valid.

    Buying a used car from a private seller should be treated just like any other purchase. If you don’t want to be ripped off or robbed, the best place to complete the transaction is at your local police department. This will dissuade a lot of scammers and thieves from pulling their scam on you.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, ,   

    Puppy stolen during scam 

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, we’ve discussed many reasons why you shouldn’t buy a puppy online. In summary, there are two main scams that happen when trying to buy a puppy online. There’s the scam where the puppy doesn’t even exist, but the scammers keep asking victims for additional funds for things like a special shipping crate, traveling insurance for the puppy, etc.

    Then there are the backyard breeders, who are essentially a homegrown puppy mill. They’re the people who just keep breeding puppies in dismal conditions and don’t care about the welfare of the puppies. Often they’ll sell puppies with infectious and sometimes terminal disease.

    But, did you know there’s also a scam that targets people who are selling puppies online? A seller in Cerritos, California, was selling American Bully puppies through Craigslist for $2000. The seller met a woman who wanted to buy one of the puppies in the parking lot of a local mall. The woman asked to pay through Zelle and asked to hold the puppy while the transfer went through. By the time the Zelle transfer was denied, the woman had walked away with the puppy into the mall and fled the scene.

    If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say the scammer will probably try to sell the puppy themselves. If not on Craigslist, then on some other online marketplace. Due to the myriad of animal welfare issues with buying and selling pets online, Geebo.com stopped allowing animals to be listed for sale years ago. Craigslist technically does not allow animal sales, but they have a ‘rehoming fee’ loophole, which users take advantage of.

    Just like with any item, if you’re going to sell a puppy through an online marketplace, the best way to try to prevent a scam is to meet the buyer at a local police station. While not perfect, this will go a long way in discouraging scam artists and thieves from showing up.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    How to stay safe when using online classifieds 

    By Greg Collier

    It’s been a long time when we discussed safety procedures when using online classifieds like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even Geebo.com. This subject really hasn’t garnered any headlines in a while, but that doesn’t mean everything is safe now. Like regular people, the media can and often does focus their attention on many things. The media probably lost their attention when it comes to classifieds safety during the pandemic, as it was suggested that everyone maintained social distancing.

    Recently, a news story broke that reminded us to remind our readers about using these platforms safely. A man was shot in Jacksonville, Florida, after going to meet someone he was going to sell an iPad through Marketplace. The victim met the assailant in a gas station parking lot during the daytime. When the victim met with the buyer, the buyer tried to grab the iPad and flee with it. The victim was able to grasp the buyer, a struggle ensued, and the victim was shot.

    The victim followed the unwritten rules of meeting someone through Marketplace. He met them in a well-traveled area during daylight hours. Unfortunately, those rules don’t apply anymore, and haven’t for a while. As buyers and sellers started using these rules, the criminals adapted and became more brazen in their attempted schemes. Tragically, this has resulted in robberies, shootings, and murders.

    For years, we’ve subscribed to the notion that online classified transactions should be done at a local police department. While it’s not 100% effective, proposing to meet at a police department will go a long way in deterring countless scammers and thieves. Many police departments even have a designated area for such exchanges.

    And while we don’t often pat ourselves on the back, Geebo.com goes the extra mile of reviewing our ads to minimize the possibility of scams and other crimes. Also, each one of our ads provides a link to SafeTrade Stations, which provides a list of accommodating police departments. Geebo.com was created with the safety of our users in mind.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 22, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , , ,   

    Elaborate rental scam leaves more families homeless 

    Elaborate rental scam leaves more families homeless

    By Greg Collier

    Rental scams seem to be grabbing plenty of headlines lately. There hasn’t been an increase in rental scams. Rental scams are one of the more common scams going today and has been for a while. We think the headlines are escalating because increasingly more families are becoming homeless because of the scam.

    For example, two families moved from out of state to Aurora, Colorado. The first family is from Las Vegas and saw an and for a four bedroom home for rent on Craigslist. This family tried to do all of their due diligence. They asked the landlord for proof of ownership, which they provided. The father of the family even drove from Las Vegas to Aurora to meet with a realtor who showed him the home. The man agreed to rent the home and arranged to make the deposit.

    The realtor asked for payment through Cash App, which the man almost recognized as a red flag. However, the Las Vegas man insisted on paying through PayPal instead. Once the realtor received the payment, he gave the family the code to enter the home. So, they packed up all their belongings and moved from Las Vegas into the Aurora home.

    They were living in the home for three days when another family showed up looking to move in. This family had moved from Arkansas to Colorado. When the two families compared their stories, they both realized they had been scammed. Everyone from the landlord to the realtor were scammers.

    It wasn’t too long before the property management company showed up. As property management companies are wont to do, they gave the first family 10 days to vacate the premises or be evicted. The second family didn’t even have that luxury. Now, both families are facing homelessness.

    So, how did the scammers gain access to the home in the first place? Once again, the property management company was probably using a lockbox which contained the keys. Too many realtors never change the code on the lockboxes, leaving them vulnerable to scammers. All a scammer has to do is contact the legitimate realtor and ask for a tour. Since many realtors allow guideless tours, they’ll give the lockbox code to any potential customer, including scammers. Once the scammer has the lockbox code, they’ll use it repeatedly to show the home to their victims.

    As always, the best way to protect yourself against rental scammers is to do as much research about the property as possible. Don’t ask the landlord for proof of ownership, instead contact the county’s tax assessor’s office to find out who the real owner is. Do a Google search on the property’s address to see if there are multiple listings with different rental rates. If there are, the lower priced one is almost guaranteed to be a scam listing. Lastly, never use payment apps like PayPal or Cash App for your deposit. These apps are vulnerable to a number of scams themselves.

    If you want to help the two families taken in by this scam, you can donate to their GoFundMe accounts here and here.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 25, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    Reporter’s home used in rental scam 

    By Greg Collier

    If you’re a rental scammer, the last house you want to use in your scam is probably one which belongs to a police officer. The second to last house a scammer would want to use would most likely belong to a reporter. But that’s precisely what happened to a TV reporter from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.

    The reporter listed her home for rent on Zillow and only Zillow. After posting her home on Zillow, she received a text from a good Samaritan. The man who texted her said he found her home listed for rent on Craigslist. Not only did the Craigslist ad list the home for a cheaper rent, but the scammer was asking for an $80 application fee. The scammer had reportedly been talking to the man for two days before the man drove over to the property and called the number that was on the ‘for rent’ sign.

    Then the reporter did what reporters do, she began to investigate the phony listing. During her investigation, she also found her home listed for rent on Facebook Marketplace. As you might expect, she called the phone number listed in the phony ads. The scammer said he would meet with her to show her the home and would need $1000 for the security deposit. However, when it came time to meet, the scammer instead sent the reporter a link to the application and asked for the $80 application fee. The reporter even commented on how official looking the application was.

    The reporter called the scammer and asked him how long he owned the home, with the scammer replying two years. She then told the scammer she was both the owner of the home and a reporter. The scammer hung up the call, and when the reporter tried to call back, she only got the voicemail message.

    If you’re looking to rent or sell your home online, there’s not much you can do to prevent it being used in a scam. We have seen online listings where the seller states that the home is not listed on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. That may aid in discouraging renters from falling victim to a rental scam.

    We understand that there may be urgent situations requiring individuals to find a new home swiftly. However, regardless of the circumstances, it is crucial for potential renters to dedicate time to researching a property before making any financial commitments. One essential step is to determine the current rental rates for homes in the desired area. If a particular home seems remarkably affordable, exercising caution is advisable. Engage in a thorough web search using the property’s address to identify any other listings associated with different realtors and rental prices, as scammers often replicate legitimate real estate offers. Additionally, it is prudent to verify the true ownership of the property by consulting the county’s tax assessor office or website. By taking these precautionary measures, individuals can protect themselves from potential rental scams and ensure a safe and informed decision-making process.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bank robbery, , craigslist, , , ,   

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks 

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks

    By Greg Collier

    Recently, the city of Omaha, Nebraska, experienced a bank robbery and an attempted bank robbery with similar M.O.s. In both instances, a woman handed a phone to the bank teller. The person on the phone threatened the bank tellers into giving money to the person who handed them the phone. Except, the people standing at the teller’s counter had no idea they were being used in a bank robbery. So, how did this happen? We could just say ‘Craigslist’ and leave it at that, but we’ll give our readers a more in-depth explanation.

    According to a local news report, the women who entered the banks had replied to a Craigslist ad looking for someone to help with a sick and elderly relative. Once the women responded to the ad, they were told they would be helping with, “light housework, grocery store runs, and helping with finances.” Don’t you think classifying ‘helping with finances’ as bank robbery is a bit much? Anyway, the women were told they needed to go to the bank to withdraw money for the relative’s medical bills. The women handed the phones to the tellers, thinking their employer was discussing a withdrawal.

    Only one of the women was ‘successful’ and thought nothing of it when the teller handed her the money. That woman was instructed to deposit the money at a Bitcoin ATM.

    To make matters worse, the supposed employer obtained the women’s bank information, promising he would pay them through direct deposit. The scammer did try to steal from one of the victim’s accounts, but was unsuccessful.

    At the time of this writing, no arrest has been made.

    While a scam like this is unlikely to happen to the average jobseeker, it does highlight a couple of red flags when looking for a job online. If your employer only communicates through text messages, instant messaging, or phone call, and won’t meet you personally, there’s an excellent chance they’re a scammer. Also, if the position requires you to make any kind of payment involving cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, there’s an even grater chance the job is a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , ,   

    This car scam could have police at your door 

    By Greg Collier

    When someone falls victim to a used car scam, the best-case scenario is they only lose their money. In some other instances, victims have been severely injured or worse. However, in at least one instance, police showed up at a victim’s home looking to arrest them.

    A man from Los Angeles makes his living buying cars, then flipping them for a profit. Recently, he bought a high-end car off Craigslist that he thought he got for a bargain. As a seasoned pro in the used car game, the man thought he had covered all of his bases. The seller’s driver’s license matched the name on the title, and the title appeared to be legitimate.

    The man was getting ready to take the car to an auction when not only did police show up at his home, but they had their guns drawn. As with most used car scams from Craigslist, the man had bought a stolen car and police assumed he stole it.

    It turned out, the person who stole the car did so from a car sharing platform called Turo. It’s like Airbnb, except for cars. People make money by renting out their car when they’re not using it.

    Thankfully, everything was cleared up, but the man who bought the car was out $32,000.

    When buying a used car from any online marketplace, there are some steps you should take to prevent being scammed. As with just about any scam, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Try to get the seller to meet you either at the DMV, the local police station, or AAA. According to the news report we saw, AAA can verify that the real owner of the car matches the name on the title. Use a vehicle history report service like CARFAX or AutoCheck to check the car’s history. And lastly, ask to see the seller’s identification and the car’s VIN before going to meet the seller. Scammers often don’t give up that information voluntarily.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craigslist, , , ,   

    Craigslist rental scam leads to identity theft 

    By Greg Collier

    When we discuss rental scams, we mostly discuss how victims lose money. However, there is another pitfall to the rental scam, and that’s having your identity stolen. That could end up costing a rental scam victim even more money and headaches after they lose money to the scammer.

    Typically, rental scams involve individuals who pretend to be landlords or property managers in order to deceive potential renters into paying upfront for a rental property that they have no right to rent out or don’t even own. The scam begins with an advertisement for a rental property that appears to be priced well below the market rate, which attracts the attention of potential renters. The scammer then persuades the victim to pay a security deposit or the first month’s rent before they have had the chance to view the property. Once the payment is made, the scammer may become unreachable or vanish altogether, leaving the victim without a rental property and without any recourse to recover their money.

    But what these stories sometimes fail to mention is the phony application process scammers make victims go through. To make the scam seem more legitimate, rental scammers will have their victims fill out rental applications that ask for the victim’s personal and financial information. Once the scammers have that information, they can obviously use it for more profitable crimes.

    For example, a woman in Connecticut found a rental home on Craigslist that was well within her budget. The rental scammer had her fill out an application that asked for all pertinent information they would need for identity theft. This included the victim’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, and tax history. Just a few days later, the scammer tried to open a credit card account in the victim’s name. The victim had to freeze her credit for a year, which comes with its own set of issues.

    When filling out a rental application, avoid giving out information that is not publicly available, such as your Social Security number, driver’s license number, and banking information.

    However, before you even get to that step, you should research the property first. The listing in the story was copied from a Zillow listing where the home was for sale., Information like this can be discerned just by doing a Google search for the property’s address. And you can always check the property records with the county.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , craigslist, , , ,   

    Coffee table on Craigslist leads to con artist 

    Coffee table on Craigslist leads to con artist

    By Greg Collier

    One of the oldest scams when it comes to selling items online is the overpayment scam. Traditionally, a victim would advertise an item for sale on a platform like Craigslist. They would be approached by a prospective buyer who wanted to pay by check. When the seller received the check, it would be more than the amount they asked for. The buyer would say they made a mistake and would ask the seller to deposit the check and return the overage.

    This is also a version of the fake check scam. The check is always fake, and after the seller deposits it and sends money back to the buyer, the bank finds out the check is fraudulent. This leaves the seller on the hook to their bank for the full amount of the phony check.

    Since those times, many online sellers caught on to the fake check scam. That didn’t mean that the overpayment scam went away. It’s still around, but now has a more digital aspect to it.

    For example, a woman in Pennsylvania listed a coffee table for sale on Craigslist. The table was listed for $300. A man who claimed he wanted to buy the table sent a cashier’s check for $1550. She was told to deposit the check and keep $300 for herself and give the remaining $1250 to the movers when they come to pick it up.

    Just as an aside, there’s a similar scam where the ‘movers’ are in on the scam and just take the money. However, today’s scam does something different.

    After a few days, the buyer said that the movers couldn’t make it, and he changed his mind about buying the table. The buyer then asked for $1450 back from the seller, and wanted it sent to him through Zelle, which the seller did. The same day the seller sent the buyer the money, the seller’s bank discovered the check was a fake.

    For once, police were able to track down and arrest the scammer, although that’s the exception and not the rule. There was no report whether the seller got her money back or not. Since she used Zelle, there’s a good chance she didn’t, even with the scammer being arrested.

    If you sell items online, some of the old rules are still true. The first one is not to accept checks. Or, at least tell the buyer that there will be a delay in shipping until the check is verified as genuine. If you receive payment for more than the amount you’re asking for, it’s a scam. The buyer didn’t make a mistake, and there are no movers.

    While it may be convenient to accept payments through platforms like Zelle, Venmo and Cash App, they can also be manipulated.

    Your best bet is to only sell locally and only take cash.

    Lastly, we always recommend meeting the other person at a local police department. Many police departments now have areas designed for such exchanges. While it won’t guarantee you won’t be scammed, it goes a long way as a deterrent to scammers.

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