My friend Emma fell for one of those Craigslist apartment scams.
Emma has a solid track record of making poor decisions, frankly. She decided, very suddenly, that she HAD to move out of the apartment she'd been living in for several years, because an ex had become a little stalkery. That part is totally valid, it's just that this town is not that big, but apparently it did shake him because she never mentioned him again. Anyway, she was suddenly looking for a new apartment, bit of desperation, yet she was also being incredibly picky--she wanted an industrial loft with hardwood floors for a really low price on the bus route etc.. Can't find it, can't find it, more desperate.
She sees a Craigslist ad showing the interior of a beautiful apartment that is everything she could possibly want. But they don't say the address. To get the address, and other info, you have to fill out an "application." Which asks for your Social Security Number. So, she did. ::facepalm::
It was found out because she was super-excited to show me the photos of the apartment she might get, and I was like, "Where is it?" and she was like, "I don't know," and I was like, "That seems weird." Then she told me about the application and the SSN, and I said, "That sounds really shady. Do me a favor and Google the name in the ad." Whole first page of results is SCAM SCAM SCAM.
So she spent the rest of the day calling around to the police and whoever, getting this on record and so forth. As far as I know, she was lucky and nothing bad ever happened because of it. To me it's interesting because of the factors that came together to her getting scammed--that desperation and longing clouding her mind, leading her to miss several shady features. If she'd just Googled it herself before contacting the person, she would've found out what it was right away, for example. I try to keep this in mind now and apply skepticism in proportion to how awesome the thing seems. Cynical, but...