If you have ever sold anything on Craigslist large or small, you know it can be a frustrating experience. Sometimes attempting to buy or sell an item on Craigslist can even lead to dangerous situations, fraud, theft or something worse. As local insurance professionals we have experienced some bizarre situations involving auto theft through Craigslist and wanted to help arm you with the necessary information to avoid something like this happening to you.
Picture this…..you “successfully” sell your automobile online. You have a deal. You set up a day, time and location to meet the buyer and pass over the car. You then get physically attacked and your car is stolen by the “buyer”. Sadly, this situation is quite common, especially if you are not aware of the scams and tactics that are tarnishing this type of transaction. When it comes to items as large and as valuable as a car, selling it online can be a sticky situation.
If selling online is your only option there is one important way to protect yourself from these scams. Local police departments are telling people to have potential buyers or sellers meet you in their parking lots. Police parking lots are well lit and have cameras and anyone who won’t meet you at a police station parking lot obviously cannot be trusted. There are crazy news stories about these kinds of things happening all over the country. While Craigslist is a great resource for connecting you with buyers, it is not without risks. Do your research to avoid being a target for criminals.