Google Voice Code Verification Scam: What to do?
Google Voice Code Verification scam is a strategy to get the verification code received on your mobile number so that the scammer could create a Google Voice account. The scammer tricks users to provide the 6-digit verification code received on their mobile number so that they could know you are a real person. The code you received is from the Google Voice, and when you provide it to the fraudsters, they create a Google Voice account using your mobile number. Let’s see what Google Voice Code verification scam is and what you can do to prevent it in detail.
What is Google Voice Code Verification Scam?
First, let’s understand what Google Voice is. It is a Google service that generates a free Google mobile number for users. Using this Google mobile number, users can receive calls on all of their devices at the same time or can customize according to their need. It also allows users to listen to the voicemail, call blocking, conference calls, PC to Phone Calling, PC to PC calls, etc. The service also enables users to send a free text message using their Google number.
To create a Google Voice account and generate your Google mobile number, you need to enter your personal mobile number. Then Google will send 6-digit code on your number so that they can verify that the number belongs to you. Now, this is where the scam happens. The scammer uses your mobile number to create the Google Voice account. The verification code that Google sent you, you provide it to the scammer.
The scammer creates a Google Voice account using your mobile number, and then they will generate a Google Phone Number. This Google phone number could be used for illicit activities. How could you allow that?
How they got your number?
The real question is how they got your mobile number that is being used to create the Google Voice account. Online criminals could easily get your mobile number. There are several sources where you post your personal contact information publicly. In this particular type of scam, we have observed that the scammers obtain the mobile number from the Craigslist. Users post their personal mobile number in the ads published on this website. So that the potential buyers can contact them directly, that’s the reason this scam is also known as Google Voice Craigslist scam.
Once the scammers get your mobile number, they fill it to create the Google Voice account. Now you will receive the verification code. Then they contact you and tell you that they have seen your ad on the Craigslist and want to purchase your item. Then the scammers said to you that they are not sure if they are talking with the right person, and ask users to provide the verification code that they have sent to your mobile number. Now the code you receive is from the Google Voice not from them. Once you give the system, they create the Google voice account successfully. That’s it now you will lose contact with them.
What is the Purpose and Dangers of this Scam?
You must be thinking, why do they do this and what they gain from creating a Google Voice account. What will happen if someone created a Google Voice account using your mobile number? These fraudsters create a Google Voice account so that they could get a new Google Phone number. They use this number for other scams and illicit activities. They could call other users using this number and persuade them into some different kinds of fraud.
There is no direct danger to you if someone uses your personal number to create a Google Voice account. Though, you cannot use that number to create a Voice account of your own. Though, it is your moral responsibility that no one should use your mobile number for scamming others. Yes, you should not be the reason for someone getting scammed. Below is a user reporting about the scam attempt, there are lots of such posts on the forums.
I have been Scammed, What to do?
If you already provided the verification code to the scammer, then it doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can do. First of all, you should take action to detach your personal number from the Google Voice account that scammer created. To do this, you need to create Google Voice Account of your own.
Step 1 – Create a Google Voice Account
Open Google Voice homepage. If you don’t have a Google Voice account already then click on the Get Google Voice. Follow the screen instructions to set up the account. If you already have the account, then directly go to Step 4.
Step 2 – Add Different Mobile Number
When Google asks you about forwarding number, then provide a different number than the scammer used to create the account. You could use your friend or relatives number who have not created a Google Voice account. Don’t worry; you can later remove this number from your account.
Step 3 – Enter Verification Code
Now you will receive the call from the Google with 6-digit verification code to that number. Now enter the code to complete your signup process.
Step 4 – Add your Stolen Number as Secondary
Once the registration is complete click on the plus button to add a secondary number to your account. Now enter the number that the scammer is using. Then you will see the warning that another account uses this number, you need to agree to change the account for that number. Now Google will call on your personal number with the verification code. Then enter the 6-digit verification code to add your number in this account. If you won’t see any warning, then it means that no one is using your number in any other voice account.
Once you retrieve your mobile number, remove the other number that you added.
Below screenshot tells you how to deal with the scammers.
The online accounts can only identify you by sending the verification code to your mobile number. If you give this code to someone else, they can be you and act as you on the internet. You can even go bankrupt or Police can arrest you for the crime that someone else did, using your online account and mobile number. So don’t provide the verification code to someone else. Also, every time you enter the verification code in any services, make sure that the code you are entering is for that service. As you have seen in this case, users give their Google Voice verification code to verify that they are the right person.