Sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and others make it easy for scammers to take your money with false ads. For example, you see an ad for a car for sale at a very good price. The seller will have a story of why they need to get rid of it quickly; “I have to immediately deploy.” “It was my wife’s car, who recently passed away, and I can’t bare to see the car.” Etc.
These stories make sense and could be true. However, they will ask for you to pay for some or all without physically seeing the item for sell. Again, the stories could make sense; “I have many people interested in this. To make sure you are serious, you will have to wire me 10%.” Or, for smaller items, they will offer to ship it to you through the mail… anything to avoid having to physically show you the item.
Whatever deal is made, the money is exchanged but the item NEVER comes to the buyer. There is a good chance the item is fake and was never really in the hands of the seller.
A good rule to have when it comes to Internet Transaction Scams is to never give money without seeing it in person. It could be a dog, or what we call “puppy scam”, a car, or even just a small figurine. NEVER GIVE MONEY TO A STRANGER WITHOUT SEEING THE ITEM IN PERSON. Also, never give partial money to “hold it”. The only time you should buy something off these sites is when you pay in full and in person at a safe location such as the Sheriff’s Office parking lot.