Due to the success I had in messing with people on OKCupid, I figured it would be fun to mess with people on Craigslist. Now before you ask, "Don't you have anything better to do?" - let me answer that for you. No, I do not.
I decided to post something so ridiculous and obviously fake that no one would seriously respond to it. I posed as a rich, old man who wanted to give away an iPad to anyone who could answer a series of riddles. Here's the actual ad:
It reads, "I am a very wealthy old man. I have worked hard my entire life and, as a result, I have more money than I could possibly spend. Now instead of being like that fellow on Jurassic Park and build a theme park full of dinosaurs only to have Newman from Seinfeld turn on me and almost get everyone killed, I've chosen a different direction. I bought a bunch of iPads that I intend to give away. The only thing is I want to give them to intelligent, clever people who I know will put them to good use. That's why I am giving one away to anyone who can solve a series of three riddles. Now, I am very knowledgeable when it comes to the world of riddles, so no two people will be asked the same questions. Only send me text messages as the traffic will be quite high I assume and I don't want to be talking on the phone and not give everyone an opportunity. You can text me at (424) ***-**** and once you are done, if you answer all three correctly, I will personally deliver the iPad to your house myself. I am doing this to raise awareness to stop Joseph Kony so I just ask that if you win one you change your Facebook Profile Picture to the Kony 2013 image I've included. God bless!"
And here's the Kony 2013 picture I asked them to make as their Facebook profile picture if they won an iPad:
There's no way anyone would read that and think it's a legitimate post, right? Wrong.
I decided to start out each one with a riddle that they could easily Google and find the correct answer to. Some of them tried to act like they just figured it out, but we know the truth. After that, I would give them an absurd question that had the format of a riddle but would be impossible to actually answer correctly. This is all 100% real, none of these have been edited nor do I know anyone who responded. These are just riddle enthusiasts looking to get a free iPad from an eccentric, wealthy old man.
Unfortunately, the first few participants caught on after reading the second riddle and stopped responding:
That didn't last long, however. As you'll see, Jeri was happy to learn a new riddle that I really hope she shares with her friends!
The following guy tried explaining why the riddle's answer wasn't valid. Is there any answer that would make sense whatsoever?
Our next contestant may have been my favorite. Carla, not only lacked any ability to spell, but also threatened to call the police on me!
The next guy had such good answers and was so likeable that if there were actually iPads being given away, he would have definitely received one.
Finally ... we have a person who tried to rationalize our conversation and may or may not actually be Joseph Kony! Sure this next one went on a little long, but when the person started explaining why they weren't familiar with the movie "Jack," combined with being clueless over an obvious joke, it was too much not to share.
If there's anything I want you to take away from this experience, it's this: If someone offers to give you a $500 electronic item in exchange for answering a few questions, odds are they're not going to be questions that any idiot could find the answer to with a simple Internet search. Also, come on, don't be an idiot.