We all know that spam has been basically a minor nuisance for years. Well, now the spammers are starting to take over Craigslist. Let me explain how they did it. Craigslist attempts to stop people from spamming by checking for repeat submissions. They check for excessive posts from any one IP, but they also require the users to register with valid e-mail addresses. They’ve even gone as far to implement a CAPTCHA system to stop automated posting as well as any user can flag these posts, but that’s become obsessive too.
There are quite a few new tools out there that allow people to post repeatedly on Craigslist or bulk posting as they call it. There’s a tool called “Craigslist Auto Poster” there’s also “Easy Ad Poster” or “EAP” and each one has built-in strategies to get past Craigslist anti-spam mechanism. Most people add just a random string of text to the end of each message or random number of periods after the title.
Now those aren’t the only tools used to spam Craigslist. There’s also software such as Ad Bomber or Ad Master. There are also service oriented products such as “It’s Your Post”, etc. By using these tools the borders of Craigslist have been breached. Most categories on Craigslist have become over 95% spam. The personals were one of the first sections to go than services. More recently, jobs as well as community and for sale sections.
Craigslist isn’t taking this lightly, they’ve tried several tactics including phone verification posting in some categories that requires a callback phone number with a password that’s either sent using voice or an SMS message. And they’ll only allow one account per phone number, spammers have reacted to this using pre-made phone verified accounts would sell between three and seven dollars each.
Spammers have also tried using number portability services such as “Digits Grand Central”. Craigslist is now blocking most of those.
Such complicated scams as spammers using free ring tones sites in order to get unsuspecting victims to accept the Craigslist verification call then type the password back from a voice message. That way a person gets a free ring tone and the person selling it gets a free phone verified account.
The forums on Craigslist are alight with conversation. Phone Verify or not? The different ways in which phone verification can hurt the standard poster and how most spammers get past it without so much as a blink. From my perspective it seems as if Craigslist has no idea what to do.
The battle for Craigslist still rages on. Who will win? No one knows…
Will Craigslist find something that works? If it doesn’t you can be certain this could very well be the end of Craigslist. At that point who will be the next victim? Kijiji? Backpage? Only the spammers know.
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Author: Al Ferretti
Professional Internet Marketer with over 13 years of online experience.
Author: Al Ferretti, Jim Grygar, Skeeter Hansen