Buying a computer off craigslist? Be very careful!
Buying A Computer Off Craigslist? Be Very Careful!
Craigslist is basically the garage sale of the Internet, only there are a lot more prostitutes on Craigslist than there are at your typical garage sale (in many neighborhoods, anyways).
Many people take to Craigslist to find new and used electronics at discounted prices, but is a good deal worth dealing with fraudulent sellers?
Beware of these ways that they can scam you.
Remember that Craigslist sales are final. If something busts in the computer, you won’t get any help from the seller, unless you’ve already arranged for that sort of thing and you’ve got legal papers to prove it, so I’d advise against buying any high-end electronics or computers from users of the website.
With all of the scams on Craigslist, the only thing that it might be totally safe to purchase on Craigslist could be lawn furniture.
Here are two of the more popular scams for computers through Craigslist.
Computer comes with viruses pre-installed.
The majority of computer owners feel it is safe to use their personal computer for their banking and other financial services online because it is not a shared computer. The computer your purchase from Craigslist may already have had a virus installed that is specifically designed to be malicious and monitor your keystrokes, track your Internet logins, transmit your confidential information, or redirect your browser to fake sites. Which provides the information to steal your identity and drain your banking accounts.
The same can apply to having your computer repaired via an ad you find on Craigslist. Especially repairs done via remote access. A shady repair guy working out of his mom’s basement can easily install viruses on your computer. (ALWAYS have your computer repaired by a business that is backed by the Better Business Bureau!)
The hardware or software can be swapped out and not include the hard drive advertised, or include a different version of operating system advertised. With all sales on Craigslist being final, there are no exchanges or refunds. Once a sale is complete a seller can easily disappear.
This can be the case with any items being sold on Craigslist or by any individual, buyer beware, stolen goods can be sold anywhere.
ALSO, sending your computer to someone to have it repaired? Don’t be surprised if your computer ends up being stolen, stripped and then resold on craigslist!
Here’s a few of the nasty things that go on with Craigslist that makes us advise you
against using it to purchase anything of significant value period.
As you may know, Craigslist has a little link on each post that allows any reader to “flag as spam.” There’s an automated system that takes note of these clicks, and if enough such clicks come from enough unique users, the post is automatically pulled off the site. For the most part, this system is both effective and efficient. But, there’s software out there that will let you “flag as spam” any post you want, sending multiple clicks pretending to come from unique users. It’s being used by some companies to maliciously pull down perfectly legitimate posts from competitors.
Make sure you are really on Craigslist!
There some sites out there that attempt to capitalize on Craigslist’s success. Some have similar domain names and the owner’s hope that you will make mistake while typing in the URL and end up on their site instead of the one you intended. Sometimes you will find nothing more than advertising but a couple of these imposters are phishing scams with layouts that duplicate the real Craigslist to fool you. The real web address for Craigslist is www.craigslist.org although the www in the URL can usually be replaced with the name of the city you whose listings you wish to explore (chicago.craigslist.org, newyork.craigslist.org, or losangeles.craigslist.org). If you go to the main address I just listed you will be able to find the local listings you’re interested. Just make sure that you haven’t ended up at www.craiglist.org or some other common misspelling of the Craigslist domain. You’d be surprised at how many people type in the wrong address and end up somewhere they didn’t mean to. People often fail to realize their mistake so pay attention to any clues telling you that something is “phishy” about the site. If there’s any doubt, go back and re-type the URL or do a search for “Craigslist” to be sure.
Craigslist Purchase Protection Program
Some Craigslist users have reported something called the Craigslist Purchase Protection scam. What happens is that after you email someone about an item you get an email that has text to the effect of:
Craigslist Transaction Confirmed! Purchase Protection Granted!
Per your request, we have verified all the details of this transaction. We concluded that they are accurate. Please follow our instructions to complete the transaction safely.
Craigslist Transaction Confirmed!
Current status: Payment pending
Here would be some details about the Craigslist purchase you supposedly made
Complete your Craigslist transaction in 5 easy steps:
* Craigslist accepts the transaction and offers purchase protection to the buyer
Next you’ll receive a document that may appear to be an invoice. Relax, it’s a phony. There is no official Craigslist buyer or purchase protection program. Craigslist doesn’t officially back any transaction. Taking care of business is your job.
Pay attention to those alert boxes at the top of Craigslist postings because they are there for your benefit and warn about these and many other scams on Craigslist.
Crashmasters Computer Sales and Repair is credited by the Better Business Bureau.