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22 Oct 2015
Craigslist scams are rampant, and even after all the news and widely publicized Craigslist scams, people are still falling to these scams. The major scam that many Sequim residents are seeing involves Sequim homes that are for sale being fraudulently offered as rentals by con artists. Today I’ll share how this scam works so you won’t get caught by it.
Con artists using this scam have been using it for about a decade now, and it continues even today. They have a few scripts that they use over and over again. One Craigslist ad will promote a local Sequim home that is for sale in the MLS as a rental home at a substantially reduced rental rate. They even steal a photo from the MLS to advertise it. You have to email them through an undisclosed Craigslist email, and there is no other contact information. These con artists are often in Ethiopia, India, or some other remote location. When you email them, they will email back that they are out of the country (sometimes on a “Christian missionary trip”) and that if you send the deposit of $1,250 (or a similar amount), they will arrange to have the keys delivered. Of course, they never deliver the keys.
By the way, you might wonder why Craigslist doesn’t stop these common Craigslist scams that have been going on for years and continue to this day. Craigslist does not have a customer support phone number or a direct email, and they never respond to support complaints reporting these scams. My suggestion is to simply avoid Craigslist altogether. If you want to look at 100% of all the local Sequim real estate listings for sale in the MLS with 100% accuracy and no scams, you can so that at Sequim-Homes.com.
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