Tech

Google user alert for MILLIONS as criminals hack accounts

A VICIOUS scam has exploited Google’s verification technology to hijack identities.

A twist in fraud makes the user an active participant in their own downfall.

Watch out for these warning signs when using Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist

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Watch out for these warning signs when using Facebook Marketplace or CraigslistPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty
Google Voice is a tool in Google Workspace that can be used as an online cell phone number for personal or business use

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Google Voice is a tool in Google Workspace that can be used as an online cell phone number for personal or business usePhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

This scheme will make you think twice about attaching your cell phone number to a sales list online.

Scammers contact the victim and feign interest in buying their goods via phone call or text message.

“They’re going to say they want to make sure you’re not a scammer, so they want to send you a verification code,” Better Business Bureau’s Daniel Irwin told Fox 13 Memphis.

The dishonest part: The verification code activates a Google Voice account with your name and number, but it’s controlled by the scammer.

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The scammer then uses this Google Voice account to disguise their own identity in future online handles.

“They are able to take your number without you ever really knowing about it and then commit fraud on your behalf,” Irwin said.

Google Voice is a tool in Google Workspace – it can be used as an online phone line for personal or business use.

Google confirmed the existence of scams exploiting verification code technology.

“Never share verification codes with anyone. No reputable company will ask for this information,” Google wrote in a support blog.

This is undeniably a clever scam that could be difficult to detect, especially if you’re looking to sell something you’ve listed online.

The scammer disarms the victim by forcing them to prove their own legitimacy — it might almost feel like they’re taking precautions for both of you.

“They act like they want to make sure you’re not a scammer. But they’re the ones trying to cheat you,” Irwin said.

According to Fox 13, this scam is most prevalent in the Midwest.

The Better Business Bureau’s website has dozens of claims flagging verification code scams that lead to identity theft.

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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5459344/google-user-warning-for-millions-as-criminals-hack-accounts/ Google user alert for MILLIONS as criminals hack accounts

Chris Barrese

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