With “Dateline” hidden cameras rolling, Correspondent Chris Hansen meets someone who suggests he is a hit man, a student selling a kidney in order to pay for college, and a drug dealer who claims to be selling a list of his clients.
How did Hansen find these people? They all posted ads in the online classifieds.
On Friday, October 26 at 10p/9c, “Dateline’s” Wild, Wild Web will give viewers an unprecedented look inside the world of popular websites such as Craigslist, Ebay and Backpage. Millions of people visit these sites each year offering – or in search of – everything from jobs and housing to tutoring sessions and cleaning services. As “Dateline” will reveal, these websites have become a home for much more than that. Online posts have become a parallel world where the best and worst of human behavior are displayed side by side.
“Dateline’s” Wild, Wild Web gives a glimpse into a startling and dynamic digital world. Hansen answers a post from a woman selling prescription drugs in New York City. In a nearby suburb, he meets someone whose post offered counterfeit documents including pay stubs and federal tax forms. Hansen meets a patient desperate for a kidney who turned to Craigslist as her only hope. He finds another woman selling her kidney online, claiming that the bad economy left her no alternative.
Hansen also explores how online classified ads have become a platform for whistleblowers to warn the public about potential rip-offs. One post leads him to a kitchen contractor who allegedly scammed two couples out of thousands of dollars. Hansen confronts that contractor face to face with “Dateline” cameras capturing it all. In a public park, Hansen meets a man who claims he is willing to do people harm for money and acts interested in hiring him. Their disturbing and candid conversation proves just how intense the online world has become.
“Dateline’s” Wild, Wild Web peels back the layers behind online classifieds, revealing a world that is far more complex than what meets the eye.
What's the strangest thing you've ever bought from an online classifed ad? Tweet us a photo with the hashtag #WildWeb