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When you contact the seller, they will reply that they want to use an escrow service for their protection and yours, and send you to a site.However, unlike escrow.com, which is a legitimate site endorsed by e Bay, they will recommend one that sounds just as plausible.Never wire funds, always deal with people locally, and beware of anything other than cash. It doesn't hurt to have a counterfeit detector pen on hand (they're less than ) for larger transactions.And be wary of bills bigger than ; you can easily be handed a fake 0 bill, give the buyer the item and change, and be out of pocket twice.The only way out, when you spot it, is to cancel your credit card. Another cell phone swindle is to provide you with a call back number that appears to be an answering service, but is in fact a pay-per-call number.

In reality, it's a site that is signing you up for a monthly charge of or more per month, and there is no way to cancel the service.Back in 2009 I wrote a detailed post on this scam, and it appears it is still going on.In fact, it's more widespread than ever, and the reason is that it is very easy to pull off, and almost impossible to track down the scammer. You scour the Craigslist ads for a rental home and find one that is both beautiful and very, very affordable. You contact the address in the ad and are told that the owner had to leave the country (usually for something like missionary work) and needs money to cover the mortgage. Really, I love it for buying and selling, finding services, and even posting jobs.But for the 99% of ads that are completely legit, you'll find postings designed to con you.

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