The FBI has warned that Americans who share their phone numbers online could become the target of Google Voice authentication scams.
The Scammers is targeting people who have shared their phone number online, in social media apps, or who have offered it as a contact form on online marketplaces, according to federal law enforcement agency.
“We’ve also recently received reports of people being targeted in other locations, including websites where you post about lost pets,” the FBI said.
The goal of scammers is usually to set up a Google Voice account in their victim’s name.
Other times, they can take over the victim’s Gmail account, which can be used in other fraud schemes or in future phishing attacks.
According to the FBI, scammers approach their targets via text message or email to express their interest in the item for sale.
The scammers then ask the merchant to verify that they are not a bot and that their offer is legit by sharing the authentication code they received from Google
“What he is actually doing is setting up a Google Voice account in your name using your real phone number for verification,” the agency said.
“Once it’s set up, he can use that Google Voice account to commit any kind of fraud against other victims that won’t go back to him directly. He might as well. use that code to access and hijack your Gmail account”. FBI added.
What to do if you are targeted
If your phone number is linked to a fraudulent Google Voice account, you can get it back with these steps.
First, visit voice.google.com on your computer, then click the ‘Settings’ gear icon in the top right corner.
Tap ‘New linked number’ under ‘Linked number’ then enter your phone number.
Click ‘Send Code’ to get a six digit number sent to your mobile phone.
Enter the code, click ‘Verify’, then press ‘Request’.
How to reduce the risk of being scammed
The FBI advises people to never share Google’s verification code with anyone.
They also suggest dealing only with buyers and sellers directly and to make sure you’re using legitimate payment processors where money is concerned.
Furthermore, the agency says to never give out your email address to buyers/sellers doing business on the phone.
In other news, Apple has become the first company to achieve a stock market valuation of $3 million (£2.22 billion).
Popular Twitch creator Slider has banned from the platform after sharing nude photos of fellow streamer Amouranth.
And internet users have been encouraged check their online account against one of the worst cyber threats of 2021.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4436241/warning-google-voice-fbi/ Urgent warning for Google Voice users when the FBI detects dangerous scams