The Cedar Rapids Police Department has been investigating incidents in which counterfeit bills were received as part of Craigslist transactions, according to a press release sent out yesterday.
The department warned people to look over any money received in order to avoid being bamboozled. Among the things to check for are watermarks, raised printing from the specialty printing technique used by the Federal Reserve and security strips. More information about security features is available on the U.S. Currency website.
The department also sent out a list of safety tips for Craigslist transactions:
- If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Trust your instincts.
- Insist on meeting at a public place and never go alone. Don’t meet in a secluded area. Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go inside other people’s homes.
- Generally, the higher the price of the item that is being purchased, the greater the risk involved in the transaction.
- Be cautious when buying or selling high value items. As a general rule, do not accept cash for items priced over $100.
- For higher priced items, conduct the transfer in person and at a financial institution. A banking professional can verify if and when funds have been successfully transferred to one’s account.
- Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
- Tell a friend or family member about your intentions and take your cell phone with you.
- Selling or buying through an online website is a business transaction. Therefore, stick to the facts of the business transaction and leave out any personal information.
- Avoid sharing any personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank routing numbers, credit card numbers and computer usernames or passwords.
- Avoid transactions involving wiring of funds, especially out of the country, via phone or online.