Money Scams to Avoid on Craigslist Portland

Estimated read time 10 min read

The quantity of fraudulent postings on Craigslist Portland. In order to understand how con artists have affected the Pacific Northwest, we concentrated on Craigslist Portland. We weren’t shocked to learn that it was simple to locate various money frauds quickly. Here are five instances that have been reported on Craigslist Portland that may assist you learn what to watch out for while attempting to avoid being taken advantage of by a scam artist.

Portland Craigslist scam

A fake, joke, or fraud that was advertised on Craigslist for the Portland, Oregon, region nearly cost Robert Salisbury of Jacksonville, Oregon all he possessed. Scammers published advertising warning readers that the resident was compelled to leave town right away and that everything in the home was available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Salisbury was not aware of it at all.

One day as he was walking home, he noticed a big truck driving by carrying things from his house. They were flagged down to find out what was going on, and when asked to return the products, they gave the man the advertisement instead. 30 individuals were rummaging through and stealing his items when he returned home.

Craigslist Portland scam victimised by fake Best Buy employee

A man was jailed in April 2011 for running a Craigslist scam. A $200 HP laptop was advertised by Jeremy Shawn Williams in March. Williams claimed to work for Best Buy while using a false identity and fabricating a name tag with the company’s logo. He traded the sealed laptop box, which was presented as brand new and had an official appearance, for money after meeting the intended victim in a public place.

After the transaction was completed, “Nick” (Williams) vanished with the money, and when the victim opened the box, he discovered that it contained merely a book. Williams engaged in similar frauds before being apprehended. He was accused of forgery, computer crimes, identity theft, and having meth, hydrocodone, and heroin in his hands.

Portland rental property fraud

The Portland region is the target of a fraud involving rental housing listings, according to The Oregonian. In order to give their scam advertising a legitimate address, con artists are duplicating information from real house listings, changing the contact details, and setting up fictitious payments that are hard to track. They even go so far as to have prospective tenants mail them fake applications and deposits.

To decrease their chances of being discovered, they pose as owners who reside in a Southern state and offer the home talks in an internet setting. The information stated in these scams is copied directly from past, valid property rental advertisements; but, if you proceed with the transaction, you risk losing money.

Scam of a phoney car sale in Beaverton, Oregon

An automobile fraud that cost a Beaverton, Oregon, man thousands of dollars was reported to the police in 2013. He discovered an ad for a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta that was being sold for $5,000. He made plans to pick up his buy once the seller agreed to sell it to him for $3,500 and delivered him the title after receiving the money.

The automobile was meant to be returned by the seller, but he vanished instead. Upon inspection, it was determined that the title was a phoney and the driver’s license that the seller offered as proof of identity was stolen from a Vancouver locker room. The culprit has not been caught as of the day this item was initially published.

Rental fraud on Craigslist in Portland and West Linn

One of the brazenest Craigslist rental scams we’ve ever across is this one. The occurrence took place in 2012. Scammers used Craigslist Portland to market a West Linn woman’s house for rent. Sara Zachary followed up after seeing the offer for the 3,800 square foot house on 1-1/4 acres for $1,250 per month. She sent the con artist an email, and was startled by the reply.

It also instructed her to disregard an estate agency sign that was displayed in the yard and advised her to look at the property from the outside. She was told not to get in touch with them in the email. In order to prepare the legal documents and mail them, the con artist further requested that she respond to a series of personal inquiries.

Below is a helpful advice on how to use Craigslist Portland properly so that you may avoid being the victim of fraud. The website may be found online at if you’re interested. The site now provides its services without charge.

Use of Craigslist

You don’t even need to register or sign up to browse the site’s advertisements; but, if you want to get in touch with someone who has posted an ad or to post your own ad, all you need to do is register, and doing so is completely free.

What is available on Craigslist?

The classified advertisements website has a wide range of postings. Apartments and rooms for rent, pets for adoption, services offered, personal advertisements, items for sale, job posts, lost and found, discussion forums, and other categories are among those divided into subcategories.

Is it safe to utilize Craigslist?

The quick response is no. Scam listings on Craigslist are everywhere, mixed together with genuine posts. There are staff members who keep an eye on the comments, but they can’t catch everything. Because the site contains some explicit adverts, you shouldn’t let your children access it on their own. Additionally, the BBB publishes every company that is a member, so if someone makes a bogus claim of membership, you’ll know they’re not someone you should do business with.

Beware of buyers

You expose yourself to both honest and dishonest people whenever you use an online marketplace to purchase or sell goods. There have been a relatively small number of violent incidents in the past that were connected to Craigslist postings. However, for your own protection, you should avoid meeting a stranger at their house, by yourself, or in a remote area away from other people. The bulk of reported complaints concern fraudulent rental advertisements, cheque fraud, and vendors who accept payment but fail to deliver the goods they claimed to provide.

Scam alerts

You should speak with your local Better Business Bureau chapter before utilising Craigslist Portland. Locals who have fallen prey to fraudulent behaviour on the site have posted both recent and old frauds on the website. If you know the name of the company, they can provide you with information on it and inform you of any reports of unethical or dishonest business practises.

Service/Product Guarantees

There are no product or service assurances when dealing with online advertisements. Any harm incurred as a result of utilising Craigslist is not the site’s fault. You must use good caution in this scenario and refrain from taking any needless risks.


Home rental scams, scalping scams, and hiring movers are the three scams that are most frequently seen on Craigslist Portland. Cons exploit information to publish phoney house rental advertisements by stealing images and descriptions of properties that realtors have advertised for sale on other websites. In order to prevent identity theft, they gather personal information from the renter’s application and invent a justification for why they can’t arrange a face-to-face meeting.

Western Union or other wire transfers are used for all financial transactions related to the payment of the rent and the security deposit. After receiving the money, all communication ends. Renters learn that the new property is not actually for rent when they go to move in and question if they actually received the keys via mail.

Additionally, there are many of scalping frauds. The website offers cheap event tickets for purchase. Although they appear to be genuine, the victims are informed that the tickets are fake when they attempt to use them to enter a place. The tickets are either fake or the number has already been used. The house mover scam is the third most prevalent fraud. Advertisements for moving persons from one home to another are posted by scammers. They take possession of people’s personal belongings, deliver some of them, and then steal valuable goods that they may resell on the black market. Before entrusting a company with your valuables or personal belongings, it pays to make sure that they are reputable.


In conclusion, it is crucial to exercise caution and be vigilant when using Craigslist in Portland or any other online marketplace. Money scams targeting unsuspecting individuals continue to be a prevalent issue, and falling victim to these scams can result in significant financial losses and emotional distress. By understanding the common scams outlined in this article, such as counterfeit currency, advance fee fraud, and overpayment scams, users can take proactive measures to protect themselves.

These measures include verifying the legitimacy of buyers or sellers, conducting transactions in person and in safe locations, and trusting one’s instincts when something seems too good to be true. Remember, staying informed and sceptical is the key to avoiding money scams and ensuring a safer online experience on platforms like Craigslist.


Q1: What frequent money-related scams might you find on Portland’s Craigslist?

A1: In Portland, common money scams on Craigslist include overpayment, advance fee, and counterfeit cash fraud.

Q2: How can I guard against financial fraud on Portland’s Craigslist?

A2: It’s crucial to confirm the validity of buyers and sellers, do transactions in person and in secure areas, and follow your intuition if something appears too good to be true if you want to protect yourself against money frauds.

Q3: What should I do if I think I came across a money-laundering scheme on Portland’s Craigslist?

A3: If you think someone is trying to con you out of money, it’s best to stop talking to them. You should report the event to Craigslist and your local law enforcement officials, along with any pertinent details or supporting documentation you may have.

Q4: Are there any cautionary stories or warning signs to watch out for when using Portland’s Craigslist?

A4: There are warning signs to look out for, such as requests for personal or financial information, strangely low or high prices, and individuals who refuse to meet in person or conduct business in a secure manner.

Q5: Can I get my money back if I fell for a money scam on Craigslist?

A5: Sadly, recovering money lost to fraudsters on Craigslist can be difficult. To avoid being a victim of scams in the first place, it is essential to take preventative measures and use vigilance.

Q6: Are there safer Craigslist substitutes in Portland?

A6: While no site is completely impervious to scammers, there are alternative online markets where people can purchase and sell products, such as Facebook Marketplace and local ads. Even so, it’s crucial to exercise caution and adhere to safety precautions when using these sites.

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