Verification of Craigslist accounts by phone

Article Details
URL: /help/tickets/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=59
Article ID: 59
Created On: 17 Jun 2010 11:17 PM

Answer The CLAD Genius software has the feature to verify Craigslist Accounts by phone. This feature is a part of CLAD Genius software, is included in the CLAD Genius software, is not a separate install/download and cannot be used separately.
We do not offer or sell phone numbers. It is the end users responsibility to research a 3rd party solutions for the phone numbers if they choose to use this feature.

SECTION 1. Semi-automated verification of Craigslist accounts by phone.
If you have access to phone numbers, you may take advantage of our semi-automated phone verification feature described below.
Phone verification is an integral part of the ad posting, so you will need to prepare your ads and make sure you can post them before using phone verification feature.

Make sure you have the following items ready prior to starting phone verification:
  1. You have created (or imported) and validated enough non-PVA Craigslist accounts in CLAD. The accounts must be green (validated) in the list of CL accounts under "Accounts" tab
  2. You have added phone numbers to the CL accounts by either manually inputting phone numbers in the account properties, or imported them using "Import list of phones" feature, which can be found on the toolbar to the left of the CL accounts list (Group processing button).
  3. You have checked the box "Attempt to phone verify this account during posting process" for every account that you want to verify by phone. You can do that either manually for each individual account (in the account properties) or for multiple selected accounts, using group processing->bulk update feature
  4. You have prepared your ads for posting and enabled them
  5. Phone verification feature works to verify Non-PVA CL accounts, and it also works for already verified CL accounts (PVAs), if Craigslist asks to verify them again during posting process:
    • If all of your accounts are non-PVAs and you just want to verify them, switch to "Non-PVAs only" mode under settings->posting->craigslist->posting mode. 
    • If you already verified your accounts (or imported ready-made PVAs) and you just want to ensure that CLAD will re-verify them during posting IF Craigslist asks to do that, switch to "PVAs only" mode under settings->posting->craigslist->posting mode.
    • If you have a mixture of PVAs and Non-PVAs, you can mark them all as PVAs, select "PVAs only" mode under settings->posting->craigslist->posting mode and start posting. CLAD will try to use your accounts as PVAs (even if they aren't PVAs), Craigslist will ask for phone verification, and CLAD will start verification process.
It is also recommended (but not required) that you do the following:
  1. Place all non-PVA accounts that you plan to phone-verify in a separate campaign. Also place your ads that you wish to use for phone verification into the same campaign
  2. Make sure you do not have any accounts under "All campaigns", because CLAD may use them instead of those from your PVA campaign.
  3. Make sure you do not have ads in other campaigns enabled for posting.
  4. If you plan to geo-target your PVAs, set up IP rotation/proxies correspondingly.
  5. If you do not want CLAD to ask you whether you want to verify each particular account, un-check the box "Ask before starting phone verification" under settings/posting/craigslist/phone verification
Once you have your ads, accounts and phone numbers prepared as described above, start posting your ads.CLAD will log in to an arbitrary non-PVA account and will start posting your ad. When Craigslist asks to verify the account by phone, CLAD will enter the phone number associated with the selected non-PVA and will submit it to Craigslist automatically.Next, CLAD will ask you to pick up the phone, listen to the code and enter it. Once the account has been verified, CLAD will complete the post, mark your CL account as PVA and will proceed to the next post.
After verification procedure is completed successfully, your non-PVA CL accounts will become bold green in the list of CL accounts in CLAD, which indicates that they have been verified by phone.

Useful tips:
 SECTION 2. Fully automated verification of Craigslist accounts by phone using 3rd party voice-to-text services.
CLAD supports the following modes of automated voice-to-text transcriptions via respective voice-to-text services:
  1. PhoneTag (http://www.phonetag.com) ($0.35 per recognition or $30 per month, 90% accuracy)
  2. Google Voice (free, 50% accuracy)
  3. BypassVoice service (http://bypassvoice.com)
  4. VoiceCloud service (http://voicecloud.com)
You need to set up only one mode, which will be sufficient to perform automated verification. There is no need to set up more than one mode, but you can if you want to. .

MODE 1 - Automated veririfcation using PhoneTag - steps-by-step setup:
MODE 2 - Automated verifcation using Google Voice - steps-by-step setup: 
You can also use Mode 2 to set up automatic verification using Vonage voicemail transcription services. Just set up forwarding of the transcribed messages from your Vonage account to any the master accounts in CLAD, the rest of the setup is identical to Google Voice. At this time we have no idea how well Vonage performs compared to Google Voice or PhoneTag. We do not know what the accuracy rate is. We have never tested this option. Please do not ask us about the performance of Vonage - we do not know. If you want to find out - the only way for you is to test it yourself. Or stick to the Google Voice / PhoneTag options.

MODE 3
- Automated verifcation using http://bypassvoice.com/ service.
Please follow this link for setup instructions: http://bypassvoice.com/

MODE 4
- Automated verifcation using http://voicecloud.com/ service.
The setup is pretty much similar to that of Mode 2 and Mode 3 - you just need to make sure that E-mails with transcriptions end up in your master account, and CLAD will process them


Where to get the phone numbers
This is the most intriguing part. As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, we do not have a straightforward answer here. But we can offer some useful input to get you started.
You are probably wondering, why can't we just give you the link to the website of the reliable supplier where you could get the numbers? Unfortunately, our experience shows that there are no "reliable suppliers" in this business. No, we do not mean that everyone is a scam, not at all. We have seen very reputable people (some of them are our customers) who tried to make business selling the phone numbers. Initially, their numbers worked well. But as they were getting more and more customers, Craigslist noticed the website, extrapolated the source of the phone numbers and blocked them.
Therefore, our first advise is to stay away from the websites that offer phone numbers. Unless they have some sort of refund policy or able to give you at least a week of free trial - most probably the numbers won't work.
The second advice is to look around in your neighborhood and find someone who sells sim cards/did numbers or represents some phone company. They may be able to sell phone numbers in bulk and forward them for you, which is what you need. Depending on the quantity, you can get very competitive prices. Generally, that is the most reliable way, because you can be sure that Craigslist won't be able to block these numbers (unless all your neighbors are heavy Craigslist posters and also get the numbers from the same source, which is unlikely).