To catch a frauditor

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

So, I’m looking for a housemate, see. I own a pretty nice pad with lots of garden space, but truth be told, it’s too damned big for me and Hunter, and I’ve got two rooms I never use. Wasteful.

Anyway, I don’t mention this to further my search for a housemate, but because I did what anyone would do when they’re looking for someone to move in—I put an ad on Craigslist. I tell you this because the first response I got back was someone trying to perpetrate a fraud. The response was nice and innocuous enough, but I did what anyone would do. I googled the sender’s email address.

So anyway, this interests me. The scam appears to be the one where they send you a check for more than the amount needed, you cash it, and then send them the excess.

I’m interested to see what the law enforcement reaction is when made aware of the “scam in progress.” Since I’m on DSL, it’s interstate fraud using phone lines. (OK, this is funny—while I was typing this column, I got another email about the ad, and it’s also from someone who’s been associated with a similar fraud.)

Anyway, I tell you all this because when I sit down and write the story, I don’t want anyone to think I’m a victim going in, which would put me in the conflicted position of trying to use this paper to get special treatment from law enforcement. I’m hoping by using this as an example, maybe we can make Reno a little safer for Craigslist users, and maybe Reno Craigslist users will be a little more sophisticated when it comes to using free internet classified ads.