Craigslist is a great online market place. Unfortunately it doesn't provide any protection for the buyers or the sellers. As a result, the buyers are frequently cheated by the fraud sellers. Sometimes the sellers also get scammed by the dishonest buyers.
Following are some tips to avoid scams of craiglist:
* Deal locally with people you can meet. This way you can avoid most the craigs list scams.
* Search the internet with the name and phone number, email or address of the person or company with whom you are going to deal. And see whether any negative comments on the net are found against them.
* Never send payment in advance via bank wire or western union, moneygram or any other service before receiving the goods.
* Be aware of fake cashier checks & money orders. Banks will cash them and then hold you responsible when the fake will be discovered later on.
* Never give your financial information (bank account number, social security number, ebay/paypal info, etc.) to anyone. Those who ask for such information are most likely fraud on craigslist.
* Avoid deals involving shipping or escrow services and know that only a scammer will guarantee your transaction.
* If someone is offering to sell a commodity on craigslist at much lower price than it's actual market value then be careful with the deal.
* Communicate via email instead of instant messengers. In case of email communication you will have proof which you may show to police later on, if required. But must give a phone call to verify phone number.
Check out this official page of craigslist. It may help you a lot.
While craigslist is free and a good place to find out anything at cheap price you need to be careful to avoid the scams on craiglist.