$250 laptop bought from random listing on Craiglist lands a man in prison
Murphy’s law : If anything can go wrong, it will. This is what happened with a Redditor, Sunday_Account, about six months ago. Mr.Sunday_Account had a nice job with a company which worked for a federal agency. The only thing about working with this company was the security clearances which Mr.Sunday_Account got.
In his own words, “To get this job, I had to pass a security clearance which involved some agency calling all of my former employers, my family, and even my friends. I passed with no problem and about 6 months from the initial application, I started working.”
Everything as going quite well when one day Sunday_Account spilled coffee on his laptop and it went bust. Being a miserly sort of man, he opened Craiglist to check for a cheap second hand laptop. Pretty soon he found a random listing for a Samsung ATIV with i5 processor for $300.
Sunday_Account emailed the man who made the listing and he answered back. Subsequently they agreed to meet up at a coffee house. Sunday_Account found the man to be a little bit shaky but sadly was keen to fix up a cheaper deal to notice his discomfort.
“I met the guy at a coffee shop. He was shaky; I mean he was crackhead shaky. He was well-dressed but something wasn’t right about the kid. I fired up his laptop, it booted instantly….I checked the HDD space, memory, CPU, etc. Everything was fine. Creepy guy looked like he was in a rush so I did a speed negotiate with him and walked out the door with his computer for $250. Yeah! I saved $50.
Next day, our man had to attend a briefing on a new project at a new government agency. He arrived at the agency and underwent the security screening process and all hell broke loose.
“Questions were asked and answered, phone cameras were disabled via software, and laptops were scanned and their cameras were disabled. The guy working on my laptop called his supervisor and then his supervisor called another guy and next thing I know I’m in a room with four guys grilling me on the content of my computer.”
The next thing he knew was there were handcuffs in his hands and he was shoved off to jail. The authorities had caught him red handed with illegal adult material on his HDD and he was going to pay for it. He could get bail for three days however during that time he contacted a lawyer.
Luckily for him, Sunday_Account had narrated his Craiglist and the seller guy in coffee shop episode to his colleagues back at the office. The lawyer believed him and cross checked with his colleagues. He also had PI track down the guy who had made the listing on Craiglist. It turned out that the guy who made the listing was a registered sex offender.
It took a month for all the charges against Sunday_Account to be dropped and his arrest record to be erased. The $250 lappy cost him $12,000 in legal bills for the entire fracas.
Sunday_Account made a post of his ordeal on TIFU subreddit where he advised fellow Redditors and other readers to “reformat the drive on any used computer you buy or eat bologna sandwiches with retards in jail.”