Did a buyer or unknown identity recently reach out to you asking for a verification code? If yes, then you might have gotten close to a Google Voice scam. It’s universally known that identity theft is one of the major segments that contribute towards growing cyber crimes each year. As per the ITRC (Identity Theft Resource Center), crimes related to a persons’ identity climbed up to 26% from 2020 to 2021. And it is daunting that 53% of these were google voice code verification scams.
Scammers often utilize the latest technology to get their way into scamming. For example, Google Voice Scam is in one of the many radars. If a person has to sell something at an online marketplace, generally, they have to provide their contact details. And if they don’t enroll their phone numbers, people won’t make any product purchases from them, analyzing and concluding that they are not genuine. Unfortunately, providing a phone number is also an unsafe practice, as it can make any person open to scams. The market is brimming with strangers who pretend to desire peoples’ identity but aim to impersonate them, turning them into victims.
IN THIS ARTICLE
What is Google Voice Scam?
Most of us are aware that Google voice is a free call application service, facilitated by Google. It generates a code on your phone number and lets you link the Google voice account to your phone number through this verification procedure. On setting up the application, you can either use it to make or accept calls, or you can also choose which contacts or Gmail accounts you can get your calls or text messages forwarded to.
Google Voice Scams are techniques used by cybercriminals to obtain access to Google Voice accounts fraudulently. Scammers accomplish this by getting verification codes delivered to their victim’s phone. If the procedure works successfully, a fraudster gets a google voice account that will no longer be connected to the victim’s number. Cybercriminals evidently cannot use their phone numbers linked to their own details, especially when they undertake illegitimate activities. Hence, they use Google Voice numbers which look similar to standard phone numbers and ultimately work as a valuable substitute.
Common Google Voice Scams
In a Google Voice fraud, firstly scammers will place calls by using a number that makes it difficult or almost impossible to trace or call them back.
They may use Google Voice voicemails to record messages introducing themself as an employee of a government agency to collect personal credentials or information for the financial institutions where they set up fraudulent accounts.
Scammers Linking Victims’ Google Voice Number to their Device
After setting up a fake account, they can accomplish the victim’s Google voice number with their phone and can use it to place scam calls. They may use Google Voice numbers to send ‘phishing’ messages, perform scam calls, set up and undertake Google voice verification code scams, answer phone calls and convey irrelevant news.
Defrauding Victims’ Friends and Family
Furthermore in google voice number scams, they can link the victim’s Google Voice account with fraudulent software in concurrences, where they can place a call using any number which will only reflect the victim’s actual number. Due to this, they can also communicate with the person’s family and friends and ask for money, masking it under excuses like emergency purposes or by portraying any false scenarios.
Victims’ Identity Theft
With access to the Google Voice number, the scammer can stalk a range of malicious activities on the victim’s device. They may choose to post fake news or ads, tear down people by gaining fraud sympathy and collect funds using the victim’s identity. Moreover, having access to the victim’s overall profile, the phone will specifically be used as a heater in the commission of online misdeeds.
Control over Victims’ Google Voice Account
When carrying out a google voice code scam, once a scammer receives the verification code, they can fully control a victim’s profile. After accessing the user’s phone number, they can make several accounts that go by the user’s name. Original name, phone number, and other information are the leading points launching toward identity theft. The scammer having this minimal information about the victim can cause damage to their image, even without them knowing about it primarily.
How does a Google Voice Scam Work?
Google Voice accounts can be created by anyone around the world with the help of a Google account and a phone number. However, to take action or proceed to a further step, the person will have to accept the verification code sent to their respective phone.
Usually, cybercriminals skip the step mentioned above and research famous online marketplaces looking for the ones who are ready or are trying to sell something. The fraudster will then revert to the advertisement the seller(victim) had placed, pretending to be interested in the purchase. At first, the scammer will inquire about the seller if they are genuine or if the person they are talking to is not an actual person. To verify this the scammer will claim to have sent a code to the victim and will ask them to confirm their transparency. Although that isn’t the truth, the code is often sent to get access to the victims’ Google Voice account using a fraudulent technique.
Suppose the victim acknowledges the terms and conditions and verification process by giving out the code. In that case, the fraudster will take over the victim’s account and will hold the victim reliable for the activities performed under the victim’s name by the scammer.
How to recognize a Google Voice Scam?
Cybercriminals use various tricks to steal or spill out the personal information of a person. A scammer always comes up with new techniques to scam people, like the most common Google Voice verification scams that we went through earlier.
Listed down are some of the points to help recognize a Google Voice Scam:-
Triggering an emotion
It is easier to influence a person when they are happy, angry, excited, or scared. Usually, scammers manipulate a person when there is an emotional story behind it. For example, a fraudster will express that this doll was his daughter’s favorite, but he has to sell it because of some circumstances. Although it doesn’t hold much money, he is asking for specific information, which is abrupt and can lead to the recognition of a scam call.
Dedicating a deal that is too good to be genuine
Google Voice frauds often offer a more substantial product than anyone can expect it to be. However, in exchange, they prefer to pressurize the victim into taking a decision rather than giving the essence of time to think about the deal.
However, the worth of the service is evidently less than the deal provided to the victim, but because of time restraint, it becomes a quick decision that soon turns into a loss. At first people will think of grasping a good deal quickly, before it’s long gone, but there are always hidden cons that consumers will never notice before the damage occurs.
Unlikely to pay attention
A person getting a fantastic deal will act faster than they usually do. Especially with their trusting instincts on every purchase and past experiences which have sometimes turned a good or a bad deal to end up on a positive note. But in this case, making an early decision without knowing the pros and cons can lead to an early loss.
Verification codes are the security measures intended to keep the personal data of a person secure. Codes are generated when a user logs into an account automatically and by performing confirmation processes. Although human consumer service representatives can authenticate the user’s identity through any method and does not require sending any verification codes, this log in procedure just makes it swift and easy to access accounts. However, if you receive any verification codes without requesting it, it is best that you be on the lookout for strange activities on your account. Additionally, people seeking verification codes with made-up stories is another heads up that it could be a scam.
How to avoid Google Voice Scams?
- While buying and selling products online, always use certified applications that offer secure payments, verify and identify the business, and their customer services.
- Whenever possible, perform business deals in person, where a person is visible and can be recognized, clarifying whether they are genuine or not. And also to make sure whether funds traded between each other are verified and reaching the right sources.
- A person should take an ample amount of time whenever they are buying or selling any product. Towards the process of purchasing, if someone asks for a Google verification code, do not provide them with it; it could also mean that it’s a sign of a scam. Even Google suggests not sharing any codes or passwords with strangers as it could mean ‘unauthorized verification’.
- Supposingly a person using dating apps gets a match and after communicating for a short span they start asking about money or any resources which are valuable, in either of the cases, they should not be entertained. And if that person sends a verification code for the payment of something by saying it is a surprise gift, then it’s a filthy scam. Even google gives a notification about not giving out any codes and passwords to any unauthorized party.
How to protect yourself from Google Voice Scams?
Evade posting personal information, including your phone number
Scammers are well trained and skilled to make a dent just by knowing a phone number which can be a head start of destruction.
Trade exclusively with verified buyers at online marketplaces
always choose some trustworthy websites which let you check whether the buyer is verified and authentic.
Never share any credentials or Google verification codes
it is never a good idea to share any kind of credential or verification code other than when it’s the authorities updating or fixing a bug.
Maintain two-step verification
always keep on two-step verification as a precaution if a hacker strives to get into your system, trying to drown it.
Never deal via non-traditional payment methods
anyone asking you to make payments via gift cards, postal money orders, cryptocurrencies, and other similar payment methods is a big-time scammer. Also, only use online payment apps with the ones whom you have met in person at least once.
What to do if you have been Scammed by Google Voice Scam?
If you have been a victim of the Google Voice scam, do not worry, hesitate, feel guilty, or panic about it. Scammers are trained to be carrying out this hacking on a daily basis. First and foremost, change all your login passwords, including your Google accounts, associated with accounts linked to your phone number. Also, pay attention to the bank accounts and social media accounts that are linked to your phone number. As you update your security passwords, turn on two-step verification if not to want an extra safety measure which you missed out on earlier.
Google often tries to help reclaim your stolen phone number from Google Voice. However, it might not always be possible. But recovery firms that major in these areas and have the required expertise, like Financial Fund Recovery, can help stop the damage and recover any money lost. Therefore, it can be the only recovery measure that one can seek for their previous mistakes. In the end, it is important you refrain from providing any passwords, usernames, phone numbers, or verification codes against any profitable services.
Always keep in mind that con and crook artists are the most skilled people when it comes to hacking, stealing, or forgery. They captivate you into profit-making schemes and take advantage of them. So hold on to your verification codes, passwords, account numbers, and other confidential information to yourself and hang up or report a complaint if anyone insists you disclose personal information.
Conned by a fake governmental executive or gave out personal credentials mistakenly? Give us a call and redeem your information/lost funds with an organized method.