As long as the internet exists, there will be scams. This is an unfortunate reality. We can only hope to be as vigilant as possible, but even the most careful people out there can fall victim.
A little extra pocket money is always useful, especially during a pandemic. One way to supplement income is to sell your old stuff. This can become quite lucrative if you have the right item and buyer lined up. Tap or click here to see how easy it is to sell old trading cards on eBay.
There is always a risk of running into scammers when putting your things up for sale. You are getting in contact with strangers and sharing some personal information. Whether you use eBay, Craigslist or Poshmark, you have to be careful. You won’t believe the latest scam making the rounds.
Don’t OfferUp your information
A reporter from BusinessInsider specializing in scams was recently a victim of one and didn’t realize it until it was too late. She was selling furniture on OfferUp and got a message from a potential customer. The profile seemed legitimate enough.
The buyer asked the seller, Kelly Rissman, for her number. Despite OfferUp’s warning not to share this information with others, Rissman gave it over. The buyer then texted her, saying she needs verification that she is real. A verification code was then sent, along with some text in an unfamiliar language.
The language turned out to be Filipino and the text said Google Voice. This was a verification code sent by Google to activate the Voice account the scammer just created with Rissman’s number.
Google Voice allows you to make and receive calls and texts free of charge. A scammer who gets a hold of your number would need a verification code to activate the account. Once they have it, they can use Google Voice to cause all sorts of mischief using your phone number.
What if it’s too late?
If you’ve fallen victim to a scam like this, you can try signing in to get a new verification code. Google Voice only allows one account per number, so if you try to create a new account, it will let you know if one already exists. From there, you can get a verification code and use it to unlock the account.
The problem is even if you stop the scammer there, they still have your number and can use it to get more information on you. Tap or click here for details on how this can be done.
You can use Google Voice to get an alternate phone number to give out when you feel the need to, such as when you’re selling items. In general, you should never give your phone number to strangers on marketplaces or anywhere else.