Spot a Craigslist Scam

If you try to sell anything on Craigslist you are going to be bombarded with Craigslist scams. It's a fact of life that there are hundreds of Craigslist scams happening on an hourly basis. Scammers are continuously scanning the pages looking for some innocent person to scam. So how do you Spot a Craigslist scam?


  1. Look for the broken English. The vast majority of Craigslist scams come from foreign countries.
  2. Watch for flowery language. Most Craigslist scams use a lot of apologies, religious references, rambling about family problems.
  3. Do they offer you more money? The classic Craigslist scam recipe is the bad check. Offer you more money and ask for some in return.
    • For example: "I can't come over and take a look because I have something I need to finish for work. Since the item's still up for sale, please email me your details (full name, contact address, email and phone number), so that I can issue the payment via cashier's check. I'll also arrange for the pick up." The person then sends you a check for too much. They then ask you to reimburse the additional amount but the cashier's check is a fake.
  4. Watch out for sweet talk. They can't meet with you, but are certain you are a good person. There is always some reason why the Craigslist scammer cannot meet with you. That is a big red flag.
  5. Be aware that they will always show a sense of urgency. The basis of any Craigslist scam is to get you to act without thinking about it.


  • Never give out any personal information.
  • Always ask yourself if it is too good to be true.
  • Never send any money abroad.
  • Never use any insurance that they offer.
  • Always take time to think about the offer and you will find flaws with it.
  • Never use any money wiring service that they offer.


  • Craigslist scams can be tricky and you should get a second opinion on any offer if you are in doubt. Ask a friend.
  • Never ship items to the buyer, especially vehicles. This leaves you very vulnerable to numerous types of scams. If you want to ship your item, go through eBay, where you'll have more protections.

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