How To Stop Craigslist Spam
How to Stop Craigslist Spam | Techwalla
Giving out your phone number could lead to text spam.
Image Credit: JackF/iStock/Getty Images
The email harvesting software used by spammers scrapes addresses posted on the Internet, particularly on classified ad sites such as Craigslist. Craigslist protects users from spam in several ways — from providing anonymous posting options for users to taking legal action against perpetual spammers and those who use email harvesting programs. To stop spam emails, protect your email and account and report all spam messages to Craigslist.
Anonymize your email address. Fill in the “Reply To” field with a contact address. Underneath the field, click the radio button in front of “Anonymize. ” Ad readers reply to a randomly generated email address that forwards messages to your real inbox. Spam may still appear, but the sender never knows your actual email address so long as you don’t respond.
Mask your email address. For example, list a contact address of “Joedoe at yourdomain dot com. ” Readers easily interpret the code but scraping software won’t recognize it as an email address.
Delete old posts as soon as the ad is no longer valid. Reducing your visibility on Craigslist can help reduce unwanted response and spam emails.
Forward suspicious or persistent email to the dedicated Craigslist spam email address (see link in Resources). Craigslist staff may intervene or alert other users to the Craigslist accepts ads without email addresses. However, one form of contact, such as a phone number, must appear. While spam email frustrates users, a system-generated address remains safer than posting a personal phone number.
Activate the junk mail filters or spam protection feature on your email software or online service. All the major email providers offer anti-spam tools that you can use to keep your email inbox clear of unwanted messages.
How to Tell if a Craigslist Reply Is Legitimate or Spam
i Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images Craigslist offers users access to buy and sell online through free classified ads. When you access the website, it’s important to protect your personal email from unscrupulous users who may spam you by offering fraudulent payments for your item. Craigslist uses a two-way email relay system meant to purposefully stop spam and scams. Even so, computer hackers and unscrupulous people can still spam you through Craigslist’s email system. Craigslist SpamUnwanted commercial emails — spam — often includes bogus commercial offers that waste your time and steal your money. To stay protected on Craigslist, choose anonymity by clicking on the “Use Craigslist Mail Relay” button when you insert your email address in the appropriate field when posting an advertisement. Make certain that you add “cash only” in your advertisement. At the bottom of the ad posting, make certain the “OK for Others to Contact You About Other Services, Products or Commercial Interests” is not selected. Otherwise, you are asking that advertising emails be sent to you. Email RelayCraigslist protects both sellers and buyers on its website by encoding your personal email with one issued by Craigslist. For instance, a reply from a potential buyer through Craigslist would appear with a series of letters and numbers before the words “” As an example, you might receive a reply to your ad that looks like this: “” But just because the person used Craigslist’s internal email system to respond to your ad, the user still might be attempting to scam you. Too Good to Be TrueBring your common sense to bear when utilizing any online classified program. Bottom line, if something in an email sounds too good to be true, pay attention to your instincts — as you are more than likely right. Craigslist spammers and scammers try to draw you into their net by making you believe you have just received an incredible offer. Craigslist advises users to avoid scams and fraud by not accepting personal checks, money transfers via online wire services, cashier’s checks or money orders, as these can all be faked. It also recommends avoiding deals that involve shipping or escrow services. One main rule when using Craigslist is to keep your transactions local where you can meet the person in a public place — and have someone with you when you do. The Legitimacy of the OfferLegitimate offers usually come from someone in your area. Their email address will come from Craigslist itself as indicated previously and may include specific questions on the item. Someone honestly interested in your offering will want to know more details, ask if you are open to haggling or ask if the product has been sold yet. Illegitimate offers usually come from someone out of the area and ignore your request for “cash only” by suggesting another means to pay for the item. Phishers and ScammersEven with these protections in place, dishonest people still use the Craigslist system to spam people. Craigslist management constantly fights hackers who harvest emails from Craigslist’s system or use malware to send spam to unwary users. To avoid problems with spammers, the FTC advises online buyers and sellers to select one email for online shopping and another for friends and personal use. Report any suspicious emails from the site to Craigslist via its contact form on the site. The U. S. Department of Justice also provides resources for reporting spam online (see Resources). References Writer Bio As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego’s Coleman College.
Don’t Get Tricked by the Craigslist Text Spam [Top Hacks]
It is a well-known fact that the minute you post an ad on Craigslist, you’ll get several texts from people trying to scam you.
Craigslist may be a great place to sell or buy things, but it’s also frequented by scammers sending spam text messages. It’s easy for a fraudster to find a target on a platform on which users leave their phone numbers and emails to simplify the communication process with buyers.
Different Types of Craigslist Spam Texts
Craigslist is a playground for scammers, as most digital shopping platforms are. Fraudsters usually target sellers, tricking them into handing over personal information.
Sellers are the ones eager to close the deal, which opens a range of possibilities for scammers. Regardless of the method, the endgame is the same—stealing your money or using your private info in other scams.
That is why there is not one specific Craigslists text spam.
Some of the common ones are:
Texts in which the buyer is asking you to text them back
Messages where you are instructed to share a verification code
Bogus messages from Craigslist containing malicious links
Why Do Scammers Behind Craigslist Spam Ask You To Text Them Back?
Once you post an item, you might receive a reply from someone asking for your phone number. It looks innocent enough—it’s easier to text, send pictures, or talk about the deal—so you may oblige and send them your contact info. And then you never hear from them again.
Some time passes and your phone is flooded with spam calls and texts.
What happened is that the “buyer” sold your number to a telemarketer or another scammer.
I Got a Spam Text After a Craigslist Post in Which the Sender Is Asking for a Google Verification Code. Is It a Scam?
It’s a scam. One that has been baffling the Internet for a while.
The interaction will start as usual and the buyer will agree to your payment terms, but then they will want to verify that your post is not fake by sending you a verification code. If you agree, this is what happens next:
You will get a six-digit Google verification code from Google phone service. The message will instruct you not to share it with anyone
The “buyer” will ask for the code
In case you share it, scammers will use that code and your phone number to create their own free Google phone number and scam other people. They can also use it to access your Google account
What Are the Craigslist Text-Alerts Spam Messages?
These messages are phishing attempts. They are not unique to texts since Craigslist spam emails are often a part of the phishing scam.
Scammers behind these texts are using spoofing technology so that the messages appear to be coming from the Craigslist website.
The text will say that you have a new notification about a Craigslist post and provide you with a fake link to it.
A link will either:
Lead to a bogus Craigslist site prompting you to log in
Ask for your Social Security number or credit card info to verify your identity
Install spyware on your phone and steal your private data
If Craigslist Text Message Spam Is Illegal, What About Other Text Spam?
Not all unwanted texts you receive are illegal. The above-mentioned examples are clearly scams, but many texts are coming from legitimate companies and organizations.
The CAN-SPAM Act is one of the laws that regulate both spam mail and spam texts.
According to the CAN-SPAM Act text, the sender is not allowed to use Internet-to-phone SMS technology to send texts to a cell phone, which helps weed out many text spammers.
Some legal spam texts are:
Texts from companies that have your permission to contact you
Emergency and info messages from schools and health centers
Fundraising-related messages from charities
Political text spam
How To Prevent Spam Texts on Craigslist
Craigslist scams are specific. They are not based on a massive outreach software, but on the notion that you are desperate to sell your item. A scammer will not target you in particular. They will throw the hook to many sellers and see who bites.
There are steps to take to minimize the chances of spammers picking you, but also guidelines to follow once you do receive a spam text.
Here is a Do’s and Don’ts list that you can use:
Pay attention to typos and broken English
Take note of the trigger words like Now, Immediately, or Instantly
Use your phone’s tools to block suspicious messages on Android or iPhone
Report the spam to proper authorities
Check what anti-spam text filter your carrier offers
Use third-party apps, like Nomorobo, Truecaller, or RoboKiller to block spam texts
Get revenge on spam texters with DoNotPay
Give away your real phone number
Respond to suspicious messages
Click on any links
Give out your Social Security number
Disclose your credit card info
How To Stop Craigslist Spam Text Messages and Get Your Revenge With DoNotPay
When you receive a suspicious Craigslist-related text, particularly the one in which the sender is asking for your payment info, access DoNotPay from your web browser and follow these steps:
Find the Robo Revenge feature
Generate a fake virtual credit card
Provide the scammers with your free virtual credit card number
Wait for them to try to collect the payment and fail
That is not all. DoNotPay will unmask the sender and obtain their info, which is evidence admissible in court.
How To Report Craigslist Spam Text Messages
In case you want to report text spam related to your Craigslist post, you can try one of the following options:
Copy the message and forward it to 7726
Report the spam message to the Federal Trade Commission
Use your message app to report suspicious texts
Report text spam to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or another service provider
Text Scams To Pay Attention to Other Than the Craigslist Spam Texts
Here are some examples of other common text scams you should look out for:
What’s It About
Bank of America spam text
Phishing scams directed at BoA patrons aiming to steal their sensitive info
Email to text spam messages
Random texts with email instead of a sender number are often meant to mimic legitimate organizations
Facebook confirmation code text spam
A text message from a Facebook service with a confirmation code that you never requested
Wells Fargo alert text message spam
Scams aiming to incite interaction like clicking on a link, opening an attachment, or disclosing personal information
Group text spam messages
Random texts showing up in chat groups, usually including links to malicious websites
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Frequently Asked Questions about how to stop craigslist spam
How do I stop bots on Craigslist?
Craigslist advises users to avoid scams and fraud by not accepting personal checks, money transfers via online wire services, cashier’s checks or money orders, as these can all be faked. It also recommends avoiding deals that involve shipping or escrow services.
How do I stop spam texts on Craigslist?
How To Report Craigslist Spam Text MessagesCopy the message and forward it to 7726.Report the spam message to the Federal Trade Commission.Use your message app to report suspicious texts.Report text spam to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or another service provider.