How to Spot a Scam

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Phony Escrow Sites Scam

This popular Craigslist scam will work a lot like the bad check and counterfeit money order scams now rampant on Craigslist with a few minor twists. What makes this scam different is that the person running the scam is selling the item rather than buying it. Their Craigslist listing will probably be something relatively expensive like a car or expensive tool. The more expensive an item for sale on the internet is the more paranoid all parties involved in the sale are likely to become.

Watch out for sellers insisting you use an escrow company you've never heard of, especially if it's abroad. Don't get tricked into using Western Union thinking that it's perfectly safe because it's a name you know and trust. Savvy online shoppers know to steer clear of buyers wanting you to transfer money to them via Western Union or engage in currency transfers. They know better than allowing another party to draw money directly from their bank accounts. Never hand "phishy" sounding escrow sites the keys to your account or you could end up paying a lot more than you expected.

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