Here’s How You Can Avert Identity Theft by Avoiding Google Voice Verification Code Scams

Here’s How You Can Avert Identity Theft by Avoiding Google Voice Verification Code Scams
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Felicity Tai

Have you ever received a text message or phone call asking you to verify your identity by providing a specific code? If so, you might have unwittingly encountered a Google Voice verification code scam, a deceptive scheme employed by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to your phone number for malicious purposes.

The Google logo is projected onto a man on | Getty Images | Photo by Leon Neal
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Leon Neal

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At its core, Google Voice stands as a free telecommunications service offered by Google, enabling users to place calls, send texts, and manage voicemails via an internet connection. Its versatility extends across various devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets, allowing for seamless communication regardless of the platform. Moreover, users have the option to integrate their Google Voice number with their existing phone number, providing them the flexibility to alternate between the two as needed.

From voicemail transcription and call forwarding to spam filtering and custom greetings, the service offers many functionalities designed to streamline communication processes. Additionally, international calling capabilities and integration with Google Assistant further enhance its utility.



 

However, among its many benefits, Google Voice incorporates a verification process as a security measure, necessitating users to input a code sent to their registered phone number. It is at this step that scammers exploit the system, capitalizing on individuals by coercing them into divulging these verification codes.

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Once obtained, these codes grant fraudsters unauthorized access to the victim's phone number, thereby enabling them to perpetrate various forms of fraud and deception.

The image of the Google logo is reflected on the eye of a young man | Getty Images | Photo by Leon Neal
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Leon Neal

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The Google Voice verification scam has emerged as a significant threat to users of Facebook Marketplace, catching even experienced sellers off guard. The effectiveness of this scam lies in the manipulation tactics employed by scammers, who exploit sellers' desire to establish trust with potential buyers.

When scammers claim they need to verify trustworthiness by obtaining a Google Voice verification code, sellers often comply without a second thought, eager to demonstrate their reliability in the hopes of securing a sale.

This willingness to cooperate stems from the common practice of verifying identities and legitimacy in online transactions, albeit within a platform like Facebook Marketplace, where regulations are lax, making users more susceptible to scams.


 
 
 
 
 
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There are various steps you can take to avoid falling victim to such scams. Firstly, changing the Google account password and enabling two-factor authentication on a separate device is crucial to prevent further unauthorized access. This step ensures that the scammer cannot interfere with security measures, thereby safeguarding other linked services like Gmail or YouTube.

Furthermore, reporting the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and local authorities is essential for documentation and potential investigation. It is important to monitor credit reports and bank statements for suspicious activity to help detect any fraudulent use of personal or financial information obtained through the scam.

Image Source: Pexels/Brett Jordan
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Brett Jordan

In cases where the Google Voice number has been compromised, reclaiming the number is crucial. The company assists in reclaiming numbers that have been stolen or claimed without authorization. Remember, if a deal or offer seems too good to be true or raises suspicions, it's advisable to walk away to avoid potential scams.

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