How Are Online Ads Used To Scam People?

The human race is an imaginative bunch.

If there is a problem that is in front of us, we do our best to solve it.

The same goes for when we have an objective to achieve.

We will pull out our imaginations and come up with something very cunning.

This is what hackers and online scam artists do on a daily basis.

They see an objective, which is how to get the money that is in your wallet, and figure out a way to accomplish it.

Online Classified Ads Scam

The latest scam has been using online classified ads to find their victims.

There have always been scams when it came to classified ads, even online ones.

Craigslist, Ebay and all of the other types of classified web sites, have all had to increase their security over the years.

No one wants to visit these places, if all that happens is, them being scammed and their money taken.

So there are safe guards in place to help prevent this from happening.

But these safeguards deal with just the normal crooks.

These days, the online classified ads scams are being done by organized groups of individuals.

Organized Crime

The groups that are involved with the scams range from organized crime members in the US to criminals operating out of Nigeria.

There is just not one group of individuals who are committing these crimes, it has gone international.

People have found it lucrative and are taking advantage of it.

The range of scams are also great.

The different scams include fake electronics, bait and switch, robbery, and even real estate fraud.

Some of these scams might need a little bit of explanation so that you know how to avoid them.

The bait and switch is especially popular on EBay.

It involves someone advertising an item and showing a picture of it in a package.

In little letters at the bottom of the page, they say that they are selling the packaging and not the item itself.

So when you get only the packaging and you start to complain, they bring up that it is exactly what was advertised.

Robbery happens a lot on Craigslist.

People will pretend that they are selling something and they need you to pick it up.

When you go there with your money, they physically assault you and take the money out of your pocket.

This happens more often than people think.

Make sure you meet in a public place if possible, when purchasing items off of craigslist.

The real estate scam involves people claiming that they have a house for rent or sale.

They will tell you that they live there but are out of the country.

They then send you a key, and you send them the money.

When you get to the place, you find out that the key doesn’t work.

This is a relatively new crime that has been happening a lot.

Most traces claim that a lot of the real estate scams are originating from Nigeria.

Online classifieds are a great way to get a deal but they have their share of risk as well.

If you are careful and make sure that read the listing very thoroughly, you should be able to avoid the scams.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Dr Don Yates Sr PhD says:

    I am glad to have finally found your site. Great blog. Somehow we have to all get together to combat internet crime. I assume I may post your link to my efforts. I have spent the better part of the last 2 years, getting scammed, researching scams and and preparing to help others avoid the scams and to be successful online. We launched Jan 2010. You are welcome to check us out, join us if you feel we have something to offer you or you have something to contribute to our members.

    • Hi Don, I’ll be sure to check your site out soon.

      You say that you yourself have been scammed – care to share the details about that with us?

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