Saturday, November 28, 2020

No Joke: Beware of Scams on Craigslist

 Back when the kids were, well, kids, we used Craigslist quite a bit to trade baby gear.

Generally, we had good experiences, although some people would say they were stopping by to pick up an item and never show up.

Today, after ten plus years not using Craigslist, I needed to sell some Subaru wheels and so returned to post an ad. There were 3,000 postings in the wheels/tires section of the Portland Craigslist. I had no idea if that number represented a glut of used wheels or an active market.

Low and behold, within an hour of posting someone contacted me via text that she was interested in purchasing the wheels. Oh, and could I please send her the Google Voice verification code that had just been sent to my phone. This way, she explained, she would know if my ad was legitimate.

For a moment this sounded like an appropriate step to take when thinking about a purchase. Lucky for me I did an internet search, and the first ten items were articles telling how this was a scam. The would-be-wheel buyer wanted to steal my Google Voice account. She would then be able to use a phone number to do crime and the digital trail would lead to me.

We’ll see if I sell the wheels and keep the fraudsters at bay. I suspect I’m fresh bait for the more experienced scammers.  

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