Don’t Let Craigslist Text Spam Ruin Your Sale!

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:

  1. Texts in which the buyer is asking you to text them back
  2. Messages where you are instructed to share a verification code
  3. 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:

  1. You will get a six-digit Google verification code from Google phone service. The message will instruct you not to share it with anyone
  2. The “buyer” will ask for the code
  3. 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
  • Debt-collection messages

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:

DO

DON’T

  • 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:

  1. Find the Robo Revenge feature
  2. Generate a fake virtual credit card
  3. Provide the scammers with your free virtual credit card number
  4. 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:

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:

Scam

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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