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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 10, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authorization code, , , , , , verification code   

    FBI warns about Google Voice scam 

    By Greg Collier

    Google Voice is a pretty cool service as it allows you to have a second phone number for free. One of the benefits of having a Google Voice number is that you can give it to stores and retailers who constantly ask for your phone number instead of giving out your primary phone number. Or, if you have multiple numbers such as work and home, you can have your Google Voice number ring both numbers. You can also put your Google Voice account on do not disturb, so any call to your Google Voice number will go straight to a voicemail message. However, as with many beneficial technology tools, scammers are using Google Voice to perpetuate more scams.

    The Google Voice scam tends to target people who are selling items online, especially through Facebook Marketplace. The supposed buyer will tell you that they want to verify that you’re not a scammer. To achieve this, a text message will be sent to your phone number with a six digit verification code. The scammer will then ask you to provide them with that code. What the scammers are really doing is setting up a Google Voice account for themselves that is attached to your number. They’ll then use that Google Voice number to perpetuate more scams, while that number can be traced back to you. It’s gotten so bad, not only has the FBI issued a warning about the scam, but the scammers are also targeting people who have posted about lost pets on social media.

    If someone you don’t know asks for a code that was sent to your phone, there’s a good chance that it’s an authorization code that scammers can use to wreak all sorts of havoc. They can be trying to get you to turn your bank account over to them, or you could be giving them access to any one of your online accounts.

    If you think you’ve fallen victim to this scam, Google has instructions on how to reclaim the number.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , verification code   

    Scammers stealing phone numbers from online sellers 

    Scammers stealing phone numbers from online sellers

    By Greg Collier

    When you use an unmoderated online marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, there’s a better than average chance that you’ll be dealing with at least one scammer. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or selling, but today we’re going to focus on the latest scam that’s been plaguing sellers in recent months. While it’s not a new scam, online security experts say that they’ve seen a resurgence of the scam since August. It goes by a few names, like the verification code scam or the Google Voice scam, but it’s still a scam that everyone should be aware of.

    Scammers are approaching online sellers as if they’re interested in the item being sold. The scammers will ironically tell the seller that they’re concerned about scams and that they have a way to verify that the seller is a real person. The seller will then receive a text message with a verification code on it, and the scammers will ask for this code. Once the scammers have the code, they’ll use it to open a Google Voice account using the seller’s phone number. This is done so the scammers can have a legitimate US phone number that can be used in future scams. Meanwhile, the seller is completely unaware that a Google Voice account has been opened in their name. And if someone complains to Google that the number is being used in a scam, it will trace back to the seller’s phone number and not the scammers’.

    There are a couple of ways to avoid falling victim to this scam. The first way is that if you receive one of these verification texts, the text will say not to share the number with anyone. Verification code texts are also used by scammers to bypass two-factor authentication. So no matter who sent the text, never share any verification codes. The second way to help avoid this scam is to get your own Google Voice number. They can be very handy, such as giving your Google Voice number to any store or website that asks for a phone number at checkout. Instead of giving them your actual phone number, you can give them the Google Voice number instead.

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