Programmer's Mindset

CraigsList / Trading Scam

I listed a bunch of things on CraigsList recently and started receiving a bunch of people asking me if I wanted to trade for crazy things.  Do I want to trade my $300 item for a $25 camera?  Of course not, so I just didn’t reply.

After the third or fourth one, I really wanted to know why they were asking me for these ridiculous trades.  I brainstormed for awhile, initially thinking they were trying to get my email address to sell it.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  They have an Amazon Associate Account (AKA affiliate account).  They don’t want the trade, they just want me to click the link and forget about it.  Now if I buy from Amazon any time in the next month, they will get a percentage of the sale.

It’s ingenious and yet so deceptive.  Part of me wants to do this.  But the honest part of me can’t.  🙁   Should I participate in this type of scam?


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