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What are the most common scams on Craigslist and other classified websites?

Most online transactions are secure but use caution when selling items on websites like Craigslist. Here are common warning signs that someone may be trying to scam you: 

  • The buyer can’t meet in person (for example, they’re a soldier stationed overseas, they’re a marine biologist). 
  • The buyer requested you send the item to their “shipping agent.” 
  • The buyer offered you more money than you were asking. 
  • The buyer asked you to send money through Western Union or MoneyGram to the “shipping agent.” 
  • The buyer only sends you text messages and won’t speak to you on the phone. 

If any of the above apply to you, end communication with your potential buyer. Always remember that Craigslist and other similar sites are intended for local pick-up.

If you’ve received a payment notification or are expecting a payment, you can check your PayPal activity to make sure we’ve credited the money successfully. Even payments that are on hold or pending are visible in your PayPal activity.

To learn more about online safety, visit our Security Center

To report a suspicious email or website, forward it to phishing@paypal.com and we’ll investigate it for you. After you send us the email, delete it from your inbox.

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