This question was brought up in one of the threads, so I just want to post email I got today at the local forum...
Just before getting to email... I posted my saddle on CL this summer. I was "attacked" by scammers (not even speaking proper english) that they'd love to buy my saddle(s!) and everything else (including myself may be? ). So be aware! Go with your local people if you absolutely want to. Pay with Paypal! Etc....
So here is email from the person I know in person and trust:
I have recently had a lot of trouble with scammers on Craigs List. I wanted to share this and feel free to pass this along to your friends. Some of you may frequent this "free" advertising service and if you do - BEWARE.
BTW - this is not some email written by some anonymous somebody and being passed along - this is my own personal experience.
I have used Craig's List over the past few years when looking for things like vacation rentals and concert tickets. But NO MORE. Over the past several months, I've been on Craig's List several times and EVERY single time, I've been approached by scammers. I went as far as actually purchasing some not-so cheap concert tickets from one Craig's List poster - luckily, I had the smarts to insist on using PayPal for payment - because despite my efforts to confirm the legitimacy of the tickets, they never arrived, and when I contacted the previously responsive poster, I never heard another word from him. Luckily I was covered under buyer protection with PayPal and got my money back and was able to get tickets from a legitimate source in time to still see the concert. The original seller had responded to a "wanted" post that I had placed.
More disturbing has been my most recent search for a vacation rental in FL for this coming winter. I contacted 8 different posters requesting more info on the properties, 6 replied, of those 6, five of them were scammers. How do I know you ask? Because the properties that they described were either non-existant in the locations given, or the replies came back vague and asking for deposits without answering a single one of my questions - all with "accents" and poor English in the emails. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that some owners may not be American, but one property advertised as a 6br private home, was in reality, by looking at Google Earth, a commercial storefront. One poster sent me a picture of a happy group of people relaxing in a hottub in a grassy yard - I know the area that this home was supposed to be located and there is NO grass in that area of the island - when I asked about how there could be a large grassy yard at that location - the reply was "it was a sudden development" - WHAT??? - a large grassy yard developed all of the sudden!
It seems to me like Craig's List is becoming a haven for thieves and scammers. There are no safeguards in place on this service and anyone can post listings. Please, Please - if you use this service, be VERY careful, if you are not scammer or computer savvy - stay away all together - you are asking to be taken.
I have sent an email via the Craig's List contact and informed them of the 5 scammers that I ran across. As of today, the postings are still active, even though I flagged them - there is no evidence that the posts were ever flagged either. Craig's List has become a very dangerous place to do business in my opinion and all should be very careful if buying or selling on this service.
I'm sure some of you may have used Craig's List with lots of success, but I'm telling you - BUYER / SELLER BEWARE!!!!! Things are getting bad there and unless they do something soon, I think you will cease to see legitimate transactions on the service all together if my recent vacation rental hunt is any indication.