Being the biggest classified website, Craigslist is the home of spammers and fraudulent activities. There is no precise way to stop such activities but we can definitely prevent ourselves from being one of the targets.
Here are certain things to keep in mind before negotiating with an advertiser,
- Never carry out cross-country deals, especially in India. Such advertisements can be luring but 90 percent of are fraudulent.
- On Craigslist, try and understand the language of the advertisement and weigh you instincts to decide whether its genuine or not. Fraudulent ads are lengthy, luring with ‘unbelievable’ deal.
- Always do a Google search on the advertisers name and email id. If the advertiser has a bad reputation then you’ll see some complaints against him in consumer forums. Usually, fraud guys use a particular email-id to carry out their activities and you’ll certainly find 1-2 complaints against him/her in consumer forums websites. This is the best way to check if the advertiser is fraud or not.
- Never reveal any of your personal details like phone number, residential address, family details and others. Name and email address are enough.
- Never get on with the deal till you personally meet the advertiser. If meeting is somehow not possible, make sure you verify his/her identity. Its better to get information of his authentication proofs like PAN card number, Passport number or anything similar.
- No pending payments. Its better to ask for advance payment but if it’s denied then set a payment schedule, say after every 5 days or after completion of every 10 or 20 percent work.
- Be professional in approach. Being a a client, make sure your payment isn’t delayed at any cost. Showing little resilience isn’t bad, but it solely depends on you.
- Always ask for online payment or through PayPal. Avoid cheque as it might bounce a week after you receive it when the work is already over. Also avoid money transfer using MoneyGram or Western Union.
- Be it a spammer or a genuine advertiser, never reveal your bank and credit card details. Even the most intelligent guys, mistakenly, leak details like bank name and location which should be avoided.
And if, somehow you gets entangled with frauds then there are 2 ways to deal with them,
- Contact Craigslist: Just by filling a form one can contact craigslist regarding the issue. However it doesn’t mean that our problem would be resolved.
- Contact FTC: It’s a US based commission that collects complaints against fraud group, companies and business houses. This doesn’t works on individual complaint but works to detect wrong-doing patterns and thus help in taking measures to prevent it. FTC can be reached by filling the form.