Is It Safe To Put Your Phone Number On Craigslist?

Craigslist is one of the largest online classified websites. It lets anyone post products they have or services they offer for potential buyers to inquire about.

There are all kinds of people that use Craigslist, so it isn’t entirely safe to put your number on the platform. You want to stick to communicating with potential buyers through messages, rather than provide your number straight away. Once you identify a genuine buyer, you can share your number.

But, you want to limit the information you share because revealing too much can lead to you being a target of a crime.

Should You Give A Phone Number On Craigslist?

For security purposes, you should refrain from posting your number on Craigslist. Doing so puts your number out in the open for anyone to access.

This is likely to result in a lot of spam messages and calls. There have been instances of deals gone bad and buyers threatening sellers, constantly calling them or showing up at their homes.

You want things to be as anonymous as possible when dealing with Craigslist. So, refrain from sharing any personal details, including your email address.

Talk to the buyer on the platform itself and meet them in a public place when it comes time for them to see the product. Make sure you never share your address, because you risk your safety when you do. 

Why Do Craigslist Buyers Ask For A Phone Number?

You have to be careful with buyers on Craigslist because you never know if they are genuine or not. Most buyers will ask you to provide a phone number. The reason being, to communicate with you quicker.

However, you should not provide your number because you don’t know if they are actually interested in the product or scammers. 

The following are some tips to help you avoid scam buyers on Craiglist:

  • Scammers will usually reply to an ad with a generic message. See if they actually refer to the exact product you mention or just send a generic message showing interest, which could be for almost anything.
  • Anyone willing to buy your product without seeing it should raise a red flag. Nobody will actually do that. 
  • They want to pay by check, never accept payment from the platform through check. 
  • Refrains from giving any personal information and asks for yours. 

You need to be mindful and protect your identity when using Craigslist. There are tons of scammers looking to prey on naive individuals. 

How To Show Your Phone Number On Craigslist?

There is no need to show your phone number on Craigslist. The platform has an anonymous email system that can be used instead.

You shouldn’t post your number or email address on the platform because you then become vulnerable to spam and even people figuring out your home address as well as other personal information. 

Replying to an inquiry is easy. All you have to do is open the message you receive from a potential buyer, hit reply, and a box will open up for you to write your message.

You also get a notification when a buyer contacts you. So, you don’t really need to share your phone number or email address on the platform. 

If a buyer insists on contacting you by phone and you have already identified them to be genuine, you can share your number or email with them directly through messages.

Since messages aren’t public, you will be safe from scammers. But only share your number when you know the individual is serious and the deal is pretty much done. 

How To Protect Your Phone Number On Craigslist?

The only way to protect your phone number is by not sharing it on the platform at all. Only share it with genuine buyers through messages, so only the buyer has access to it.

While Craiglist may give you an option to hide your number, spambots are more advanced and can still track your number. Scammers will be able to do so also, by pretending to be genuine buyers. Therefore, not sharing your number on Craigslist is your best bet to protect it. 

How To Stop Craigslist Spam Texts?

If you’ve put your number on Craigslist already and are constantly bombarded by spam texts, you can block the number. 

The process for blocking texts from a number on an Android phone is as follows:

  1. Open the ‘Message’ app.
  2. Tap the message of the number you want to block.
  3. Tap the three dots on the top right, a drop-down menu will appear.
  4. Select ‘Details’ from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select the ‘Block & report spam’ option. 
  6. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to report the messages also, you can select the option and click ‘Ok’. 

The process for blocking texts from a number on iOS is as follows:

  1. Open the ‘Message’ app.
  2. Tap the message of the number you want to block.
  3. Click on the ‘Info’ button. 
  4. The details of the contact will open up. Click on the right-facing arrow next, it will appear on the same tab as the phone number, next to the call icon. 
  5. Select the ‘Block this Caller’ option. 
  6. A box will appear asking you to confirm blocking the contact, select ‘Block Contact’.

Once you follow either of the processes, you will no longer receive spam texts from the number you block. 

Why Do People Spell Their Phone Numbers On Craigslist?

Spelling your number is considered to be a smart way of hiding your phone number from spammers. It works but to an extent. Spambots are more advanced and can at times still pick up on numbers spelled out. But it does protect you from most spammers.

But keep in mind that spelling your number doesn’t protect you from scammers. It also makes you vulnerable to hackers who can get more information online from just your phone number. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend spelling your number out on Craigslist either. 

What Can A Craigslist Scammer Do With My Phone Number?

Scammers can do plenty with just your phone number. They can use it for data mining. They can enter your phone number on platforms such as Whitepages, WhoEasy, and so on to get more information about you. The data they get can be used for identity theft or sold to anyone looking for it. 

Another common trick is “smashing”. This is when they send malicious messages, pretending to be your bank or doctor and getting you to click through to a link. They usually get you to give some personal information, which can be used against you.

You need to be careful and think twice before providing your number on any platform online. Scammers are always on the looking out and will try to scam anyone whose number they can find. 

Final thought

While Craiglist makes it easier for you to sell products and services, you need to use it with caution. Be mindful of the information you share on it. Refrain from providing any personal information, especially phone number, email, and address.

This will help you stay clear from scammers on it. Stick to using the platform’s messages for any correspondence with buyers and you should be fine.