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News Release

Monday, October 21, 2013

Media Relations

LAPD Wants You to be Aware of Craigslist Scams NR13465cj

Los Angeles:   The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) would like to warn the public to be aware of Craigslist scams.

Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale items, merchandise, services, community, gigs, résumés and discussion forums.  Due to its popularity it is easy for the criminal element to capitalize on the credibility of a useful tool.  If not careful you can expose yourself to financial loss, fraud and even more serious crimes such as robbery and murder. Below are a few things to watch out for when using Craigslist:

  • Claims that Craigslist will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/ seller and provide protection from a payment
  • A distant person offers a genuine-looking cashier’s check that is fake
  • Someone requests wire service payment via money wiring services
  • Someone you do not know offers to send you a money order and have you wire money
  • Offers or suggestions to use an online escrow service
  • A foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers then wiring funds
Here are some ways to avoid being scammed:

  • Deal with folks you can meet in person and meet them in a public place, like a police station.  If they refuse to meet it may be a scam
  • Never wire funds via money wiring services
  • Understand that fake money orders and cashier’s checks are common
  • Craigslist is not involved in any transaction
  • Avoid deals involving shipping and escrow services.  Only a scammer will guarantee a transaction
  • Do not rent housing or purchase goods without seeing them for yourself
  • Never submit to background checks
If you feel you have been scammed by anyone via Craigslist or if you have information on this type of crime calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.