I’ve got a little problem I’m going to share with you. No, wait, don’t back away — it has nothing to do with personal hygiene. It’s this: I’m addicted to the free classified listings at Craigslist.com.

(Though, really, if you’re looking to buy or sell something locally on the cheap, you’re probably better off going with the free online classified listings at www.charlestoncitypaper.com, as you’ll see in a moment.)

Were you aware, even, that Charleston has a Craigslist? Were you aware of how easy it is to get sucked into the jaws of its poorly-written ads for crappy cars, shoebox apartments, jobs you wouldn’t want, and, uh, personal companionship?

Because it’s pretty easy.

But my addictions are not the problem here. The problem, you see, is this: you know those scams you’re always reading about on the internet and doing your best to avoid? Like not replying to Heriberto T. Hendrix, for example, when he e-mails you about your awesome million-dollar lottery win? Well, now you’ve got another one to worry about — particularly if, like me, you’re houseproud (or stupid) enough to put pictures of your apartment up on the internet. (But it was so clean! I had to show someone!)

A New York-based blogger, you see, recently found his apartment listed on Craigslist, complete with a lengthy description of its attributes, a general idea of its location, some nice full-color pictures, and a very reasonable monthly rent. There was his fireplace, there was his gas stove, there was that Mexican blanket his mom brought him back from her anniversary cruise last year. All well and good, right?

Well, sure, it would have been: if his apartment had actually been for rent.

Some bright spark had stolen the pictures from his blog, set up a fake listing on Craigslist, and given herself the task of fielding the (very enthusiastic) e-mail inquiries that came her way. And how did she make her money? By offering to overnight the keys to interested parties — for a cool “refundable” $1,500, to be wired into her account — because she was “based in California and couldn’t show the apartment in person.” Of course, whichever poor sap did send the $1,500 would never see it again — nor the interior of his dream apartment, obviously — because the swindler would have disappeared without trace.

When the blogger in question cottoned on to what was happening with his decidedly-not-for-rent apartment, he wrote to the anonymous Craigslist e-mail address, pretending to be an interested apartment-seeker. The scammer’s response when our blogger asked if he could call her to discuss a few details?

“I would love to speak with you by phone, but I can’t because I’m a deaf-mute person and I am teaching in California at a deaf-mute school.”

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Although, actually, the point is that apparently you can make this stuff up. So if you must, like me, cruise the Craigslist listings every morning just for the hell of it, beware those apartments that look too good to be true. Because if they’re not the work of some low-life scammer, chances are they face right onto I-26 or something.

Holly Burns has actually received an e-mail from someone named Heliberto T. Hendrix, a moniker she has decided to bestow upon her firstborn child. Find her on the web at www.nothingbutbonfires.com.