Craigslist users are asked to be aware of scammers offering to buy their items, pay for their services in advance, or rent their apartments with cashier's checks without meeting them in person. The value of the cashier's checks often far exceeds the amount requested and the scammers ask potential victims to wire the balance back to them via a money transfer service.
The banks will cash fake checks and then hold the potential victims responsible when the check fails to clear, sometimes including criminal prosecution.
- Most scams attempts involve one or more of the following:
- Email or text from someone that is not local to your area.
- Vague initial inquiry, e.g. asking about "the item." Poor grammar/spelling.
- Western Union, Money Gram, cashier check, money order, Paypal, Zelle, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee."
- Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face to complete the transaction.