LAPD Wants You to be Aware of Craigslist Scams NR13465cj

October 21, 2013

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.