Seven on your side action report: Avoiding craigslist Scams

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A week has passed, and Elvia Sabri from Chicago, still hasn't heard anything from Patrick Terrell, the Hattiesburg man she alleges stole $9,150.00 from her.

"I haven't heard anything from him," Sabri said.

Sabri wired the money to purchase a Bobcat S150 construction machine for a business she was planning to start. Without the money or the machine, she says her business will have to wait.

Our action report investigation led us to experts to find out what people can do to avoid being scammed on craigslist.

"If you're doing business or buying something from craigslist, find somewhere where you can go see the item and bring somebody with you.  Do your transaction that way where the item is handed to you at the same time that you're looking at it, Jon O'Hara with the Better Business Bureau said.

Sending money through wires and money cards are also a red flag.

"When you're buying things to have shipped to you, there are not a lot of safeguards in place," O'hara added.

According to the official craigslist website, these are the best ways to avoid scams:

•Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.

•Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person.

•Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) - anyone who asks you to is a scammer.

•Don't accept cashier/certified checks or money orders - banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.

•Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a "guarantee".

•Never give out financial info (bank account, social security, paypal account, etc).

•Do not rent or purchase sight-unseen—that amazing "deal" may not exist.

•Refuse background/credit checks until you have met landlord/employer in person.