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I was an 18-year-old art student, a freshly-minted New Yorker and beyond excited to be in the city. Someone in my dorm suggested we check Craigslist for babysitting jobs and within five minutes our interest had flipped to the personals. More than normal, really — good natured, witty, smart…like someone I’d actually want to date.“Oh yeah, right,” I laughed when my friend pushed me to message him.“He’s probably a 65-year-old serial killer/ex convict.”But somehow she convinced me. For the next few weeks, I was Kathleen Kelly in , living and breathing each day for pithy email banter with a faceless man living somewhere in the five boroughs. We slid into comfortable phone chatter with the same ease that our online exchanges saw and made a plan to meet in person shortly thereafter. I’ll never forget the mingling emotions on his face when we met between the sliding doors of the store — a mix of trepidation, excitement…perhaps a choked-back laugh?In one case, such a “landlord” walked away with ,000 in collected fees from potential renters from a single apartment.A slight variation of this scam occurs when the crook rents a house or apartment with the intention of re-renting it to dozens of people.If they did, they would quickly realize the property isn’t even for rent!After a renter pays the deposits and rent, the “friend” disappears and the renter is out the money and still has no place to live.I scrutinized every youngish 20-something guy on the subway and thought, “Is that him? ”Because it felt awkward to talk about this boy I was kind of, sort of, although not seeing, my chest consistently felt like it was going to explode with all of the unspoken possibilities of his existence.
Our unlikely story started in 2005, when it was still considered a little creepy and weird to find your significant other online.
Nowadays, if you’re looking for any of these things, the best place to look is probably Craigslist, an online classified site categorized by city.
However, the technology that has made it easier to find what you need has also made it easier for scammers to take advantage of the unsuspecting. On any day of the week, you can find hundreds of local listings that include apartment and home rentals, cars for sale, concert and play tickets, jobs, and every conceivable secondhand item you can think of.
It used to be that when you wanted to find an apartment for rent, buy a used car, or pick up used, secondhand items like furniture or a washer and dryer, you looked in the classified section of the newspaper.
But like with most other things these days, the Internet has taken over and made things even easier.