Internet Considered Dangerous

Or maybe that should be, 'Reliance on Internet Considered Dangerous'.

There's this amazing, if somewhat mis-titled story Man scammed by Craigslist ad

A pair of hoax ads on Craigslist cost an Oregon man much of what he owned.

The ads popped up Saturday afternoon, saying the owner of a Jacksonville home was forced to leave the area suddenly and his belongings, including a horse, were free for the taking, said Jackson County sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Colin Fagan.

But Robert Salisbury had no plans to leave. The independent contractor was at Emigrant Lake when he got a call from a woman who had stopped by his house to claim his horse.

On his way home he stopped a truck loaded down with his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater.

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

The driver sped away after rebuking Salisbury. On his way home he spotted other cars filled with his belongings.

Once home he was greeted by close to 30 people rummaging through his barn and front porch.

The trespassers, armed with printouts of the ad, tried to brush him off. “They honestly thought that because it appeared on the Internet it was true,” Salisbury said. “It boggles the mind.”

The followup is slightly cheerful: Some items being returned to victim of Craigslist hoax

Apparently this sort of thing has happened before, perhaps as part of a family feud. Although neither story explains clearly if the vandals broke in or if the victim left the door unlocked.

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3 Responses to Internet Considered Dangerous

  1. Cajun Food says:

    That is an amazing story. Just imagine the poor guy seeing his home full of people taking his belongings. I’m surprised he didn’t find his gun.

    Yes, relying on the internet is foolish, but all of us do it to a degree.

  2. Paul Gowder says:

    Oh my god.

    I rather doubt the takers “relied on the internet.” Instead, they took a really good excuse, knowing that if everyone else insisted it must be true, he wouldn’t be able to stop them all — I’ve half a mind to start writing a model — call it an n-person strategic form game where the stealers get a benefit from coordinating on the “internet said it, so it must be true” story…

  3. Reviews says:

    If they really thought that just because its advertised on a free online classifieds, they have the right to do anything they want, then they are too stupid to be driving anyway. It’s obvious these people decided it was a good excuse to break the law.

    Fortunately this can happen to anyone. Craigslist should move to a members style, so that it collects a little more information before posting. People would be more careful what they post if they knew that they can be easily tracked.

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