Beware of Craigslist.
Shhhh. Don’t look at my email or you will want to cry. Something is going on and I’ve attracted some bad energy on Craigslist. What is it exactly? Someone is blackmailing me and trying to wreak havoc but I’m ignoring her crazy behavior. She claimed she would post negative reviews about my company online if I didn’t pay her. Pay her to go away is what she was hoping for but I’m not giving in.
The way Craigslist works is that everything seems completely anonymous. You can’t actually see who you are dealing with so you can’t be sure they are real. I am a very genuine person and try my best to do exactly what I’m supposed to do. That’s probably why I get my heart broken so frequently. There are people out there who are full of hate and determined to get something for nothing.
I recently offered a gig on Craigslist for local writers. As soon as they completed the gig, I paid them promptly for their work. The pay was decent for the amount of time required. $5 for two minutes worth of work. Not bad, right? Until Scammer Girl decided to start blackmailing me.
First, she sent me a few emailed threats letting me know her plan. If I didn’t pay her off, she’d post negative reviews about my company. I checked the reviews and nothing showed up. Then she posted a few negative rants, mentioning me by name and saying my company was fake. I continued to ignore her. And then I googled her through the magic of Paypal, since I’d paid her out a few days earlier. (Even then she had threatened to leave negative reviews when I didn’t pay her instantly.) Her mug shot popped up on the screen.
So I’m now officially ignoring her. There are so many great, hardworking people out there that are willing to help a small business like mine. I’m not letting one negative energy sucker bring me down. Thanks for listening.
The internet can seem like a totally anonymous place. Behind all these screens, let’s show the world that we’re real.
Update: I wrote this blog post on Friday the 6th and it’s now Monday the 9th. On Friday, every new email in my inbox caused my heart to beat faster. First there were threats. Prepare myself. Stalko was going to ruin me if I didn’t pay her right away. Why was I testing her? Did I want her to go off? So I kept checking my email even while I was sitting in traffic.
Was it Stalker Girl? Had she posted another rotten review? Was my company going to suffer? How would I get rid of these ugly reviews? What seemed like the end of the world has softened just a bit. Yes, stalker Angela did post a one star review on one of our websites. We have more than one business and she left her review on Google. She mentioned me, Heather, by name and said that I did not respond to emails and that my company was fake. Now, her comment seems laughable. Plus her spelling makes her look like an amateur writer and not at all credible. One bad review out of many is to be expected. Her review wasn’t even written under her real name.
So today I feel better about the whole stalking debaucle. I have learned a valuable lesson and am taking a break from Craigslist now. I will be more careful about hiring freelance writers off Craigslist from now on. That sucks because I got to work with so many genuine, caring writers who were doing positive things online. Yes, there was this one girl, Angela Lopez/Reese Marshall whoever this person really is who tried to blackmail me. Luckily, my site is not huge (YET) and I am still learning the ins and outs of online business. And another plus is that Angela’s demand was for less than $20. She clearly needs money in a bad way if she is willing to rip someone else’s business apart online for that price, what else would she do to get money. Thanks, Angela Lopez, for teaching me that there can be a dark side to Craigslist and to be wary whenever you hire a freelancer online. Know as much as you can about the person who you are working with before you get too involved. And if you do get yourself into trouble, please post it so I can read about your experiences.