Just Because Craigslist Is Used In A Scam, Doesn't Make People Craigslist Victims

from the blame-the-scammer,-not-the-platform dept

It’s amazing how often Craigslist gets blamed for stuff that it didn’t do. The latest, as sent in by an anonymous reader, is that a scammer used Craigslist to rent the same house out to at least 20 different people. The guy who owned the house put up ads on Craigslist, saying the house would be available May 1, and then collected first and last month’s rent from at least 20 people. Those 20 people and their families discovered the situation as they showed up to the house on May 1. Clearly, these folks are the victim of a scammer (most likely the guy who owned the house). But the local newspaper, the Pasadena Star News refers to them as “Craigslist victims” as if it’s the fault of Craigslist. It makes you wonder, if the same scam had been done via a classified ad in the Pasadena Star News, would the headline have read: “Number of Pasadena Star News victims increases”? Somehow, I doubt it.

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Companies: craigslist

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Comments on “Just Because Craigslist Is Used In A Scam, Doesn't Make People Craigslist Victims”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’d hate to say it, but expecting integrity is being optimistic.

That said, this is either a failure in journalistic integrity at the “Pasadena Star News” or simply incompetent journalism.

I vote the latter– it’s the simplier explaination. Expecting competence is also optimistic.

Evil Mike (profile) says:


That reminds me of a (true!) story where several people lost alot of money on a “BFE Travel” company in Arizona…

This speaks of the need for (ye aulde) “letter of credit” – a document which authorized payment for something upon one or more conditions. It could have been written on a conditional indicating successful habitation of said residence…

TW Burger (profile) says:

Craigs List is Blamed for Everything

Craig’s List is blamed for all of the things (scams, porn, prostitution, curb side car dealers, fake money order over payments, etcetera) that have been advertised in newspapers since newspapers have existed. The reason CL gets blamed is that the newspapers have an incentive to attack CL due to the revenue it has taken from them.

Open any major city newspaper and you will find ads for “massage parlors”, ads with 800 numbers on how to make millions in real estate, ads with several cars and a cell number, ads with claims you too can work from home and make $1200 to $2000 a week answering email.

The newspapers know about these rip offs but take the money and remain silent. At least with CL other users can warn you if an ad is hinky.

Petréa Mitchell says:

Another victim of newspaper shorthand

I think this just a case of excessive headline abbreviation. It’s pretty clear from actually reading the article that no one is blaming Craigslist, and the headline is supposed to be a shortened form of “Number of people known to have been affected by scam whose most novel feature is that it happened via Craigslist increases”.

Al D. says:

man, just last month i responded to a personal massage ad on CL and teh stupid ‘hooker’ took my money without exchanging services for me. idk man….on top of that she had some dude with her that broke into my car. you try telling your insurance agent how your car got broken into. all those places are the same, backpage.com / CL whatever….

i blame them.

Brandon says:

Reference Point

This reminds me of the horrific murders in California in the ’90s that the media began referring to as the Yosemite Murders, even though none of them happened inside Yosemite National Park. It was the closest point of reference that people across the country would have knowledge of and unfortunately, that’s what the media loves to use. If it’s something you’ve never heard of, you don’t care. But if you know what it is, suddenly you have interest. Granted the Yosemite Murders didn’t actually blame the park for the murders so it’s not quite the same thing, but visitation did drop off quite a bit at the park for the few months after the murders.

Robbed and Fooled w/ Sophistication says:

What can we do?

I got lured from craigslist to ebay. I received vehicle protection program forms/instructions from this person online, which ebay says are fake. I was told I would have 7 days to review the purchase before my money was released to the seller. Money sent via moneygram and everybody is saying “oh well, sorry.” I know there is something I can do, right?

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