The best ways to avoid scams when purchasing cars on Craigslist is to inspect the car in person, never hand over payment before viewing or receiving the car, and never share any personal information with the seller. Individuals should also avoid dealing with sellers in remote locations.
Craigslist does not endorse any seller that uses its site and doesn't offer buyers who experience scams or fraud any protection. It is completely up to the buyer to take safety precautions and perform as much research as possible before making any car purchases. A buyer should always work with local sellers to ensure that she can easily inspect the vehicle herself before agreeing to make any payments. Attempting to purchase a car from a seller in another city opens the buyer up to potential scams because she has no way to verify that the car even exists, and she must also make payments either electronically or in person after traveling to the seller's location.
Another way to avoid scams is never to share any personal identification information with the seller, including bank account information. Paying a seller in cash prevents the seller from utilizing the buyer's bank information to make unauthorized purchases or withdrawals.