Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for victims to scam using the hundreds of schemes and methods that they’ve come up with over the years. A lot of these scams are directed towards people looking to buy or sell things online.
In this article, we’re going over the Google voice verification code scam, how to avoid it and everything else you need to know.
What is the Google voice verification code scam?
This kind of scam mostly targets people who post things for sale on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist. That said, scammers can target just about anyone, including even the people posting to find their lost pets.
The scammers contact these post authors pretending to buy the listed item or tell the user that they found the pet, but just before committing to the sale or the return, they start hesitating. The user is tricked into going through a verification process to verify that they’re actually who they say they are or the pet’s true owner.
This is where the scammers rip off their victims. They send users a Google Voice verification code and ask users to share it with them. What’s actually happening here is that instead of verifying your identity, the scammer is using your number to create a Google Voice number linked to yours.
This Google Voice number can now be used to rip off other people while concealing the scammer’s identity. Furthermore, sometimes the scammer might try to get even more information, like your email address or other personally identifiable information.
In such cases, if the scammer gets enough information, they can open an online account in your name and pretend to be you online, all while hiding their own traces.
How should you protect yourself?
Under no circumstances should you share any OTPs or similar authorisation or verification codes you receive on your number as these can be used to verify your identity and allow scammers to impersonate you.
If you believe you’ve already been scammed, you can head over to the Google Voice website to reclaim your number, provided you still own the original. You can find more information on how to claim your number back in this Google Support article.