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Buy, Sell, Trade: Avoiding Getting Scammed on Craiglist

JACKSON, MISS– Whether you need to make a buck or you’re hunting for an item on the cheap, Craigslist is a common online venue when it comes to buying, selling, and trading online. But there’s also the presence of scammers. 

But scammers aren’t just targeting the buyers, they’re targeting the sellers as well.

“Anyone who wants to pay you more than the price and have you wire the excess money back could be a scammer,” says John O’Hara, CEO of Better Business Bureau Mississippi.

“Have them contact you through an email,” says O’Hara, “often times people try to do business over text, people will get phone numbers and send texts and calls that are scams.

O’Hara also warns of the physical danger when it comes to buying and selling online.

“The first thing is to be safe,” says O’Hara, “if you’re meeting someone for a transaction, have them meet in a public place. Some police stations have offered their parking lots for that purpose.”

So how can you spot a scam before you’re caught in a rut? O’Hara says it’s all in the conversation.

“If there’s a sense of urgency,” says O’Hara, “it could be a scam.”

O’Hara says a sense of urgency could be anything from saying the sale has to happen quick in order to move to or from out of state, fund a child through college, or pricing the item incredibly low. If the seller wants to use a Moneygram as opposed to Paypal or credit card, O’Hara says this is also a red flag.

“If you lose money with a Moneygram,” says O’Hara, “there’s no protection or recourse if you don’t get your product.”

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