The majority of transactions on KSL Classifieds go off without a hitch—unless there's a bumper-pull trailer involved. Seriously though, the experience is positive for most people. But like any online marketplace, there are always going to be devious people hoping to take advantage of the unaware. Watch for these red flags to safely buy and sell online, and don't be afraid to walk away from a transaction if you don't feel comfortable completing it for any reason.
I link, therefore I am (not)
If a buyer sends a link asking you to verify your account via a Google code? Don't. KSL Classifieds is not associated with the search engine giant in that way. Similarly, do not access links of any kind sent by buyers or sellers that seem abnormal. Fraudulent links often resemble the KSL.com login or an online payment company. but if you look closely you'll see slight differences.
The links are usually an attempt to steal your account number, password or other personal information. Sometimes clicking the link installs malware on your computer. Protect yourself from phishing attacks like this by using security software on your computer and automatically updating software on your mobile devices. If you receive this type of message, report it and delete it immediately.
Dialect of deception
KSL Classifieds is meant to be a local service. Sellers and buyers likely know how to say Hurricane, Juab and Tooele. And don't forget the local pronunciation of Layton and Mountain Green. To some people, hearing "uhn" instead of "ton" at the end of a word is the equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. But as a buyer or seller on KSL Classifieds? The local dialect is a pretty good indicator that the person you are talking to is actually in the area. Refusal to speak on the phone or in person, communicating only by text or email is a red flag.
If a listing description, text message or email inquiry seems odd, contains several grammatical errors and/or lacks local nuances, these are often other signs of fraud. Be wary when dealing with people who communicate in this manner — especially those who respond to listings for large-ticket items such as major appliances and boats. This usually indicates they are outside of the region, perhaps even out of the United States.
A photograph is worth more than a thousand words. Its value lies in its authenticity, as one of the ways to know if you are being scammed on KSL (or your favorite dating app). If listing images do not appear to be original, are commonly used on other sites or do not appear to have normal branding/logos, proceed with caution. Ask the seller to send you close-up images of anything in question. If the seller gets upset when you ask for more info, they might be a fraud. Or maybe just a jerk. Either way, you probably don't want to attempt a transaction together.
Cash used to be king. Now Venmo is considered royalty. But money orders and cashier's checks still have a place in the KSL Classifieds castle. Regardless of the buyer's payment method or what the purchase price is, do not give cash back or you could get jacked.
It's a common scam: A fraudulent buyer offers to pay significantly more than the asking price and requests the extra money be returned in cash or via Western Union. The payment you receive, however, is counterfeit. And by the time you discover the fraud, the loss is yours.
Do not accept personal checks or any type of payment for more than the purchase price. Confirm the authenticity of a cashier's check or money order with the issuing financial institution before completing the transaction. If you're accepting cash, use a counterfeit money marker on any $20, $50 or $100 bill. (Fun fact: The $20 bill is the most commonly counterfeited currency in the United States.)
The need for speed
Scammers aren't patient, but they are persistent. They urge you to act quickly. Some talk of how much interest there is from other potential buyers, even going so far as to ask you to send payment to hold the item before you've even seen it in person. Another tactic is telling you a third party will deliver the item as soon as payment is received. Always verify the item's condition before concluding the deal. Do not pay for anything in advance.
How to report a suspected scam on KSL Classifieds
If you find a listing on KSL Classifieds that you feel is fraudulent, mark it using the blue flag icon and fill out the required information on the form. Our CommuniTeam will review the listing and take the appropriate actions.
If you receive messages from buyers outside of our local area, consider the offer carefully before responding. If you are suspicious, please let them know that you are not interested (or just ignore their offer). If you feel compelled to report these incidents, however, you can do so through the Internet Crime Complaint Center.