I love my job. But whenever I look at Craiglist, I realize there’s something even more fun I’d like to do.
It blows my mind that there is so much fraud on Craiglist. Take a look at the cars, for example. Just the 100 most recently-posted in your area. See the handful that are unreasonably good deals? The 2007 Mercedes for $5500? Check it out. It’s got photos of the car with palm trees in the background, but it’s listed in Boston. The whole post is one image, and it encourages you to send them an e-mail at their GMail address. If you contact them, they fess up that the car was mistakenly listed, but that it’s a bargain and they can ship it to you really cheap. See the giant warning in Craigslist, bigger than anything I’ve ever seen, saying “offers to ship cars are 100% fraudulent,” only in h1 tags and all caps?
Why isn’t the FBI “buying” these cars and following the money trail before bringing down what’s probably a lucrative fraud enterprise? (For that matter, it’s a pervasive Craigslist problem. Why aren’t they doing more to stop it?) Same thing with the other fraud and phishing attempts that land in my inbox every single day. Sure, a lot have ties to other countries. But some of this is surely happening here in the US, and it’s not as if the federal government is powerless against international crime rings.
I can think of nothing more enjoyable than having a job that allowed me to play the part of many gullible folks amazed at the great deals on Craiglist and wanting to buy the $4500 2008 Mercedes and have it shipped cross-country, and then passing the team on to the SWAT team that would bring them down.
The only thing is that, if the FBI does have a team that’s busting open lots of fraud rings, they sure do keep quiet about their work. It seems that there’s rampant, unchecked fraud going on with no one doing much to stop it.