Q&A: Should I Put My Phone Number on Craigslist?

Dec 3, 2012 15:43:28Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Q&A: Should I Put My Phone Number on Craigslist?

The website Craigslist is often praised for its simplicity. Anyone with a valid email account can log on and use the service to sell an appliance, find housing, do a job search and much more. However, users must be careful, because there are many scammers lurking on the site who are looking to take advantage of trusting buyers, sellers and renters. That's why it may be best to list a second mobile number on the website to avoid giving out personal information.

Do I Have to Use Two Devices?
Some people may be hesitant to list two numbers because they don't want to have to purchase a second phone and data plan. But the reality is that you can have two phone numbers on one phone, just like you can have more than one email address on your computer. This not only helps keep costs down, it allows you to manage both your Craigslist account and your personal dealings from the same device, without compromising your mobile security.

Will This Affect My Business on Craigslist?
Adding a second mobile number shouldn't have any impact on how successful you are on Craigslist. Since many people don't list a phone number on their ad, most of the individuals who contact you won't expect phone conversation until after you've exchanged a few emails. When you do feel you are ready to give out your phone number to arrange a meeting, you can simply give them your second mobile number, which is for all intents and purposes just a normal phone number. This may actually increase your business on Craigslist, as the added security will make you a more reliable seller or purchaser in the eyes of others.

Are There Other Safety Issues With Craigslist?
Craigslist users should always be vigilant about giving out any personal information on the website, and only do so if they are certain the individual with whom they are dealing with is trustworthy. Do not hesitate to flag any posts on the site that you find to be offensive or suspicious, and always schedule meetings with strangers from Craigslist somewhere public. Keep an eye on your spam folder - you may find that some dangerous messages are filtered there automatically, and these should be reported to your email provider or Craigslist administrators. 

Craigslist is a great service, but be certain you're using it wisely to avoid falling victim to a scam.