Now that the $10 rental listing fee has been in place on Craigslist for some time, has the site gotten cleaned up of all the reposting and scams? Of course not. A third (and probably more) of so-called "no-fee" listings actually end up having fees, and Gawker will tell you that searching is just as annoying as ever. So Officer Craig is still chasing down the naughty folks, but now he's aiming higher. Instead of storming into brokerages during work hours, ready to throw some hot coffee into some faces, he's tinkering with a new strategy. He tells the Observer:
You made a distinction between online and offline scams. Do you feel a responsibility for preventing scams that happen offline?
I don’t know if “responsibility” is the right word. I think it is the right thing to do. But we don’t have the boots on the ground to go out and investigate them. And so we cooperate with the NYPD, we are working with the City Council, we are working with the Department of State, which has oversight over licensing in New York.
We feel very strongly about civil rights—but if the right procedures are followed, we also believe in cooperating with law enforcement.
How important is New York real estate to your site?
In New York, real estate is a blood sport. It has always been that way. A few years ago, I started to notice that it was a problem, that we were getting a lot of complaints about [fraudulent ads]. So it is a special focus of mineWe'd be a lot more confident in Craig's crackdown if he delivered a "I know who you are, and I'm coming for you, brotha!" type of pro-wrestling threat. Can someone at least get him some facepaint or something?
· ‘In New York, Real Estate Is a Blood Sport’ [NYO]
· BREAKING: Officer Craig Walking the LES, EVill Beat [Curbed]
· RELATED: Craig on the Daily Show on Monday [Motherload; warning: slow-loading video]