Nearly 100 car sellers on Craigslist were targeted by a scam in the Chicago area that left sellers without their cars and holding rubber checks, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported. In a 2014 case, a young student from Southern California was stabbed to death selling a car he advertised on Craigslist.
Selling your car online is a wonderful convenience, but it’s also become a feeding ground for scammers. The good news is that with a few precautions, you can avoid these traps.
Craigslist, the free, peer-to-peer classified website, is where you’ll find most used car bargains — and where con artists try to prey on gullible sellers. The online giant eBayMotors.com also lists used cars for sale or auction but has various purchase protection programs to discourage most types of fraud.
When asked why online car sales attract shady types, Frank Scafidi, public affairs director of the NICB, answered, “In a word, ‘anonymity.’ The internet attracts a lot of positive people, but it also attracts people who try to work their scam and then disappear back into the ether.” ….