DENVER — Suspected Craigslist scammers are posing as locals and posting ads selling cars.
The ads include lots of pictures, detailed information and the sellers have Denver-area phone numbers.
“After the third car we were looking at, I was just like, something doesn’t seem right,” 16-year-old Damian Martin said.
Martin just got his driver’s license two weeks ago and his dad, Trevor, is helping him look for a used car. They started with Craigslist, but so far have found nothing but scams.
Damian Martin said the first time he got a funny feeling about the ads was when three posts were the same, but included different pictures.
“It seemed like all the details for the vehicles were all the same. They were all 2006 models. They all had 148,000 miles on them exactly,” he said.
While those listings could have just been a coincidence, the red flags kept coming.
The Martins said they thought a lot of the deals were too good to be true, but went ahead and contacted the sellers anyway.
After reaching out to a few of them through text message, Trevor Martin said all of the sellers gave him excuses why they could not talk on the phone and asked for his email address instead.
Once the sellers contacted him through email, each one said they did not live in Colorado.
“They were all out of state and they wanted us to give the money through eBay and then they would ship us the vehicle,” Damian Martin said.
Experts warn if someone online wants to make a transaction through a third party such as PayPal, Western Union or eBay, you should quit the sale immediately.
In this case, scammers would likely try to get the Martins to pay for the car through a spoofed eBay page that is made to look like the real thing, then disappear without delivering the car.
Experts also warn if someone you’re dealing with for an online sale is using bad grammar, asking for personal information or being pushy about the sale, those are warning signs of a scam.
Not all ads posted for cars on Craigslist are a scam. Legitimate local sellers exist.
Experts suggest only dealing with local people who can meet in person. Craigslist has dedicated a page of its site to educating people on how to avoid getting scammed.