How the Scam Works:
You are browsing Craigslist for a used car, boat or other large ticket item. You see an ad for exactly what you want, and the price is lower than you've seen elsewhere.
You email the seller. He replies, saying the item is available, but you need to purchase it through a company called "Easy Yard Sale." The writer claims his father recently died, and he inherited the boat or other item. He wants to sell it quickly, so he is using this service to handle logistics. You search online for the company's name and find a website that looks completely legitimate.
In his message, the seller says you need to wire the purchase price to Easy Yard Sale, and they will handle the rest. His email reads: "They will ѕhіp thе boat tο уοuг аddгеѕѕ, will mаkе thе tгаnѕfег οf thе pгοpгіеtу οntο уοuг nаmе (The documents are аlгеаdу ѕіgnеd bу mе аnd nοtагіzеd, ѕο thеу аге еmpοwегеd tο dο thіѕ)."
But you guessed it! After you pay up, Easy Yard Sale and the seller both stop responding. You will never receive the item and tracking down your money will be extremely difficult.
How to Avoid Scams on Craigslist:
Follow our tips for shopping safely on Craigslist.org.
For More Information
Thank you to the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta for their reporting on this scam.