The cases of fraud and jokes that have been rising in recent weeks on this website, where impersonating another person is a very simple task.
Craigslist is an Internet portal where you can insert ads for free and find all kinds of objects, services, real estate and even a couple.
The site, which operates in 52 countries, including Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, is the seventh most popular website in the U.S. with about 25 million visits each month .
Birdie Avery, who lives in Oregon, in northwestern U.S., is not among its visitors, but on Tuesday discovered that someone used his name to sell on Craigslist nothing less than a baby.
The announcement included an email address with the name Birdie Avery and claimed that a baby abandoned by his mother was sold for just $ 1,000.
Avery says that neither she nor her husband have a computer and learned that the existence of the notice of the case when investigators were at her home.
The police have finally arrested Patrick Ryan, a resident of the area, acknowledges that having published the announcement but said that it was all a joke and there was never a baby for sale.
“I was out of hand and I apologize,” Ryan told the press in the USA.
Three days earlier, a still unidentified person issued a notice on Craigslist stating that Robert Salisbury, another resident of Oregon, was in a hurry to leave the area and gave all his possessions, including his horse.
Salisbury returned to his home that day and found it occupied by dozens of strangers who were stealing all the objects and could be brought in cars and trucks.
After clarifying the misunderstanding, Salisbury managed to recover some of their belongings, but police are still trying to locate many others.
This case is similar to one that occurred in the area nearly a year ago, when a fake announcement on Craigslist inviting the community to “take all the content” of a home in Washington state that was supposed to be demolished.
The advertisement was published only an hour and a half, but it wasn’t enough time for them to rob the whole home upside down.
Officially, claims that Craigslist is trying to take steps to prevent such frauds, but it is very difficult to detect all cases.
Anyway, “Craigslist is a very absurd choice to commit a crime, since it creates an electronic trail that is very easy to follow by law enforcement,” said a spokesman for the portal.
Police in Oregon has already located the computer from which allegedly included the false announcement on the house of Salisbury, but he said that it is too early to name a suspect.
In these cases, the only thing that the police can do is react when a fraud complaint because they are the administrators of the pages makers tracked the ads false.
Kristin Alexander, a spokesman for the office of the attorney general of Washington State (northwestern U.S.), believes that this is a very difficult task.
“When they discover that these websites have placed an advertisement that is against their rules, for example, or that is obscene, false or illegal was withdrawn, but with hundreds of thousands of users is difficult to do on a regular basis,” said Alexander to the U.S. press.