Computer Crime Research Center


Fraudulent posting linked to a robbery

Date: April 19, 2007
By: Michael Bott

The Tacoma Police Department had responded to a lot of complaints linked to - fraud, prostitution, rental scams - but nothing quite like what they responded to at a vacant rental property in town. The house's owner, Laurie Raye, called to report that everything in the house had been taken, from the furniture to the sink and the water heater.

However, Tacoma police are not calling the case a robbery, but linking the theft to a fraudulent posting on the popular San Francisco-based Craigslist, which invited Web surfers to help themselves to anything in the house for free.

Nobody would have traced the theft back to Craigslist had an off-duty police officer not come across the post while searching the site for car parts days before. He later recalled the ad when Raye reported her emptied house.
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