BBB spokesman Dan Hendrickson says to beware of ads on Craigslist and in Autotrader and other free publications, particularly if the seller suggests a third-party handle the transaction.
“They’re seeing ads for cars, trucks, RVs, even boats at too-good-to-be-true prices,” Hendriskson says. “What they’re finding out, of course, is the ads are not legitimate and any money they send away, they will lose and they will not receive anything in return.”
Hendrickson says it should raise a big red flag if someone’s selling a vehicle or a boat at a price that’s super-low.
“Usually what happens is the bad guys will say, ‘Well, I went through a divorce here, I’m just trying to get rid of some stuff or get some money in the bank, or I’ve been deployed,’ this kind of thing. And so they’re trying to make it seem like, ‘Hey, you’re doing me a favor here and helping me out’.”
People who suspect such a scam should contact local law enforcement and the Better Business Bureau.