Craigslist user scams New York Times writer in London

Being victimized by internet scam artists isn’t hearsay–it’s happening all over, to all kinds of people, and all of the time. New York Times writer, Seth Kugel, published his personal testimony yesterday–a testimony of innocent trip-planning gone wrong.

While organizing his pending trip to London, Kugel found himself on Craigslist looking for attractive sublets in good neighborhoods. When he came across a Notting Hill studio available for a seemingly fair price (around $73 a night), he emailed the address in the ad and was responded to right away.

When the respondent requested that Kugel wire the money directly to his bank account, red flags should have been waving wildly in his face. But in Kugel’s defense, he’d recently lived in Brazil for two years; a country he claims utilizes wire transfers for even everyday expenses, like medical bills.

But he was duped. And that’s really all there is to it. Myriad are the ways in which internet scammers trick users out of their money, but it sure seems like accommodations, be them temporary or ostensibly permanent, are among scam artists’ favorite lures.

The good news? Kugel pieced together an insightful and resourceful list of ways in which we all can better avoid being scammed. You should read it here.

[photo by Elizabeth Seward]