I recently sent an e-mail to ask for additional details on a local Human Resources Support position advertised through craigslist. Here’s my initial e-mail:
My name is REMOVED and I am writing to request more information about the HR Support position your company advertised on craigslist.
• What is the name of your company?
• Where is your company located?
• What schedule is a HR Support expected to work?
I’ve made it a personal policy to be cautious when applying for jobs listed on craigslist, so any answers you can provide are greatly appreciated.
That’s the typical e-mail I send to any craigslist jobs listing poster that may be legit. It’s my safeguard against the multitude of scam posts that earned the posting site its derogatory alias “dregslist.” (Credit for the ingenious nickname goes to my wife.)
When I send that e-mail, I usually expect no response at all or a form letter completely ignoring my question and featuring a link to an online “application” instead. At that point, my suspicions are confirmed, I ignore the reply, and I move on.
This case is a bit different, though.
Here’s the reply I received:
Hey there, thanks for responding to my ad on CL, i really enjoy it as a webpage to meet like minded men that have the same things in mind.
Let me know some stuff about you so we can arrange a meeting this evening perhaps if you want
Sent from my iPhone
…Wait, what? Was there some kind of mix-up? Maybe the craigslist servers transposed characters in the @craigslist.org e-mail alias featured in most job postings. Then I checked the subject line of the e-mail:
Re: HR Support
Still baffled, but now enjoying a good laugh, I forwarded the e-mail to my wife. It was official: craigslist had moved on from scams to sleaze. Sleazy scams, to be precise.
Having earned a hearty guffaw for my efforts to investigate a possible job opportunity, I dismissed the event as a fluke. I imagined the sender realizing the mistake and crawling into a hole, hoping no one would notice.
Then I received this e-mail eleven days later:
Hey, I just checked my email tonight and got your message about my craigslist ad and was wondering if you still wanted to get together. Sorry about those other sites i didn’t know they required a credit card for guys (that’s stupid) . I found a site you can verify at without a credit or anything and it only takes 2 minutes.. Go to REMOVED and they will give me your number to call you
Sent from my iPhone
Again, this e-mail chain started with me inquiring about a posting on the craigslist jobs board advertising a Human Resources Support position. I find it hard to imagine the person behind this “Alaina” persona thinking anyone would fall for this sort of sleazy scam. Then again, there have been reports of gullible people getting swindled by the Nigerian scam.
So if you’re a legitimate employer wondering why qualified job seekers aren’t taking your craigslist jobs board posts seriously, now you understand. We don’t call craigslist “dregslist” without reason.