How to Spot Fake Sex Ads on CraigsList and BackPage

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Anybody who has crawled Las Vegas CraigsList or BackPage at a late hour can vouch for one thing: the Internet is a great place to look for sex.

These two classified sites are melting pots for escorts, punters, swingers and the occasional psychopath.

Here’s the gist:

You go in, create an account, and post an ad. Both CL and BackPage are quick and easier than other dating sites, which is why they are popular.

Because these sites are so popular, there are lots of fakes and phonies cluttering up the boards with time-wasting ads.

These fakes could be people playing games or someone looking to scam you.

So how does one spot a fake ad?

Here are some CraigsList and BackPage scam signs to watch out for.

Does He/She Sound Native?

Poor grammar and spelling is a key sign of a scam. These are typically foreigners pretending to be from your town, but more likely to be lurking in a shady scam shack thousands of miles away. They will ask for personal information, which you should treat as an immediate red flag.

Look For Consistent Photos

Look at the photos.

I have seen people use several photos of different people resembling each other. If you come across this, more than likely you have found a bait and switch. So if you decide to show up at this person’s place, don’t be surprised if the person in the picture is not the person standing in front of you. 

Be sure the photos are clear and not overly blurry. If you want to take it a step further, use Tin Eye or Google Image Search. This software will bring up any and all images of this person.

Keep an Eye on Spammers

Pay attention to your contacts. If you send out a lot of messages, pay attention. Keep a record. You can often tell when the same people are using different accounts by their vocab, messaging style or grammar. People will create different accounts under different names and other information waiting for you to take the bait. The idea is to ‘carpet bomb’ the site.

These users are rarely using the site for the right reason.

Become a Snoop

People generally use Craigslist and Backpage because it’s easy to post and it’s free — but don’t be afraid to do a little snooping and see if they are on other dating sites. 

You can get a sense of who you are dealing with by following their digital trail.

Follow Your Gut Instinct

Use your gut instinct, always. If you have a bad feeling about something, don’t take the risk.

In the world of Craigslist, acting on a bad feeling is tantamount to ensuring your night goes horribly and badly wrong.

Get a Voice or Face

If you think you have met someone sincere (or in the escort world, ‘professional’) don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask them to cam chat. This way you can both get peace of mind. If they refuse, then you may have a problem.

This is why cam sites like Chaturbate are so popular. You might not be able to hook up for sex, but you know exactly what you’re getting — because you can see her on the screen.

Note: If you don’t want to bother with meeting up for sex, Chaturbate is a great alternative for the lazy man who wants a girl to get him off without having to leave the house. It’s pretty cheap too. Registration is free.

Ever seen Catfish? Go watch an episode!

To repeat…

I am not saying you shouldn’t use these sites as hookup resources. I have used Craigslist many times to hookup and the only problem I ever had was someone using outdated pictures.

But there are horror stories, and those horror stories usually start with Mr. Bulging Pants not doing his due diligence.

Take heed!



  1. Great article. One thing, Craigslist is free but for providers Backpage CHARGES outrageous fees to post ads on their site. It may be free for guys to look but its not free at all to post. Keep that in mind.

  2. I do not know the situatiuon in the US but in Europe We are loaded with fake advertisments.
    Let’s just say that the chance to find a real advertisment on backpage is a bit higher than on an escort-search site and much higher than on an agency site.
    Though this industry works very hard on fooling You, cause it is much easier for agencies uploading a fake advertisement than finding a good looking girl. There are no many attractive girls in this industry but if You know how and where to look You can find them.
    Anyway here are two useful sites, and .

    Wikisexguide is a very useful site if You wanna check the law or the escort situation of a given city/ country.

    The other one is my site. So if You come to europe (especially to Budapest) I can help You avoid fake advertisements or If You want I can settle everything (finding, contacting them and organizting everything) for You.