C-List is now "Night of the Living Spammer/Scammers"?

by TimothyW 24 replies
Mostly I just use CL for real ads for real (used) stuff I am (legitimately) selling (locally). No black hat mumbo jumbo, etc.

Recently I've noticed it's hard not to get attacked by spammer/scammers.

Here's the MO...

1) I get a reply to the listing of the item I'm selling.

2) The incoming enquiry email says something like (simply) "Still available?" or "Is this still available?"

3) Then I (innocently) respond to the enquiry.

4) Then I get an auto reply with some ad for something else (and/or malware/spyware -- who knows and, of course, they now know my email address (my initial CL addr. anonimity has vanished because I responded.

I see how I can guard against it ("The subject line of your reply MUST contain [some code word -- or what town you are in, etc.]"

But that makes a legit responder jump through additional hoops, thus reducing the chances of a legit reply in the first place!

This new spam/scam is clogging up the CL works, BIG TIME.

Anyone else experiencing a HUGE increase in this trend RECENTLY?

-- TW
#main internet marketing discussion forum #clist
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  • Profile picture of the author Minisite Nerd
    Yeah...it sucks.

    Talk about ruining Craigslist. What this really is is SPAM. They are asking questions on ads simply to get email addresses and then shooting autoresponder messages at you like you opted in to something.

    This is actually a very dangerous line for these Craigslist "blackhatters" to cross. Posting ads on the site is one thing, but now harvesting email adresses, which is pretty much what they are doing, is going to land them in some serious hot water if they are not careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Pruitt
    It's irritating to have to do it, but maybe you can just put some words in the ad to the effect that "If the ad is still here, X is still available. If you have questions, please email a contact phone number".
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    Thanks!
    Carl Pruitt
    http://LongRunPublishing.com

  • Profile picture of the author charlesburke
    TW,

    Here's another good reason to use throwaway emails. Get one and use it till it gets too clogged up, then move on.

    Cheers from warm and smiling Thailand,
    Charles
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    MisterEbook.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
      Another approach is to use a phone number as your
      response method. While some people are too dimwitted
      to respond in any way but by email, I've seen it happen
      many times that the person who calls on the phone to
      inquire is far more likely to be a serious prospect to
      buy a thing than an email lookey-look.

      While you might prefer to field email inquiries because
      you don't want to be bothered by phone calls, the reality
      is listing a phone number is a direct way to connect with
      eager buyers and make a sale... and not waste your time
      writing long emails answering laundry-list questions.
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      • Profile picture of the author stayfocused
        Be careful when adding your phone number to CL ads. You never know what type of scraper is going to run through there and basically harvest numbers like they do with email addresses.

        The only time I will add my phone number to a CL ad is if I add it to an image and then upload that image to the listing.

        That will keep your phone number from being harvested and used for who knows what.
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        • Profile picture of the author stevenh512
          Originally Posted by stayfocused View Post

          The only time I will add my phone number to a CL ad is if I add it to an image and then upload that image to the listing.

          That will keep your phone number from being harvested and used for who knows what.
          Are you sure about that? Have you seen some of the automated captcha solvers that are available these days? If they can solve a captcha (which typically has a significant amount of "background noise" and font distortion to try to fool OCR software) I'm sure they can read a phone number from an image file.
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  • Profile picture of the author MADINAZ
    What I do is post a throw away email and a throw away free phone number from a site like K7. They email me all the voice mails I get and then I respond and sell my item.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
    How about saying in my ad, "Please respond by phone. My phone number is: 483. And the last 4 numbers are 3857."

    Might that be enough to confuse any auto-harvesters?

    Also, what would be the point of harvesting phone numbers? They are already available publicly, no? Maybe they are after cell #'s, which are not available in phone books?

    -- TW
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    This phone stuff is paranoid. I understand folks want their
    privacy - but if you ARE in business you need to make yourself
    reachable. Phone-spam does happen and it is annoying,
    but you guys are turning a not-big issue into a big-issue -
    and this kind of thinking will affect your ability to make money
    and have success in ways you don't even imagine right now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Minisite Nerd
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      This phone stuff is paranoid. I understand folks want their
      privacy - but if you ARE in business you need to make yourself
      reachable. Phone-spam does happen and it is annoying,
      but you guys are turning a not-big issue into a big-issue -
      and this kind of thinking will affect your ability to make money
      and have success in ways you don't even imagine right now.

      What does being "in business" have to do with it?

      Most Craigslist posters are NOT "in business" they are merely trying to sell some stuff they have laying around the house or don't use anymore.

      For the most part, Craigslist wasn't built for people "in business" and those are the people causing it the most problems.....them and the prostitutes of course.
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      • Profile picture of the author Minisite Nerd
        Originally Posted by jkiley View Post

        Yes, most craigslist posters are not in business, but lot of them are. They have 80 million users, and if even just 1% are in business then that's a lot of people. I know that lot of people who use my applications are in "business"

        You're missing the point.

        Sure, the phone thing works for people "in business" but it still does NOTHING to help the vast majority of Craigslist users who are not "in business" prevent themselves form getting SPAMMED.

        Sorry, but the average CL user trying to sell a lawnmower or a used car on CL probably doesn't want to deal with phone calls all day and SPAM phone calls on top of that.

        Nowhere did I argue businesses don't use Craigslist....nowhere. But that simply isn't the point in this thread.

        My response was to someone who said giving a phone number should not be a problem because people are "in business", but even YOU admitted that the overwhelming majority of CL posters are NOT "in business".

        So where does that leave them?
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Ok Mr. Nerd - you are right - the best way to make money selling
    stuff is to hide behind your computer and make yourself difficult
    to reach and obsess about the notion that if you publicize any
    contact information you will be harmed, so you should go to great
    lengths to make sure your "real" contact information is never
    published anywhere.

    I stand corrected. Thank you for your wisdom.,
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    • Profile picture of the author Minisite Nerd
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      Ok Mr. Nerd - you are right - the best way to make money selling
      stuff is to hide behind your computer and make yourself difficult
      to reach and obsess about the notion that if you publicize any
      contact information you will be harmed, so you should go to great
      lengths to make sure your "real" contact information is never
      published anywhere.

      I stand corrected. Thank you for your wisdom.,
      What the heck is your problem....?

      If you want to QUOTE me, use the QUOTE button....please don't put words in my mouth. Thank you.

      Did I actually SAY what you said I did....ummm, no. I didn't say or even come CLOSE to saying what you said I did.

      Re-read the OP's first post. It's clear his post is about sellers who use Craigslist to sell REAL STUFF mostly locally.

      That's what Craigslist was originally built for. Not for SPAMMING.

      Seriously, are you just looking for a FIGHT? What is the problem?

      I NEVER said anything about "hiding" or this crap:

      t he best way to make money selling
      stuff is to hide behind your computer and make yourself difficult
      to reach and obsess about the notion that if you publicize any
      contact information you will be harmed, so you should go to great
      lengths to make sure your "real" contact information is never
      published anywhere.
      So why do YOU feel the need to put those words into MY mouth just to try to back up your argument.

      I'm dying to know.

      What a joke....
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    • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      Ok Mr. Nerd - you are right - the best way to make money selling
      stuff is to hide behind your computer and make yourself difficult
      to reach and obsess about the notion that if you publicize any
      contact information you will be harmed, so you should go to great
      lengths to make sure your "real" contact information is never
      published anywhere.
      Interesting, I was just reading about that:
      Néojaponisme Blog Archive The Fear… of the Internet

      Tyrus
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      yes -no
  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Buy a Barracuda and forget about spammers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Art Turner
    I think because the post is in the Warrior Forum it was meant for those using CL for business, not the average CL poster. We're here to help marketers, not somebody selling a mattress.

    Art
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    • Profile picture of the author Minisite Nerd
      Originally Posted by Art Turner View Post

      I think because the post is in the Warrior Forum it was meant for those using CL for business, not the average CL poster. We're here to help marketers, not somebody selling a mattress.

      Art
      Really...well I'm just going by what the OP said, which is how the discussion started.

      Mostly I just use CL for real ads for real (used) stuff I am (legitimately) selling (locally). No black hat mumbo jumbo, etc.

      Recently I've noticed it's hard not to get attacked by spammer/scammers.
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      • Profile picture of the author debra
        Get a throw away autoresponder address.

        Post your ad on CL requiring them to send a blank email to the throw away autoresponder addy for complete information.

        In your autoresponder include your detailed information and whatever contact info you want them to have.

        In the header and footer of the autoresponder...include a link(s) to whatever affiliate program you want the spammers to have.

        There ya go.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
      Originally Posted by Art Turner View Post

      I think because the post is in the Warrior Forum it was meant for those using CL for business, not the average CL poster. We're here to help marketers, not somebody selling a mattress.

      Art
      That's true, Art. But... some of the warriors (marketers) might be on the other end of the spamming that is going on (ie: "perps"). Also, marketers might be the victims of spammer/scammers, too.

      Either way, it's a perfectly legit subject for this forum.

      Spammers essentially taking over CL (with this 'new' tactic) -- and how 'regular' people AND marketers can defend against it. Other wise CL might get SO gummed up, no one wants to use it anymore -- regular listers and marketers alike.

      -- TW
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  • Profile picture of the author SurviveUnemployment
    I hate craigslist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Motley
    why not just set up the email for your CL postings to gmail, which has autoresponders. So anyone that sends an email, gets the autoresponder message of something like 'the product is still available. If you have any questions go to .xxxxxx..' or whatever medium you're using to sell, phone, website,whatever
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    TW,

    I understand what you are saying about Craigslist.

    For me it's not worth the effort of all the jumping through hoops to get rid of the business posters.

    Craigslist is designed for simple person to person classified ads, although that fact seems to be lost by a few people posting in this thread.

    Mark Riddle
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    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
  • Profile picture of the author TimothyW
    It doesn't matter to me if someone wants to use CL to conduct (a) business.

    That can run along side the 'regular' people just fine.

    What I don't like is spammers + scammers using CL. And this newest spam/scam seems hard to defend against, because it gums up the normal operation of CL -- it's sabotoage, plain + simple.

    -- TW
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