Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Man loses everything in Craigslist hoax

According to the Associated Press a pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned.

The ads popped up saying the owner of a Jacksonville, Oregon home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings were free for the taking.

But Robert Salisbury had no plans to leave.

Jackson County Det. Colin Fagan says Salisbury was on his way home when he stopped a truck loaded down with his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater. Salisbury informed them he was the owner, but they refused to give the items back, showing the Craigslist printout and sped away.

"I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back," Salisbury told Associated Press. "They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did."

When Salisbury got to his house he found around 30 people rummaging through his home looking for things to take. Again he told them that the advert was a hoax but again they refused to accept his word.

"They honestly thought that because it appeared on the internet it was true, " he said. "It boggles the mind."

Fagan says prosecution was likely for anybody caught with Salisbury's property unless they return the items with no questions asked. Detectives have contacted Craigslist's legal team to try to trace the ad.

My thoughts

I had read this story yesterday, and honestly wasn't shocked.

There are lots of people out there on Craigslist that are genuinely good hearted people, but as with any community there are also those that are out only for themselves. I've personally seen many instances where people have been kind enough to offer a few specific items only for Craigslisters to come and take more than they should.

Its sad when you see the kindness of strangers being mistreated. I've been a long time member of the popular Freecycle Network and have seen time and time again people that use and abuse the system for personal profit and gain as much as possible. Instead of thinking of people that could actually use the hand up they think only of themselves.

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