This just happened to me in the New York area.
First message was:
I wanna buy '<title of my posting here>' . you still available?
I sniffed something was wrong, but was curious.
I replied cautiously, and this was their follow up:
I will send you a quick verification code from google, if your post is real send me the code, You know most of the post is fake, Can I send the code?
The ingenious thing here is for the scammer to pose as if he/she
is the one under threat. It makes you feel as if you want to help them. But don't.
I can only surmise this is a scripted/automated operation that harvests craigslist accounts and then sells them to scammers who need them.
I hope this info helps someone else. This post helped convince me to not continue with the interaction. So thank you to everyone here.
Thank you for posting this. I was momentarily excited by receiving a text not long after posting an item. However, my suspicions were raised when I received three more texts, each from different numbers, with basically the same format as what you described (minor variation in the number of characters from my posting title that were copied).
I think I reported them to Craigslist, but I'm also posting here so that others might be aware as well.