Phone verification is one of several security measures implemented by Craigslist at its inception to better control the content of what is posted to the online classifieds website. Prior to posting to a phone-verified section of Craigslist, you must first register your phone number with the site and then verify that the number is working and in your control. Like the introduction of Captcha images and email verification, phone verification provides a level of accountability on Craigslist users that curtails illegal and unwanted classifieds postings. Since its pilot, phone verification has been extended to the Services sections on Craigslist. As of September 2013, other sections do not require phone verification.
Introduction of Phone Verified Accounts
Craigslist introduced phone verified accounts, along with credit card verification, to their "Erotic Services" and "Therapeutic Services" categories as a means to better monitor those posting to these sections. Phone verification enables law-enforcement officials to track illegal activity posted in this category while also providing a means for Craigslist to remove suspicious or inappropriate posts.
Verifying Your Phone
After placing an ad on a select phone-verified section of Craigslist, you will be prompted to enter your phone number. You will receive a text message or phone call that contains a unique authorization code that must be entered into Craigslist to publish your post. If you accidentally enter the incorrect code, wait five minutes and then click "Try again" and reenter the correct code.
Posting to Unverified Sections
You do not need to register your phone to post classified ads to non-service related sections on Craigslist, such as lost pet ads or discussion forums. You can post to these categories anonymously without creating a Craigslist account, though you will more easily be able to manage and edit your posts by creating an account.
Limitations of Phone Verification
The implementation of Craigslist's phone verification system has not been without its limitations. You may only send a code to your phone once every five minutes. In addition, codes will expire after being entered five times. Craigslist also limits the number of phone numbers that can be verified on each account to only three numbers per twelve-hour period. Craigslist does not allow phone numbers from outside of the U.S. or Canada, numbers from pre-paid mobile services or toll-free numbers to be used as a form of phone verification. Some Voice over IP phone numbers may also be blocked from use on Craigslist accounts.
Maintaining Your Account
Craiglist only allows users to own and operate one user account, which includes phone-verified accounts. Creating multiple accounts in an attempt to override the restrictions placed on phone-verified sections or attempting to sell the use of an additional account is prohibited by Craigslist and may result in the termination of your Craigslist privileges.
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