8 Ways To Avoid Getting Scammed On Craigslist

woman visibly upset and closing eyes while on the phoneThe arrival of spring and the deep house cleaning it inspires means more people are putting their old furniture, devices, sports equipment and clothing up for sale. That’s why the amount of items like these on sites like Craigslist swells considerably during this season. If you have the time and patience to sift through the offerings, there are wonderful treasures to be found. Conversely, if your own spring cleaning unveils hordes of sellable stuff you don’t use anymore, you can make good money selling them online.

Unfortunately, though, when there’s money to be made, the scammers are never far behind. Craigslist is riddled with scammers looking to make a quick buck off people’s naivety. Stay one step ahead of scammers and keep your money safe by following these eight tips when using Craigslist.

1.) Be familiar with Craigslist and the services it offers
Lots of Craigslist scams can be avoided by knowing basic information about the site. Before using Craigslist, make sure you know the following:

The Craigslist URL is http://www.craigslist.org. Scammers often use fake sites to lure buyers into paying for items that don’t exist. Always check the URL before finalizing a purchase.
Craigslist does not back any transaction on its site. If you receive an email or text trying to sell you purchase protection, you’re looking at a scam.
There is no such thing as a Craigslist voicemail service. If a contact asks you to access or check your “Craigslist voicemails,” you’re dealing with a scammer.

2.) Deal locally.
The “barely used” couch that’s up for sale a couple of states over might be better-priced than the one being sold just a 10-minute drive away, but it’s always safer to deal with locals on Craigslist. According to the site’s advice on avoiding scams on their platform, you’ll avoid 99% of the scams on Craigslist by following this rule.

Keeping your transaction local will enable you to finalize a sale in person. Plus, there’s less of a chance of there being a language barrier blurring the details of the deal.

3.) Examine the product(s) before finalizing a sale.
Never rely solely on pictures to get the full scope on what you’re buying. Ask to look at the item in person. If you’re purchasing an electronic device or something else that needs to work in order to be valuable, ask to try it out as well.

4.) Don’t accept or send a cashier’s check, certified check or money order as payment.
Fraudulent checks can be impossible to fight. Also, a bad check can seem to clear on sight, so you’ll agree to the sale and use the money that’s supposedly in your account. A few days later, though, you’ll realize the check bounced. By that time, the buyer has vanished with your goods, leaving you responsible for covering the funds you used while presuming it cleared.

On the flip side, if you pay for an item with a money order or wire transfer, you’ll have no way of recouping your loss if the seller fails to come through with the goods.

5.) Use cash—safely.
The most secure way to pay or collect funds for a Craigslist transaction is with cold cash. If the idea of handing over a large sum of money to a stranger scares you, you can make the exchange of money and goods in a safe place like your local police station or even at Advantage One.

When accepting cash for a sale, bring along a counterfeit detector pen (which can be found at most office supply stores and online) to be certain you’re not getting scammed with bogus bills. These retail for as little as $5, but they can save you from big losses.

6.) Never share your personal information with a buyer or seller.
As always, when online, keep your personal information to yourself. There’s no reason a buyer or seller needs to know your checking account number, your date of birth or even your mother’s maiden name. If a contact is asking too many questions, back out of the deal.

7.) Be wary of fake escrow service sites.
Escrow services, in which a company holds onto a large sum of money for two parties in the middle of a transaction, can be super-convenient when buying and selling things online. However, they can also be a clever trap for unsuspecting victims. Scammers often create bogus escrow service sites to lure victims into dropping their money right into the scammers’ hands. The site will be a copycat of a reputable escrow service site, with some slight deviations you wouldn’t notice unless you looked for them.

When using an escrow service site, it’s best to find the site yourself instead of following a pop-up ad or a link. Check the site carefully for spelling mistakes and poor syntax. Also, make sure the URL is secure and matches the site of the service you intend to use.

8.) Create a disposable number.
When conducting business on Craigslist, you may need to share a working phone number. You can create a cost-free, disposable number on Google Voice instead of giving out your real number. Your Google Voice number will be untraceable and will expire within 30 days of non-use.

Your Turn:
Have you ever been targeted by a Craigslist scam? Share your experience with us in the comments.

SOURCES:

https://www.fraudguides.com/internet/craigslist/

https://www.craigslist.org/about/scams

https://www.thestreet.com/amp/personal-finance/craigslist-scams-14707309

https://www.efraudprevention.net/home/templates/?a=96

6 Ways To Earn Money Online

Young white woman carefully packs up an item she sold on eBay in her living room while her faithful Golden Retriever looks on curiously.Are you looking for some extra cash to jumpstart your savings? Desperate to stop living paycheck to paycheck? Want to make 2019 the year you finally get debt-free?

Look no further than your computer screen! With nothing but internet access and a modest investment of your time, you can give your budget that extra padding it needs and get a head start on saving for a larger goal.

Read on for six easy ways to earn money online.

1.) Take surveys
Taking surveys in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra dough fast.

Here are some great survey companies to get you started:

Survey Junkie – Redeem points for payouts via gift cards and/or PayPal.
American Consumer Opinion – Easy sign up and well-managed.
Vindale Research – Pays up to $75 a survey.
Ipsos – Simple and easy to use.

Choose one (or more) that works best for you and start earning money today!

2.) Share your Amazon purchase history
Download the ShopTracker app from Harris Poll and help the company track the products Amazon customers purchase most. All you need to do is share the details of your recent Amazon purchase.

The company will ask for info about the purchase, such as the order date, product title, category, ISBN number, release date, condition, seller, list price per unit, quantity and several other details.

Get paid up to $36 per year for doing this small amount of work.

3.) Become a transcriptionist
Are you a quick typist or a fast talker? Then you may want to consider working as a transcriptionist. Sign up for a program like Scribie and get paid to transcribe documents and movies at $5-$20 per audio hour.

The work is extremely flexible and can be done anytime on your schedule. Most files are only six minutes long or less, so the work is interesting and doesn’t get too tedious. You can choose to type the documents or movies, or to dictate them into a talk-to-text program. Plus, there’s an option of getting promoted and earning more once you become more adept at transcribing.

And as a bonus, you’ll learn new things every day!

4.) Monetize your blog or website with Google AdSense
Google ads are all over the internet; now it’s time to make them work for you! If you have a website or a blog (and if you don’t, you can build one in short order) work on monetizing with Google AdSense. You’ll only earn pennies when you start out, but if you work hard at increasing the traffic to your site or blog, it can really help you pull in the big bucks.

Google AdSense is insanely easy to set up. Sign up for a free Google AdSense account and you’ll receive a unique setup code to copy to your site or blog. Once you’ve done that, Google does the rest, tracking your page views, traffic flow and earnings.

Worried about maintenance fees and upkeep work? There are none! Google does it all. That’s why incorporating Google AdSense in your site or blog is such a no-brainer. It’s just a few minutes of your time and then you’ll start earning extra money for doing absolutely nothing.

Of course, the more traffic you draw, the more you’ll make off Google AdSense. The potential to earn an extra few hundred, or even thousands of dollars, via Google will push you to work at drawing more traffic to your content. While it will take work to get there, just imagine pulling in an extra $4,000 a month!

5.) Become an online consultant
Are you an expert in your field? Do your coworkers constantly seek you out for guidance and advice? Why not market your expertise and earn some extra money at the same time?

Online consulting is the perfect side hustle for natural teachers and counselors. You’ll be working with what you’re good at, creating your own hours and schedule and setting up your own pay scale.

You can advertise your services on a public forum like Craigslist, or set up a free profile on Clarity.fm. People will then be able to look you up on their own. Once word spreads and your name is out there, you can raise your rates and earn more in less time.

Let your talents pay off!

6.) Sell your stuff on eBay
Yes, we know, eBay is the dinosaur of online commerce, but even dinosaurs have their days. The next time you want to throw out an unused piece of junk, a defunct device or an ancient gadget, skip the trash can and sell it on eBay instead. The auction platform guarantees you’ll get the best price for your junk and the site is fully secure. Why not make money off your garbage?

The internet has changed the world forever. Use it to earn extra cash and turn your financial world around!

Your Turn:
Do you earn money online? Share your method with us in the comments!

SOURCES:
https://www.thefrugalprof.com/23-ways-to-make-extra-money-in-2019/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/jrose/2018/04/24/make-money-online/amp/

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance-saving-and-budgeting/articles/how-to-earn-money-online