Scam Protection

You can sidestep would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:

  • DEAL LOCALLY WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON - follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts on this site.
  • NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or any other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer.
  • FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON, and BANKS WILL CASH THEM AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • AlertsOnDemand IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, guarantee transactions, provide escrow services, or offer "buyer protection" nor guarantee "seller certification"  certifications are provided by 3rd party and does not guarantee or warrant any certified members services, items quality, quantities or claims. it is advised that "Buyers" do due diligence before agreeing to or making any transactions with members. 
  • NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.)
  • AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION.

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

U.S. Federal

U.S. States

Canada

  • Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or 888-495-8501 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              888-495-8501      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (toll-free)
  • RCMP

If you are defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department.

If you suspect that a craigslist post may be part of a scam, please send us the details


Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

  • inquiry from someone far away, often in another country
  • Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee"
  • inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consumating transaction

Examples of Scams

1. Someone claims that AlertsOnDemand will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR claims that craigslist will handle or provide protection for a payment.

  • These claims are fraudulent, as AlertsOnDemand does not have any role in any transaction.
  • Scammer will often send an official looking email that appears to come from craigslist, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, providing payment services -- all such emails are fakes!

2. distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check

  • you receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your item, or rent your apartment, sight unseen.
  • cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for an apartment, or for your services.
  • value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service
  • banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, including criminal prosecution in some cases!
  • scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc)

3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

  • Scam "bait" items include apartments, laptops, TVs, cell phones, tickets, and other high value items
  • Often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
  • Common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere
  • Apartment listing may be local, but landlord/owner is "travelling" or "relocating" and needs you to wire money to them abroad
  • Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, rent is below market, etc

4. distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:

  • this is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE
  • sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not
  • scammer often asks for your name, address, etc for printing on the fake check
  • deal often seems too good to be true

5. distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service.

  • most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers
  • for more info, do a google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud"

6. distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods

  • he says he trusts you with the partial payment
  • he may say he has already shipped the goods
  • deal often sounds too good to be true

7. foreign company offers you a job receiving payments from customers, then wiring funds

  • foreign company may claim it is unable to receive payments from its customers directly
  • you are typically offered a percentage of payments received
  • this kind of "position" may be posted as a job, or offered to you via email