We know that we’re not supposed to provide things like our social security numbers and credit card numbers to anyone who calls us. We know that this helps us avoid becoming the victim of an identity theft scam. What we don’t consider is the potential damage of the Google Voice Scam, which involves the use of a verification code.
Have you not heard about the Google Voice verification scam? You’re not alone. It’s one of the newer scams and not one that has attracted much publicity. The lack of knowledge about the scam means you’re more likely to become a victim of it.
How The Scam Works
The way that this particular scam works is that the people behind the scam look for individuals who are selling things on popular sales sites, including Craigslist.
When they think they have found a likely target, the scammer calls them. They express a genuine sounding interest in whatever you’re trying to sell. They have a knack for sounding really authentic, but when a regular person commits, the scammer hesitates. They actually start talking about how they’re concerned about potential hoaxes and fake listings. They go on to explain that they need to prove that you’re a real person.
The scammer’s next step is to tell you that they are going to send you a verification code via a text message. You need to verify your existence by telling the person the code that they sent to you. The potential buyer explains that they will use the verification code to create a Google Voice number that’s connected directly to their cell phone.
Since this doesn’t sound like it could be a problem, most of us would respond to the verification without hesitation. What we don’t know is that if the person on the other end of the call has some moderate hacking skills, they can use the verification code you sent to access your Google accounts. Once they have this information, it doesn’t take much effort to steal your online identity and possibly access your online banking information.