Posted May 24th, 2013, in: Company Information| Evil Robots| Ideas, Observations, Opinions, Rants Etc| Spam and Scams

The Evil Robots are Calling! A new form of spam.
Robots are scanning Craigslist for phone numbers and leaving voicemails that are based merely on the generic category of the craigslist ad.  In this case, it’s the automotive sales section, although I’m not selling a car.  But notice the voicemail is as if I am.  No one read my ad.  As with blog comment spam, if there’s n mention of anything specific to your actual ad, it’s probably a robot.

Here’s the message: voicemail.mp3

Actual Message Transcript:

Hi, My name is Michael and I work for Once Driven. The number here is (855) 844-2646. Uhh, we’ve got some clients who are shopping for vehicles, and I’m going through a list of vehicles like yours. I’d like to find out more about it and, um,  tell you little bit more about what we can do to help you get it sold. Uh, there’s a small fee for the service. It’s well worth it. I’ll tell you about it when you call. We do guarantee the results. So give me a call before 5 today. Uh, the number is (855) 844-2646. Have a great day.

In my opinion, we should penalize companies for using this technique for marketing purposes for two reasons

  1. It’s against the craigslist’s code of conduct

  2. It’s simply annoying.

So to, you guys suck for spamming me when you have nothing to offer me and my ad says it’s NOT OK to contact me with other services.  I hope this post effects your SEO and public images in the way you have earned!

Google Voice’s Transcipt (for fun):

Hi, My name is Michael and I work for one street in the number here is (855) 844-2646 we’ve got some clients were shopping for a vehicles. And I’m going through a list of vehicles like yours. I’d like to find out more about it and tell you little bit more about what we can do to help you get it sold. There’s a small piece of the service It’s well worth it. I’ll tell you about it when you call and wedo guarantee the results. So give me a call before 5 today. The number is (855) 844-2646. Have a great day.

UPDATE: I wrote OnceDriven via their website to tell them that I was getting around 100 hits per day to this post  (now it’s more like 200).  This is what they wrote back, followed by my response.

On Jul 9, 2013, at 2:46 PM, Once Driven Management wrote:


Thank you for bringing your thread to our attention. If we may, we’d like to take this opportunity to clarify several of the concerns raised in your thread.

With respect to the calls themselves, OnceDriven receives hundreds of requests from buyers every week. Our representatives attempt to locate vehicles similar to those buyers ask us to find. We were concerned that some people saw this as a form of harassment. As opposed to random marketers trolling online classifieds, we zero in on a unique opportunity to bring buyers and sellers together. While there is some margin for human error, it was disconcerting to see that some people were contacted who were not actually in the vehicle selling market – these must have been administrative errors and we are working diligently with our representatives to bring that number down to zero.

We want to point out that OnceDriven accepts consumers’ requests not to be contacted again. As some of the people in your thread expressed difficulty in contacting us, we’d like to clarify the process. Contrary to one poster’s comments, you do not need a representative’s extension. While you can always contact our toll free number, we have decided to take this one step further as some people have experienced delays being placed on hold. We’re providing a link at the end of this response for people who do not wish to be contacted to enter their number and/or email and notify us of any concerns they may have. If you would be so kind as to bring this to people’s attention by placing it prominently on your thread, we would be very grateful.

Here is the link:

We noticed some comments from people regarding the excessive volume of calls. We are aware of numerous legitimate and illegitimate third parties reaching out to online posters as they contact our very own customers. It is likely some of those calls are being mistakenly attributed to us.

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to respond to your thread.

Stephen Cooper
Management Team

So this is what I wrote back:


Why would your company have contacted me about my “vehicle” when I wasn’t selling one? I was selling a pair of motorcycle saddlebags. And every time I reposted the ad, I would receive at least one call from OnceDriven. It always referred to my “vehicle.”

Shouldn’t it be pretty clear to me that you guys are merely indiscriminately screen-scraping phone numbers from the auto sales part of craigslist and robo-dialing them?

Is that NOT what you’re doing?


I’ll update this post if they respond to my questions.

115 Responses to “Craigslist Ad Voicemail Spam”

Tracy Baca wrote on September 3rd, 2014 5:35 pm :

I just received the same call using the same verbiage verbatim as the post above. I’m always suspicious of any type of sales call. So, the first thing I did was look up this company. Glad I did.

Tracy Baca wrote on September 3rd, 2014 5:37 pm :

Another thing, they call from a BLOCKED number.

David wrote on September 16th, 2014 5:34 pm :

I just received my second phone call from them since I lifted my truck 2 weeks ago. I called in asking them what legal grounds they had to stand on and was told that they’re are a non-profit and they can do things like this and then hung up on. I called back and the next representative told me that she did not believe they had any legal grounds to be harassing me. I will absolutely be filing a complaint about them with the Better Business Bureau and am speaking with a lawyer regarding whether or not this form of harassment is legal.

JimfromCanada wrote on September 16th, 2014 9:31 pm :

They are breaking Craigslist rules if conduct by getting your phone number under false pretenses. I wonder how many people have reported this “non-profit” to the IRS for tax fraud?

Kathleen wrote on January 13th, 2015 3:36 pm :

I listed my moms car for her around 10 PM. It was sold by 3pm the following day and I immediately took the craigslist Ad down. That was 3 weeks ago and still today I have people from this Once Driven company calling me about my craigslist AD. They keep calling and leaving me messages and I didn’t return a call until today. I finally called back wanting to know where they were seeing my Ad. After waiting for the 16 callers ahead of me to be done, it was my turn. I gave the girl my number and name and when she started asking me questions about my vehicle, which she pulled right up, I stopped her and asked her where she was seeing my listing. She asked if I had a craigslist Ad and I responded that I did and that it was not on line anymore. I kept asking where she was seeing it still and she said hung up on me. She would not even let me talk and when I asked her to answer my question, the call when “Click”. These people know they are lying and scamming, and the customer service flat out sucks!

OnceDriven are Scammers wrote on February 16th, 2015 5:08 pm :

Same as everyone else. Curious to see if they’ve mended their ways, I set up a fake ad in the automotive section selling a horse and buggy. Of course, they, uh, called me to, uh, connect me with an interested, uh, buyer.

Kelly wrote on March 4th, 2015 11:12 am :

Received 3 phone calls from this company in response to a Craig’s list ad–2 after the car had already sold and was removed from CL. I had explicitly indicated I didn’t want to be contacted regarding services in my ad, so was confused about getting the calls. After third call (which went straight to voicemail, phone never rang… highly suspicious), I finally called the number in the voice message (the calls always come from “unknown”) to request my number be removed from their calling list. When I started to ask how/why they called after I’d marked my ad as not wanting to be solicited, the line went dead. Totally dodgy company.

megan wrote on March 24th, 2015 7:54 pm :

Got the same call from Aaron, same exact speech (but about my Honda) that’s written in your post, the number he called from was “Unknown”. Not only do I not even own a Honda, the car I do have is not for sale, is not listed as being for sale anywhere, AND I have never posted anything on Craigslist. I have no clue how they got my number.

Jennifer wrote on April 20th, 2015 3:00 pm :

I just got the voice mail from “Aaron”. Gotta call him back right way (ha!). I thought I would check out Once Driven before I called them back. Thanks to all of you for sharing your bum experiences. I am now on guard and can protect myself from this scam. I just hope they don’t keep calling me. I’ve sold other things on Craigslist and never had a problem. Ever since I put my car up for sale it’s been nothing but scammers. Also listed on Auto Trader and

Todd wrote on June 5th, 2015 4:56 pm :

And so it starts. Craigslist posting for a vehicle that clearly states “I do not need help selling my car” and I checked the box not to be contacted by a solicitor. Numerous calls from Aaron and I can’t get it to stop. On call back it seems I am the rude one. I express that I am more than willing to meet in person to discuss this, with no result. Website at their end asks me to complete a form so they can stop calling me. Which is funny because the national do-not-call website asked me for the same info. Plus, asking them over the phone not to call you should keep me from completing a form.

Jim wrote on June 23rd, 2015 2:14 pm :

Just adding to the chorus. I recently listed a Ford for sale, had it sold the next day and removed the add, and now I’m up to five or six voice-mails from these idiots (Once Driven). It’s very odd too, as the phone never rings, I’ll just end up with an extra voice-mail and it’s them. I’ll check the phone’s log and there was the call, but they’ve somehow figured out a way to get the phone to go straight to voice-mail. It’s really getting annoying and I think Craigslist needs to try and take some action – I know several people that won’t post there anymore because of these exact guys.

Gloria wrote on March 3rd, 2016 8:58 am :

Just received a voicemail this morning from these guys. Thought it was really weird that my phone showed a voicemail but no missed call. Their number wasn’t even in my log. First thing I figured was this is a scam and to check these guys out. So here I am. The message was verbatim but my guy’s name was Aaron. I also have listed not to be contacted by solicitors etc. This is my first time posting on craigslist and if this crap keeps up it will be my last. Anyone have any suggestions on what we as a group might be able to do?

LeeAnn wrote on March 30th, 2016 7:53 am :

I too just received a voicemail from “Aaron” with the same message. This is my first time to post on craigslist as well and will very well be my last. Glad I did some research first. Thanks

John wrote on April 8th, 2016 11:45 am :

I can’t believe the timeline of this treat, how are they still operating? I have received two phone calls in like manner as others have mentioned (craigslist ad). I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and wrote a letter of cease and desist to Once Driven noting that if they do not stop contacting me, I will be forced to take legal action against them.

Ray wrote on April 21st, 2016 2:38 pm :

Another company doing this is Vroom, they also troll craigslist and autotrader ads.

I’m getting robo messages from both of these guys.

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