What's the Point of Listing a Disposable Phone Number for Craigslist?

Dec 12, 2012 18:42:16Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

What's the Point of Listing a Disposable Phone Number for Craigslist?

If you haven't heard of Craigslist.org, then you've probably been living under a rock for the past few years. The popular trading site makes it easy to connect with people in your community looking to exchange goods, network, find housing or even set up a romantic encounter. Unfortunately, not everyone on the site is trustworthy, and there are many reasons why you may need to use a virtual phone number to maintain your personal safety. If this sounds like an unnecessary precaution, consider the scenarios below.

1. Automated Scammers
If you've ever posted an ad on Craigslist and then checked your spam filter on your email a day or so afterward, you probably noticed an influx of emails from people claiming to have read your ad. Usually, these messages aren't sent by actual human beings, but are instead automated - you can tell because the grammar is poor and they are often identical to one another. This is why many people choose to list a separate email address that they use just for Craigslist. If you're adding your mobile number to your posts, then you may also receive scam text messages similar to these email correspondences. To avoid this, it may be best to put two numbers on one phone, so that the second number can filter out these annoying texts.

2. Creepy Daters
Craigslist has a personal ad section for individuals who are eager to date online, but putting your number on this type of advertisement could lead to trouble. It's never a good idea to give out your mobile number to people you don't know - and you definitely don't want to learn this lesson the hard way by picking up an internet stalker. Instead, use a second phone number until you are sure the person you're dealing with is trustworthy.

3. When You're Done Selling
Some people use Craigslist to get rid of a bunch of items instead of holding a garage sale. It's a good way to unload a lot of unneeded stuff, but when you're finished selling, it can be annoying to get text messages and phone calls from people wondering if you're still listing any items on the market. A disposable phone number can be discarded when you're done using it, meaning you won't have to worry about this problem.

Craigslist is a great service, but without properly protecting yourself, it can go from a convenience to a nightmare. Taking the time to add an extra phone number onto your mobile device could save you from a major Craigslist headache.