HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – There’s a new scam circulating on Facebook Marketplace – scammers use your phone number, plus a code, to access your Google accounts.
A person can post something to Marketplace, like a couch, and moments later someone sends a message that they’re interested. Instead of sending messages on Facebook, the scammer asks for a phone number.
“She wanted to make sure I wasn’t a scammer, so she needed my phone number,” Kathy Donovan said.
After Donovan gave the scammer her phone number, she received an alert on her phone from Google with a code. She then gave the code to the scammer, but luckily for Donovan it didn’t work. Donovan’s phone number has already been verified with Google, blocking access to the scammer.
“She kept pestering me to get other phone numbers, and I started wondering if something was wrong with that, why would you need a different phone number” , Donovan said.
She said that was when she realized she had almost been caught in a scam.
“I felt like an idiot, when I realized the moment hit me that I was being ripped off and I didn’t even see it coming,” Donovan said.
She said she quickly changed her passwords for all her accounts and unlinked the accounts from her Google Account.
“It was a huge problem, you have a password for everything,” Donovan said.
The Better Business Bureau has some tips for dealing with this scam:
- Be careful giving your phone number to someone you don’t know.
- Contact Google Support if there is suspicious activity on your account.
- Use the BBB Scam Tracker to report.
Donovan said she wanted to warn others.
“I had no idea this sort of thing would ever be a problem, there was no idea in my head that someone could somehow access my Google account and from there get all my information,” Donovan said.