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How to report a scam on Craigslist?

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  • 4 min read

Craigslist has long been a popular platform for buying, selling, and connecting with others in your community. But like any online platform, it can also attract scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting users.

If you encounter a scam on Craigslist, here’s what you can do to report it and protect yourself and others.

Below we have discussed:

Also read: How to report spam in Outlook?


What happens when report a Craigslist scam?

There are two ways to report a scam on Craigslist:

  • Flagging on Craigslist: When you flag a suspicious listing, it alerts Craigslist moderators who can then review it and decide if it should be taken down.
  • Reporting to authorities: Reporting a scam to the police or other authorities allows them to investigate and potentially catch the scammer.

In short, reporting a scam helps keep others safe by removing fraudulent listings and potentially aiding authorities in catching these criminals.


Why it’s difficult to catch Craigslist scammers?

Unfortunately, catching these online scammers is tough for a couple of reasons:

  • They hide their identity: Scammers use fake names, accounts, and stolen information to stay anonymous. This makes it hard to track down who they really are.
  • International operations: Many scammers operate overseas. Even if authorities can trace their location, dealing with international law and limited resources makes it very difficult to catch and prosecute them.

How to report a scam on Craigslist?

Here’s how you can report Craiglist scam:

Flagging the listing

The quickest way to flag a suspicious listing is through the Craigslist interface itself. Look for the Flag icon on the top of the post. Clicking this sends a notification to Craigslist for review.


Reporting via email

For a more detailed report, send an email to abuse@craigslist.org. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name and email address.
  • Explain why you believe the listing is fraudulent.
  • Every Craigslist ad has a unique 10-digit ID number. You can find this in the URL or at the bottom of the post itself. Including this will help Craigslist pinpoint the specific listing.

Reporting beyond Craiglist

Report to Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) safeguards consumers by investigating and combating fraudulent activity. If you’ve encountered a scam, the FTC encourages you to file a report online at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/ or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).


Report to Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

A partnership between the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the IC3 is a central reporting body for internet crime. You can file a complaint at https://www.ic3.gov/.


Report the Scam on econsumer.gov

An initiative of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), econsumer.gov is partnered with over 35 international consumer protection agencies. By filing a report with econsumer.gov, you can help the organisation spot and stop scam trends. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Visit https://www.econsumer.gov/, select a Complaint subject from the main page and then select the Subcategory.

Step 2: You’ll then be asked what your complaint is related to and the website will guide you through the steps of providing your complaint details, company details (in this case, Craigslist), additional information, and comments.


Report the scam to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB has a report form you can fill out to help them investigate and warn others about the scam. You’ll be asked to provide information about the scammer, the scam itself, the victim (if applicable), and yourself.


Tips to stay safe on Craiglist

Here are a few tips to keep you safe on Craiglist:

  • Be wary of unsolicited contact: If someone reaches out to you first, especially if they seem overly eager, proceed with caution.
  • Never share personal information: Protect your financial details and social security number.
  • Meet in person for local transactions: This allows you to verify the item’s condition before handing over any cash.
  • Use Craigslist’s secure payment system: This protects your information when buying from a distance.

Also read: How to report a login issue on Facebook?

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: singhakash95@pm.me

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