The Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs advises consumers to sidestep would-be scammers by following these rules:
- Deal with local people you can meet in person (follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts on craigslist);
- Never wire funds via Western Union, Money Gram or any other wire service;
- Fake checks and money orders are common, and banks will cash them and hold you responsible when the scam is discovered weeks later;
- Craigslist does not guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller or provide protection for a payment. Claims to the contrary are false;
- Never give out financial information (such as bank account or social security number) to a stranger;
- Do not rent housing without seeing the interior, or purchase expensive items sight-unseen;
- Do not submit to credit checks or background checks for a job or for housing until you have met the interviewer or landlord/agent in person.
Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Consumer Affairs can be reached at 340-3260.