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March 27th, 2008

Property Stolen Due To Craigslist Scam

According to an Associated Press report, Saturday a pair of ads popped up on Craigslist advertising that the owner of the home had been forced to leave the area and that all of his belongings were free for the taking. The second of the two ads was more specific stating that a horse that had been abandoned by the sheriff’s department was free to anyone willing to give it a good home. This scam has left an Oregon man, Robert Salisbury, without most of his belongings. Robert, the owner of the home and horse, was out of town and completely unaware of the Craigslist ads and that his house was being cleaned out.

When a woman tracked Salisbury down and called him to claim his horse Salisbury rushed home. He even stopped a truck full of his possessions on the way home. “I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back,” Salisbury to the Associated Press. “They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did.”

Preventative measures to confirm legitimate Craigslist ads, or all print or online classified ads, would be costly, and ultimately ineffective since the phony advertiser could provide confirmation without Craigslist knowing the difference. Besides, isn’t there the old saying “don’t shoot the messenger?” But now that the scam has been revealed, I think it is Craigslist’s responsibility to help track down and turn over the one who did originally post the ad.

Craigslist provides an open service, and it needs to be prepared to deal with the consequences that such an open service can cause.

Only one person caught on to the fact that an ad telling people to pillage a house was too good to be true. Salisbury’s comment on the topic was: “They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true, it boggles the mind.”

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    One Response to “Property Stolen Due To Craigslist Scam”

    1. Publishing names/email addresses of recent Craig’s List jewelry scammers in case someone (smartly) Googles their names before commencing business with them: Barry Wood – [email protected], Heather Freret – [email protected], Teresa Perez – [email protected], [email protected] – this is a bogus address: [email protected]. Most of these are part of the Nigerian Craig’s List jewelry scam. Don’t fall for the fake payment/shipment authorization emails “from PayPal”. Report emails immediately to [email protected] and [email protected]. Hope this all helps!

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