Craigslist will start charging for erotic services soon. Backpage.com has been doing this for years. It is perhaps the best way to reduce the prank postings, illegal postings, and postings by under aged users.
Not many solutions for user content generated sites are perfect when it comes to content quality. Craig will face some of the same challenges we face. While there is fraud with employer postings, it is significantly higher in adult. I outlined a few challenges below.
Stolen credit card use
Users "borrow" credit cards from friends, family, or customers.
Stolen credit card use is just a lot higher in adult categories. We usually hear from the owner of the credit card one month later by a phone call or charge back. Meanwhile, the ad was up the whole time and the user was able to get away with the fraud.
Once fraud is reported to us, we can trace it back to a user and take steps to prevent future abuse. Unfortunately though, many internet con artists are seasoned, and can work their way around blocks. It really is a "whack-a-mole" type problem.
A far bigger problem is syndicates with unlimited stolen credit cards. They are criminals. They account for nearly $400,000 in attempted transactions on our site alone this year. They get stolen credit cards from viruses on a user’s computer or from bogus web sites. They then use a credit card to post fake ads in paid categories with links to sites with more viruses. Or, they post fake ads to get email addresses to spam users with Viagra over seas sites, porn, or adult dating.
Some internet marketing companies sell phone verified accounts on craigslist. I’m sure they plan to use stolen credit cards for the additional verification. The criminals have an unlimited amount of user’s credit card numbers and personal data. They will post using a US internet service provider. It will be almost impossible for any automated fraud detection.
So, I congratulate Craig on implementing a model similar to ours. As an upside for our economy, he will need to hire people to manage the massive increase in credit card fraud. There will be a lot of it. Backpage recently added two more people to our fraud control staff. It’s the hot new job for our growing e-commerce economy where stolen credit cards abound.