Craiglist can be weird. At times, the website has appeared to center on hocking your old furniture, finding a job, and desperately reaching out to that cute bus passenger despite knowing they’ll never read your message. So it should come as no surprise to hear that the latest craze, Pokémon Go, is now all over Craigslist in weird and fascinating ways.
For the most part, the Pokémon Go-related listings on Craigslist involve people selling their accounts for money, or someone expressing their willingness to help you catch and hatch ’em all. Whether it be someone who will take your phone off your hands for a couple hours and play the game for you, or another who will log into the game with your account and simply walk around until your eggs hatch, there’s no shortage of people trying to peddle fishy services.
Obviously, we’d caution against giving someone your Pokémon Go account credentials, let alone your entire phone. There are plenty of others willing to aid you in your Pokémon quest without requiring access to your personal information or mobile devices.
Take for example the numerous listings by self-described “Pokémon Go chauffeurs” offering to drive you around town while you flick virtual Pokéballs at tiny creatures on your phone. These generous benefactors are offering their service at a range of rates in what is rapidly evolving into a competitive market.
One driver is even offers multiple packages, giving you the choice between $30 per person in their Ford Expedition ($20 if you book all seven available seats), or $40 in their Lexus IS 250. While the general premise is benign, some of these so-called chauffeurs seem a little suspect.
And the rabbit hole goes deeper. One misspelled header reads: “Poke Girl Needsd [sic],” and the listing reads “I am seeking a female or females who would be interested in dressing in Anime Style or CosPlay to accompany me and my passengers on our Pokémon drives. You will provide social interaction and conversation topic to the guests, as well as limited photo opportunities. Safety and comfortablity [sic] are guaranteed. All rides are video recorded for protection.”
So, yeah. Not creepy at all.
If sitting in some stranger’s car playing Pokémon Go while they drive you around town just doesn’t sit right with you, there’s another option for covering a lot of ground quickly while tracking rare pokémon. One listing offers a gas-powered “Pokémon Go transport” for $600 that the seller said was used to “catch a Charizard yesterday.” So that’s how you find those guys!
While branding a scooter as a Pokémon Go transport seems a bit predatory, at least it bears some connection with the game. Another listing describes in meticulous detail a pair of rock-climbing shoes being sold, but adds a cheeky line at the end that reads, “Not related to: Pokémon got to find em all. (haha just had to put that in there).” We’re not sure if that’s desperation, or just strategic SEO manipulation. Housing ads are even getting in on the Pokémon Go craze. There are apartment and housing rentals listed wherein numerous amenities are described, including nearby Pokestops and gyms.
These are far from the only examples of people using Pokemon go as a lure for potential … er … customers. A perusal through the personals section of Craigslist churns up all sorts of hilarious and creative listings. But it seems there are quite a few Pokémon Go players out there seeking companionship — or to, as one ad says, “Pokémon n’ chill.”
We’ll refrain from posting any pictures of links to these ads, but we can confirm that they are very real and some of them are very, very not safe for work.
And here you thought Pokémon Go was an innocent game for all ages.