These Bot-Generated Craigslist Scam Car Ads Are Unintentionally Fun

Illustration for article titled These Bot-Generated Craigslist Scam Car Ads Are Unintentionally Fun

Normally, there’s not a whole lot to like about a Craigslist used-car ad generated by a crude text-generating algorithm. Normally. But this time, thanks to pure pseudo-random chance, whatever’s making these scam ads actually manages to crank out some smile-inducing copy. It’s the little things, sometimes.

I’m not exactly sure how the scam is supposed to work; I’m guessing some sort of phishing scam, if you were somehow dumb enough to respond?

The ads all have the same basic format: a title with some random words and other characters, the name of the car for sale (usually a Chevrolet “Equinox Denali” which is not a thing), more characters, and then a price.


The body copy, after a picture of the car, is four lines: some car feature, adjective plus car feature, another feature and random characters, then a nonsense phone number.

The second line is where the joy is. Here’s some examples from Los Angeles Craigslist, but I’m sure there’s more.

Nice and upbeat:

chrome wheels

cheerful Dual Air Bags

Front Wheel Drive hemzzqz

Call *97O5128491*

We get introduced to a new superhero, Tinted Glass:

Tinted Glass.

invincible Tinted Glass

Integrated Phone cgwddobqqd

Call 97O5128491

This is why I prefer satellite radio:

Adjustable Steering Wheel

obsequious AM FM Radio

Dual-level heated front seats ihzexa

Call $97O36475O2$

I just want my steering wheel to give a shit:

CD [Multi Disc]

lackadaisical Telescopic tilt steering wheel

Air Bag - Driver rebgz

Call 97O36475O2..

Much better than electric assist:

Brilliant Silver

yak Power Steering

Alloy Wheels xmprg

Call 97O-36475O2

I guess it quit caring when it got taken off that sweet V10 and stuck on this shitbox?

Auto-dimming day-night rearview mirror

apathetic viper remote start

Head Room: Front 40.1 inches sbqdofiqc

Call 97O36475O2

There’s plenty more of these around. In fact, given enough time, there’s possibly an infinite number of these. So, you know, enjoy.


(Thanks, Coty!)

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

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I see more and more of these. They are so easy to spot out that I ask myself ‘Do people actually think these are real?’

Unfortunately, I am inclined to believe that there are enough people out there that do believe.

Even if you’re not computer savvy, or even not too bright, there is a simple quote that would steer you clear of things like this. ‘If it looks too good to be true, it probably is’