Does anyone know why people send fake replies to a craigslist ad?

We are clearing house and have been using craigslist to get rid of all kinds of things from jigsaw puzzles to furniture. We have gotten a decent response and have met all kinds of great, nice people through this process. My only concern has been that we have received a majority of strange replies via e-mail from people who must be involved with some sort of scam, but we cannot figure out what the scam is. When we first started using craigslist about 6 months ago we received replies which only asked "still available?" and only received them on our furniture ads. We realized they were fake, when one day we posted several furniture ads and we received responses on most of the ads within a few hours, but each response was exactly the same the writer's name was exactly the same, but the writer's e-mail address was different on each one. After that, we would just ignore these responses, and only answer emails which seemed legit, but basically, we usually only deal with people who call.

Now within the last couple of months, the fake emails have become much more frequent and have included other items besides furniture. They also have become really bizarre. About 2 months ago they would only be gibberish with random words, and starting about 3 weeks ago they are even weirder - asking to call them with a strange use of slang. The phone numbers are obviously made up using strange area codes. Here is a sample of the most recent emails we have received:

For a desk we were only asking $5 for -

"Hello want call me 700-249-2259. No B.S Cheers"

from Mittman Ziegenfuss <>

For some kids toys -

How are you feel free to call me 856-623-0258. Incredible Laters

from Yonamine Voyles <>

... and for a pair of jigsaw puzzles -

"Howdys kindly call me 120-932-4131. Normal Thanks. "

from Baker Voyles <>

They are all from different people, but basically the same type of wording. Anyway, my question is why do these people waste all this energy and time (there own as well as mine) with these e-mails. What on earth do they get out of it that makes it worthwhile? We have speculated our e-mail address as craigslist uses an email forwarding system, but when you answer you use your real email address, but how much could that really be worth? Plus, we have answered a few responses at the beginning by mistake and have not yet been spammed. But now these new ones asking to call make no sense since the number they ask you to call looks fake, plus if it was real and they want our phone number, it is already in the ad.

We have racked our brains, and out of curiosity just wonder if anyone knows what is up. What are your thoughts?

Thanks :)

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Simple. They are harvesting your email address and then selling the address to other scammers and spammers.

    You should ALWAYS set up an alternate email when you use Craigslist, used ONLY for Craigslist, so that when it starts getting spam you can just shut it down.

    Flag those emails as junk emails. And DO NOT click on links in any emails, even ones claiming to be from craigslist and saying you are suspended, blacklisted, etc. Go directly to the site by typing it in and logging in, because if you are getting spam you are also getting phishing emails.

  • 3 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    Reverse Phone Number Look Up Services

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    A reverse cell phone lookup service I have used is

    Enter the number in the system and they will tell you a lot of informations about the phone number and the person who owns it.

    If they have extra details you will have to pay for the report.

    Free reverse phone lookup sites generally don't provide anything interesting. To get further information, money will have to be paid. The free searches do not provide much more than what can be found through the phone book.

    The best thing is that you can get informations about anyone!!

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  • 9 years ago

    If they are nonsensical emails, they are from bored lonely people. Email is fast and free, and it makes people feel "connected" to the world. I'm sure some people do actually phone the numbers and either get an answering machine, a bored, lonely person, or some phone scam.

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