What Does It Mean to Voice Verify on Craigslist?

by Aaron Charles

On Craigslist there are generall, two major kinds of business -- commercial business, in which there is the buying and selling of goods and services or the advertising of work opportunities, and personal business, which is handled largely in the "personals" section of the Craigslist site. What it means to "voice verify" on Craigslist depends on the type of business you're involved in.

Commercial Business

Sometimes, Craigslist requires users to verify their identity and location via phone authentication. Craigslist does this to ensure that Craigslist sellers post from only one Craigslist account that is connected only to the area where they actually live or do business, which is a requirement of Craigslist's terms of use. If you encounter a phone authentication request, you'll be prompted to "voice verify" when creating your Craigslist account. Craigslist will ask you to enter your phone number on the Web page and then wait for a call, during which you'll receive a special code. Enter that code on the Craigslist page to continue with the account creation process.

Complications

You can't voice verify in this way if your phone number is from outside the U.S. or Canada, is a pre-paid mobile phone number, a toll-free number, or a voice over Internet protocol number. Furthermore, Craigslist won't accept your phone verification if the phone number you enter is connected to a Craigslist account already in use. In that case, the only way to free up the phone number is to unlink the phone number from that account. This, though, can be done only after 90 days have passed since the phone number was linked to that account.

Personal Business

Another way that Craigslist users voice verify is when using Craigslist's "personals" section. Entering the search terms "voice verify" in that section of the Craigslist site gives evidence of that, particularly in Craigslist communities based in larger urban areas. People do this as a way to verify the gender or age of a person, to the extent that's possible, or to just get a feel for the person over the phone.

Precautions

If you do plan to use Craigslist's personals section and to voice verify those you meet there, take your precautionary measures even further, for your safety's sake. One of Craigslist's golden rules for doing business on the site -- whether it's commercial or personal business -- is to first always meet someone you've never met personally in a public, non-secluded place. Furthermore, take your cell phone with you and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to walk away.

About the Author

Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images