Where Do College Students In Dc Area Buy Apartment Furniture Avoiding Spam and Fraudulent Activity on Classified Ad Sites!

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Avoiding Spam and Fraudulent Activity on Classified Ad Sites!

I remember my first encounter with spam after posting on Craigslist. I was a sophomore in college and used Craigslist to advertise my tennis lessons in Bethesda (which is right outside of Washington DC). I remember getting an email from a father who lived abroad and wanted to send me a decent amount of money for lessons for his son who apparently lived in Bethesda. He provided many details regarding transport for the boys, times and prices. I had a feeling about it at first, but I immediately responded to the email pretty excited about the opportunity. After a few email exchanges, I felt like it sounded too good to be true and started to sound irritated. The supposed “father” started asking a lot of personal and confidential information via email and refused to call me to discuss lessons over the phone. Additionally, I noticed a lot of typos and broken English in later emails. I consulted the internet and family/friends to get their thoughts and they all said it raised red flags. I then googled this email and found that other Craigslist users and classifieds users were experiencing the same email. Luckily I stopped all contact and never lost any money or got scammed… but it was close! After this experience, I thought it would be useful to point out a few ways to avoid these scams or what to watch out for. I recommend checking these cartridges out, it could save your wallet!

  • Always follow your gut feeling and what you feel inside. If an email immediately sounds strange, too good to be true, and/or raises a red flag, be careful!
  • Use the search engine like Google and search for a real potential scam email. You will be surprised that sometimes people or ad users will alert others to a scam.
  • Just don’t react, it is not worth it. There are plenty of legitimate buyers out there, so just work with them.
  • Be careful listings that contain many typos, missing contact information, no images, and unusually low or high listing prices. Posts that use all or many of these should raise red flags.
  • Avoid contact listings that are repeated many times on classified ads sites. It may not be a scam, but it could be spam. I’ve noticed this on many of the larger classified ad listing sites. Many contain tons of spam and have no way to actually control it. Frustrating for people looking for quality listings/products that actually meet their search criteria! In addition, it can be frustrating for people who list products but then don’t get seen due to a lot of spam.
  • Try them on your phone. If you’re worried about a scammer, find out if you can talk to an actual, real person before proceeding with anything else.
  • Deal with people locally! Check out the product/service you see listed and in person is a much better idea than doing everything via email. This allows you to personally check the quality of the product and enable a more trusted transaction.
  • Beware of listings that require online transactions, wiring or fake cashier’s checks.
  • Beware of statements or e-mails that require financial information, social security, credit card information, bank accounts, personal information or credit card checks.

I hope these tips help you! If you ever want to report scams to the authorities, you can do so by reporting them to IC3 or the FTC online.

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