Various Kinds of Damages A Scammer Can Cause with My Google Voice Verification Code
The Google Voice service provides a virtual phone number that may send and receive text messages from a browser or make domestic and international phone calls.
The FBI claimed that any number of frauds might have started using that account without being able to identify the scammer in any way. The code can also be used to access and take control of Gmail accounts.
The scammers frequently utilize the Google Voice number in deceptive advertisements on marketplace websites or for other illegal purposes, concealing their genuine identities and making the victim appear to be the perpetrator. Scammers may occasionally seek out further details about their target to access online accounts or create brand-new accounts in the victim’s name. They prey on people who advertise items for sale on websites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. They also prey on folks who ask for assistance in discovering their lost pet on social media.
The scammers get in touch with you and claim to be interested in buying what you’re selling or that they have discovered your pet. However, people hesitate before agreeing to buy your product or give back your pet. They can claim to be concerned about fake web listings and want you to vouch for your authenticity. Or they can claim that they need to confirm your ownership of the animal.
They ask you for the Google Voice verification code they send you via text message. In exchange for the verification code, they will attempt to utilize it to link your phone number to a Google Voice number. (Using a web browser or a mobile device, you can call or text using the phone number that Google Voice provides.)
So what harm is there? The scammer could use that number to deceive others and hide their identity. These scammers may occasionally seek out your Google Voice verification code and other personal data. Once they have all the information they need, they might pose as you to access your accounts or create new ones in your name.
If you’re someone who wants to protect your financial transactions, then you’re definitely at the right place. We can give you the best practices in identifying red flags as well as help you in recovering your stolen money from scammers!
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The Current Situation of Google Voice Verification Code Scams
Scammers actively seek out individuals who are selling products online and contact them, claiming to be prospective purchasers. The perpetrators of the crime then have a Google verification code delivered to the seller.
After that, they will request the code from the seller in order to establish that they are a legitimate business. However, it turns out to be a Google Voice scam, and the scammer wants the victim to give them the code so they can use it to set up a new Google Voice phone number linked to the seller’s number. Another possibility is that they will establish a fake post with the intention of selling the same items as an actual seller.
Scammers are interested in obtaining your Google Voice phone number and other information so that they can create a new Google Voice account in your name and use it to trick other people to access your accounts or set up new accounts in your name under the guise of you.
A viewer of ABC11 found out about the fraud when he was looking for a way to get rid of baby equipment that he no longer needed. He attempted to sell a baby swing by placing an ad on the online classifieds website Craigslist. It didn’t take the seller very long to start fielding inquiries about purchasing this swing.
In the first text, the buyer indicated they were willing to pay cash. However, in the second text, the buyer stated that they wanted to send a Google verification code to the phone number that was mentioned in the advertisement.
Following the buyer’s action, the ABC11 viewer received the SMS from the Google phone service, also known as Google Voice. A code consisting of six digits was included in the text.
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This is the point where the scam begins
If you comply with the buyer’s request and provide them with the verification code, they may use it in conjunction with the phone number you listed in the ad to obtain their free Google phone number.
Criminals online may use that new number to engage in criminal activity behind your back, and you would have no idea about it. Scammers could gain access to your Google account if they have enough information about you. This presents an even greater risk.
If you get a text like this from a Google phone with the six-digit code, make sure you keep it to yourself and don’t share it with anybody else. This will prevent something like this from happening to you.
Recognize instead that they are just scammers. People consistently disregard the warning that they should not divulge the verification code to anyone else, even though Google explicitly said in its email that they should not do so.
You are able to regain control of your phone number if you find that the Google phone scam has targeted you.
How Do Scammers Use Google Voice to Their Advantage?
A typical Google Voice verification code fraud goes like this:
- The Google Voice app is downloaded by a criminal, who then connects it to a Gmail account.
- Then they locate a potential victim, perhaps on an online marketplace for merchants.
- They want the seller to agree and text back a code to confirm they’re a natural person because they claim to have been burned by bots in the past.
- The scammer can connect the Google Voice number to the victim’s verified phone when the victim texts the code back.
- The scammer places fake ads on online marketplaces or engages in other illegal conduct using the Google Voice number.
- To put it another way, the scammer poses as a buyer at first. Then, after tricking victims into verifying their Google Voice accounts, he changes hats and poses as a seller, potentially entangling the second group of victims who pay for things they never receive.
Why Google Voice?
Users of Google Voice can combine several phone numbers into one. A Google Voice number can be used for a variety of acceptable purposes.
Instead of juggling many phone numbers, people can give it to both personal and professional connections. People can keep their cell phone numbers private, and businesses can locate an available number with the desired last four digits.
However, fraudsters need a constant stream of fresh Google Voice numbers for illegal purposes. Investigations into complaints from victims will initially focus on the verified phone number of the original victim. Finding the Gmail account the offender created requires more research.
The Google Voice scam is typically associated with Craigslist. This American advertising website includes categories for jobs, housing, services, items for sale, items wanted, discussion forums, and various other features. Craigslist is also known as “the world’s largest online classifieds and community for jobs, housing, and services.” The vast majority of the posts and advertisements that are placed on this website include the author’s phone number, which is viewable by the general public.
As a direct result of this, scammers have the ability to attempt to defraud any user of this platform. It is essential to emphasize that Craigslist does not send out verification requests to registered users to validate their advertisements or comments. This is nothing more than a scam involving a Craigslist verification code.
One could ponder the reasons for the overwhelming success of this con. Because so many people are curious about Google Voice and its meaning, the number of people whose phone numbers have been inappropriately used is unlikely to decrease anytime soon. Common inquiries include “what is a Google Voice verification code?” and “what does Google Voice mean?” In a nutshell, Google Voice is a communication programme that provides its users with a unique phone number.
However, you will need to possess a personal phone number to activate it. The user will typically be provided with a six-digit code, and in order to complete the registration process, they will be required to enter this code. Calls placed to you via Google Voice can be redirected to your regular phone, ensuring that you are never absent when an important call comes in. To summarize, it is a communication service that is not only easy to use but also completely free.
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Protect Yourself From Google Voice Scams Now!
Amy Nofziger, the director of victim support for the AARP Fraud Watch Network, recommends that if you are a seller, you should check to see if the platform you are using has a tool that can authenticate its users.
If a potential customer wants to verify your identification before doing business with you, insist that they make use of that option. A red flag should be raised if the seller insists on transferring the conversation away from the platform where they are selling to another medium, such as texting or calling.
Please don’t accept the code and send it back via text. Velasquez argues that the instructions clearly state that the code should not be divulged to any third parties. “We really want to drive that point home for individuals,” said the company. These are individual verification numbers that you will receive. These are the second layer of authentication, and no one else will ever have access to them but you… If someone asks you to share it with them, you should see that as a warning sign. “
According to Velasquez, prospective purchasers ought to also approach with prudence. It’s possible that a listing is making use of a stolen Google Voice number.
- Check out as much information as possible about the person selling the item. If the site you’re selling on has a verification tool, you should definitely make use of it.
- Never do business with anyone who insists on being paid with gift cards; this clearly indicates that you are dealing with a con artist.
- If you can pay with a credit card rather than a peer-to-peer or debit card because credit cards come with additional protections.
- To avoid mishaps, arrange to meet in a secure location to complete the transaction and exchange goods and money.
It is highly improbable that victims of financial fraud perpetrated by criminals using Google Voice numbers will discover that their money was stolen partly because another person was duped into divulging a verification code. Rissman says, “I genuinely think that there are more victims (of the fraud) than are even conscious that they are victims.”
Despite this, it demonstrates how simple it is to fall for a scam, such as the Google Voice Verification Code Scam or any other scam of a similar nature because the same procedure can be used for a wide variety of apps.
The basic message is that your data is valuable and that, regrettably, we live in a time when we must exercise increased caution, particularly during periods of increased fraudulent activity like this one.
No matter the circumstances, you should never give your Google Voice verification code, or any other verification code, to another person if you haven’t communicated with them beforehand. That is a scam every single time. If you fall for any of these scams, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at this website: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov.
Scammers, if they have sufficient information, are able to access your accounts and even create new accounts in your name.
If you want to maintain your online safety, you should never reveal your verification code to anyone and stick to using it on the specific websites for which it was created.
Wieczorek advised, “You have to watch out, you have to utilize your sixth sense, and if something feels unusual or if you don’t feel safe, it’s best to back away,” He emphasized the need to use one’s intuition.
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