Scammers are spoofing phone numbers with Google Voice, and security advocates warn the spoofed numbers are claiming thousands of victims.
Google Voice is convenient, but it may be too suitable for scams. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, nearly 4,000 identity theft scams were reported last year alone. And they say the number has increased so far this year.
Scammers might be looking at your listing and contacting you, claiming they need to buy something from you. However, they don’t know whether you’re a natural person.
The scammers will ask for a Google verification number to verify their identity. They will then create a Google voice number linked to your mobile device. A Google voice number is an online telephone number that must be connected to an actual landline to be made.
The scammers have found an inexpensive and easy method for creating fake numbers that can’t be traced back to them by law enforcement agencies. For example, scam artists who successfully set up a fraudulent Google Voice account can be hard to track because all paths will point to the victim’s primary telephone line, not the scammers’ secondary one.
However, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody believes the stakes can be even higher if the criminal uncoils further details about the victim.
Bad Actors Are Spoofing Phone Numbers From Victims
If scammers gain access to the code and can create a new Google Voice account in a potential victim’s email address, they may use that account to send out spam messages.
Scammers might use your personal information to impersonate you online. They could even break into your accounts or open new ones in your name. And if they steal your cell numbers, they could trick Google into sending them a 2FA verification code for your account.
According to the FTC, there’s an effective strategy for avoiding this scam.
Please don’t share your Google Voice verification codes with anyone unless they contact you first. It’s a scam every time. However, it works on phones and websites, so you can call and receive calls anywhere.
Forward calls to any phone number and have spam calls silenced. With Voice, you can choose which numbers can contact you and when.