Today’s Scam of the day was prompted by an email from a Scamicide reader whose wife was contacted by an acquaintance asking for her cell phone number and to participate in a transaction where she would receive code numbers by text mesage that she was asked to forward to the acquaintance. The nonsensical reason for this charade given to the Scamicide reader’s wife was that this complicated arrangement was a way for the acquaintance’s daughter to place orders for keto diet products which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The truth is that this arrangment is related to two possible scams.
In the first possible scam, the scammer uses your phone number to request a free Google Phone number. Someone who has your phone number can request a free Google phone number from Google which will send you a confirmation text message with a six digit code. If you provide that code number to the person who already has your phone number, he or she can use that six digit code to compete the application for a free Google phone number which will most likely be used to perpetrate scams. In addition, providing this code to a scammer can put them a step closer to being able to get access to your Google account and all of the information contained therein which could lead to identity theft.
Another similar scam begins when you receive a text message from Google with a verification code and soon thereafter you get another text message which states, “Google has detected unusual activity on your account. Please reply with the verification code sent to your mobile device to stop unauthoried activity.” Unfortuntately, the first text message from Google was sent to you in response to Google being contacted by an identity thief who is attempting to take over your Google accounts including your gmail. The identity thief doesn’t have your password so he or she contacts Google to get a code to change your password which Google sends to your cellphone. If you provide the code to the identity thief, he or she will be able to get access to your gmail account and can gather information from your emails that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.
As I so often warn you, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” There is no legitimate reason for you to provide to anyone a verification code that is texted to you by Google or any other company with which you do business. Never share verification codes with anyone by text message, phone or email. Instead use these codes only on the login page of your account. In addition, if you do receive a verification code that you didn’t request, immediately let your account provider know about it because it is a sign that someone is trying to get access to your account.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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