An Oregon man has lost nearly all his possessions after a bogus advert on Craigslist offered the contents of his house for free.
Two posts appeared on the site on 22 March stating that Robert Salisbury, an independent contractor, was leaving the area at short notice and was giving away the contents of his house along with his horse.
The first Salisbury knew about it was when he received a call from a woman who had come to pick up his horse.
As he returned home he stopped a truck which contained his work ladders, lawn mower and weed eater. Salisbury told the occupants of the truck of the mistake but they refused to give back his property and drove off.
"I informed them I was the owner, but they refused to give the stuff back," Salisbury told Associated Press.
"They showed me the Craigslist printout and told me they had the right to do what they did."
When Salisbury got to his house he found around 30 people rummaging through his home looking for things to take. Again he told them that the advert was a hoax but again they refused to accept his word.
"They honestly thought that because it appeared on the internet it was true, " he said. "It boggles the mind."
Local police are in contact with Craigslist to find out who posted the advert and are checking several licence plate numbers of looters that Salisbury noted down.
Any items can be returned "no questions asked" but police said that prosecutions will follow if people fail to do so.
This is not the first time that Craigslist has been used improperly. A woman posted a similar advert about her aunt's house last year, while police have busted a prostitut ion ring and an arranged marriage scam on the site.
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