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Google Voice Authentication Scams
/ Categories: Scam Watch

Google Voice Authentication Scams

There is a service called Google Voice that provides virtual phone numbers to make and receive phone calls and text messages. These Google Voice phone numbers must be linked to an actual real phone number so that any activity can be traced back to the user. In a new scam, cybercriminals use your name and phone number to create a Google Voice number. Once created, cybercriminals can use this created phone number for other phone-based scams. Even more alarming, the scammers can use this linked Google Voice number to gain access to your Google account.

The scam works like this: Cybercriminals target anyone that shares their phone number in a public space. For example, you post an ad for an old piece of furniture on a resale website, or Facebook sale page and you list your phone number for contact. A cybercriminal could contact you pretending to be interested in the item you are selling. Then, they could send you a Google authentication code and ask you to send one in return to prove that you are an actual person attempting to sell your item. The twist is that the code is actually providing them to link their Google Voice number to your real phone number.

The following tips will help you stay safe from similar scams:

- If someone attempts to confirm that you are a real person, suggest a safe option, such as making a phone call or meeting in a busy, public place.

- Resale sites are just one example of where cybercriminals may be able to find your phone number. They could also reference social media posts or even your resume. Always be cautious when you’re contacted by someone you do not know!

- Never share an authentication code or confirmation code with anyone. Ever. Keep these codes between you and the service that you actually need the code for, such as logging in to your bank account.

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