Craigslist is a great Internet resource. You can find goods, services, jobs and friends on the site. And a little humor as well.

Recently, there has been an increase in Craigslist tragedies due to economic desperation. People searching for jobs have lost their lives instead.  It seems that the criminal element has taken the depressed economy as an opportunity to prey on the desperate.

So I hereby plead; support your friends and family who are out of work.  Help them research jobs from individuals or small companies before an interview.   If suspicious, drive them to the interview and case the site ahead of time.  If you get a strange feeling, urge them to leave.  Job seekers; always meet in an established office site or a public setting.  Never get into the car with the interviewer.  Follow them if they want to show you anything away from the meeting place and get an address you can text to friends or family.  Don’t get out of your car if they lead you to an abandoned or isolated site.  Drive off and report them.  Never give anyone money to get you a job.  Report anyone who asks to the site they posted  on.

Most of all, if you are feeling desperate, reach out to someone.  Talk your feelings out and regain objectivity.  These are not dumb people being preyed on, just tired and depressed.  Their depression leads them to see hope in the job postings and the criminals prey on this.  Help yourself and your friends by staying safe during your job search.

And most important, write to your Congressional Representatives.  Let them know how desperate and upset you are.  It’ll make you feel better to let off some steam, and maybe some action will take place in Washington where it counts.