Craigslist is a website that allows people to post classified ads for goods or services that they want to buy or sell. Due to a large number of spam ads being posted on the website the company implemented an account verification system for service ads. Craigslist also restricted each account to posting only 3 ads every 48 hours.
To have an active Craigslist account you need an email account, a IP address, and a phone number that has been call back verified. If these three do not match Craigslist will not allow you to create an account.
For spammers the first two are easy to create. They can create Gmail or Hotmail accounts, and by routing through different internet servers have unique IPs associated with each email account. What they have difficulty doing is by passing the phone number call back verification.
When creating a Craigslist account an automated system will call you back to the phone number that you provided. The automated system will says "This is Craigslist calling your pin number is 12345." You have to enter this pin number to activate the Craigslist account online.
Spammers don't want their phone number linked to the spam Craigslist account. Also posting hundreds of spam ads on Craigslist will require hundreds of phone numbers.
The Do Not Call List Scam
A spammer call you and says:
This Steve Harperson calling from the Canadian National Do Not Call List. We would like to ensure that your phone number is included in the National Do Not Call List. In a few minutes after I hang up a lady will call you and provide you with an activation number. I will then call back and if you provide me with that activation number you will be added to on the Canadian National Do Not Call List.The spammer then enters your phone number on the Craigslist account activation page. You will get a call from 310-928-7055 which is the Craigslist activation call center. The automated message will give you an activation pin number.
After you hang up the spammer will call back and ask for the pin number. If you give him the number your telephone number is now associated with the spam Craigslist account that he has created.
From talking to people who have been targeted the spammers will be persistent. They will call back even if you hang up or tell them to get lost.
Your best bet is don't agree to have anyone call you back. Tell them that you have their phone number (this number changes as they route through different telephone exchanges) and that you will be filing a report with the police.
How Much is a Craigslist Phone Number Verified Account Worth?
Millions of people use Craigslist every day.
A Craigslist PVA account is worth a lot to a spammer. They can use the account to post fake ads, sell stolen goods or perpetuate fraud, and your phone number is associated with this activity.
Craigslist PVA accounts, in large amounts, sell online for $5.00 to $6.00 each. Good money for 10 minutes of social engineering.
Suri - 28 Nov 2008
I got a call from this number , prior to this I got a call from 919-674-0114 and they said I will get a call and a 5 digit activation code will be left in your voice mail, and within 5 minutes I will call you back and you please provide the activation number, so that no unsolicited calls will be made to you in future. They said the US Govt's DNC has chosen craig's list to provide this service and I will not be charged a penny for this service
Anonymous - 1 Jul 2009
I got a call around 2.30 PM today. The caller identified him as David Kingston from FCC and informed me that they will send a 5 digit code for stopping marketing calls. In the next minute, I received a call from the number 310-928-7055 (an automated message) that gave a code (Some where in the message, I heard Craigs List). After a minute, the same caller called me to confirm the code (identified himself as David Kingston of FCC again). When I asked him about the relationship between FCC and Craigs List, he started threatening me that he can levy a penalty as I am rejecting a call from FCC. I asked him to stop calling me and hung up. He called me again and asked the reason for disconnecting my call. I was really annoyed and asked him to stop calling me.