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Caution: Text Messages Asking for Google Account Verification Codes Scam

Text Messages Asking for Google Account Verification Codes Scam

Beware of Texts Requesting Your Account Verification Code. This Google Verification Code Text Scam going around is used by hackers to gain access to your Google Voice account. (even if you never created a Voice account!)

You might have just randomly received a Google verification code text on your cell phone.

“I received a google verification code but didn’t request it.” 

I posted on Craigslist and received a txt from an unknown number asking for my Google verification (they demanded I prove to them I’m not a bot)” 

“I was talking to a hot girl on instagram and she demanded I send her a google verification code” 

This means that:

  • Someone is trying to get issued a Google Voice number using your personal number as the forwarding number for their account.
  • You’re trying to log in from an UN-authorized machine.
  • Someone else is trying to log into your Gmail account. (to steal your identity) Beware.
  • Someone is trying to associate their Craigslist account with your phone, making you responsible for their illegal activity.
  • Someone is trying to use your phone number to sign up for something and impersonate you online.

Mobile phone users are being targeted to gain instant access to YOUR email account and or Google Voice account.

This a scam trend that’s happening again and has been made aware by Symantec.

Next, “Someone else texted me claiming to be Google, asking me to send them the Google verification code I just received.”

This scam is similar to a criminal dressing up and posing as a police officer and asking you for your car keys.
Most people wouldn’t hesitate and would hand over the keys without question. This scam takes advantage of Google’s recovery options.

You can add a phone number and a recovery email address just in case you forget your login credentials. This way, you’ll never get locked out of your Gmail account, even if your account is stolen!

Related Post: Amazon Password Reset Phishing Scam
“Someone tried to reset your password from Dayton, Ohio, if you have not requested this code…”

Google gives you a six-digit code by text. In this example, the keys are the six-digit code sent by Google and the car is your email address. The cyber criminal will do anything to try and trick you into sending them the Google verification code you just received from Google. (once they have it, they can steal your identity) They will try calling you pretending to be Google asking for the code. They will try texting you from their cell phone pretending to be Google, asking for the verification code you just received.

Don’t give them your verification code. They will try to steal your identity!

DO NOT Text back your Gmail six-digit security code
If you DID accidentally text back your verification code,

Follow these steps:

Gmail:

1. Log into your Gmail account

2. Change your password before the scammer changes your password

Google Voice:

  1. Go to https://voice.google.com and, if you have never created a Voice account, click the “Get a Voice number” link, and then follow the instructions to get a Google Voice number.  When asked for a forwarding phone number, don’t enter your number that the scammer stole.  Instead, enter some other phone number, at which you can receive one verification call from Google.  It can be any non-VoIP home or office or mobile number, which hasn’t been previously-used to obtain a Google Voice number.  You can remove it later, after you recover your stolen number.
  2. This time, do answer the verification call and then enter the six digit verification code from Google.  Never do this under any circumstances, other than when you initiate this procedure yourself.
  3. After your account is set up, go to this page:  https://voice.google.com/settings
  4. Click the blue circle with the blue + in it to link another number.  Now, enter your scammed phone number as the forwarding phone you wish to add.  If the reclaim process for this number hasn’t been used repeatedly in the past, you will get a warning that the number is currently in use on another account (duh!), and would you like to reclaim it.  Respond yes, of course. This will remove the number from the scammer’s account.
  5. Note:  if you do not get a warning that your number is in use, this simply means that the scammer had already removed it from their account, and you now have nothing to worry about.  Please don’t post more questions, asking if you need to do anything else.  Your number is safe, and you are finished. Understand: your own security has not been compromised; this scam only leveraged your personal phone number as an “admission ticket” for the scammer.
  6. Please be cautious of fraud when interacting with strangers on online sites, especially on Craigslist, which is a frequent target of scammers.  Never, ever share verification codes with anyone.  No legitimate business will ask for that information.

Google voice source credit: (https://support.google.com/voice/thread/1558833?hl=en)

What is Google verification code?
Google Verification Code Texts Could be a Scam

Google verification code is a six-digit code texted to you from google that adds an extra layer of security to your account.

It’s Easy to Fall Victim of this Scam

All the scammer needs is your Gmail address, phone number, and your misjudgement.
Anyone is a potential target if they share that information online, especially on social media.

Remember, there’s plenty of people living in poor countries that make scamming people a lucrative effort worth their time.

Related Post: Never do this if you Receive a FAKE Text Message

Q: “What should do to if some stranger is continuously asking for google verification code?”

A: Ignore them! They want access to your email to commit identity theft. DO NOT give ANYONE your verification code. That’s your private information, treat it the same as your social security number.

cyber security quiz online

This is the Process of the Google Verification Code Text Scam

  1. You previously linked your mobile phone number to safe guard your Gmail account in case you forget your password or can’t login.
  2. A scammer knows your Gmail address and phone number
  3. The scammer tries to perform a password reset on your Gmail account by requesting a verification code to your cell phone by text message
  4. You receive a text message from Google (example: “Your Google Verification code is [SIX-DIGIT CODE].”
  5. The scammer sends your a text message from their personal phone number (posing as Google) requesting you to text back the six-digit code. They will try to trick you by using a message for example (“Google has detected unauthorized activity on your account.” Please reply with the six digit code sent to your mobile device to stop all unauthorized activity.”)
  6. You believe the text message is from Google and you reply with a text message with the six-digit code
  7. The scammer uses your six-digit code to complete the password reset and recovery process to gain access to your Gmail account.

How to Keep your Gmail Account Safe

  • Try to keep your personal information off the internet
  • Remember that Gmail will never send you a text, email, or call you asking for a Google verification code
  • If you have an easy password, create a more secure password
  • Update your password whenever you think suspicious activity is happening
  • Manage your Gmail account access and security settings here

Other Reasons you Receive Google Verification Code Texts

  • You opted-in for updates to your account
  • Google wants to authenticate your log-ins
  • Google wants to make sure you’re not a robot when creating a Gmail account
  • You’re signed-up for the Gmail 2-step verification process
  • You can’t login to your Gmail account and want to reset your password

Did you text back your Google verification code?

If you texted back your Google verification code, immediately login to your Gmail account and change your password before the scammer does!

Gmail Emergency?

Contact Google Support:

https://support.google.com/

Common issues with 2-Step Verification:

“My phone was lost or stolen”

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185834?hl=en&ref_topic=7189195

Want to Change How you Receive Google Verification Codes?

Please read this Google support article: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6051686?hl=en

 

Need Gmail Google Support? Contact them here:

Please contact Google support if you need your verification code. We do not provide any verification codes. Please do not contact us for a verification code.

Related Post: Ransomware Screenshot Collection
Over 40 real screenshots of data being held hostage by various hackers around the world.

 

We’re Noticing a High Volume of Scammers Requesting Google Verification Codes from Sellers on Craigslist

(as reported in the comments below) Please never give out your personal information when selling online.Usually the phrase is “buyer beware” however now it’s also, “sellers beware”.
Here’s how to safely sell your items online.

Selling your stuff online? Never list your phone number or any other personal information. Scammers posing as buyers (especially on Craigslist) are requesting your Google verification code after seeing your phone number to gain access to your Gmail account. Unfortunately many people are falling victim to this scam. If you do, please login and change your Gmail password before the scammers do. If it’s too late, please contact Google support.

Google Support: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3367674?hl=en

We are NOT Google.

Please Do NOT contact us to provide support to your Google account. Please Contact Google.

We simply wrote this article to spread awareness to help with prevention.

We are Hyphenet, a managed IT service provider in San Diego, CA.

Thank you for reading about Google Verification Code Texts Scam.

We have further recommendations for mobile phone security:

Have a business? We Take Mobile Phone Security Seriously. Prevention is key.

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Sources:

Google Support: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3367674?hl=en

Symantec: http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/password-recovery-scam-tricks-users-handing-over-email-account-access

Google Security: https://myaccount.google.com/intro/security

Related post:
Caution: Amazon Password Reset Scam

Have you received phony “Google Verification Code Texts” ?

What did they text to you? Please reply in the comments.


Written by: Jen Ruhman

on
Updated: August 7, 2019