Back in June I posted, a bit randomly for a blog on international careers, about a Craigslist housing scam I’d come across while looking for apartments in DC. Though I managed to give the topic a career slant, I wrote about it mainly because I was short on actual career topics at the time, plus I thought my brush with the scam was interesting/funny/a bit scary that someone might actually get sucked by it (I knew it was a scam right away, but even so, I still tried to convince myself it wasn’t, the apartment being advertised looked so amazing). So I posted and didn’t think much more about it after that.
Then, in early August, a reader commented on the post, saying she’d come across the same scam, just with some details changed, which she provided. Then another commenter did the same, then another and then another. And it’s still going—another comment came in this morning—with each person relaying their own brush with the scam and posting the relevant details to help others avoid it. Clearly each commenter Googled the fake name of the scammer and the details given to find out if the Craigslist offer was too good to be true. Commenters may have been disappointed when coming across my post and its thread to find it was indeed a scam, but they were also relieved that they’d been able to verify it was too good to be true and they hadn’t gotten sucked in.
No larger point here, other than that I’m happy that a throwaway post for me has turned into something of a public service for those out there apartment hunting on Craigslist and trying to avoid the scams that seem more prevalent everyday. Though I’m not really sure how to feel about the fact that an item completely unrelated to the subject I usually write about has become the single most commented-upon Working World post ever. I guess I’ll take my audience any way I can get ‘em.