Learn How to Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Voice Verification Attempts
Our staff at Scamhelp have been combatting voice authentication scams for years now. We want to keep you updated on some current versions of the scams, what methods might be employed by scammers, and tips to prevent this scam or any variation. If you need professional advice or have been a victim of this scam or any other please contact us directly.
Understanding Voice Phishing: How Scammers Use Your Voice Against You
Voice phishing, also known as vishing, is a type of phishing attack conducted over the phone, often using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony or automated text-to-speech systems. In these attacks, scammers pretend to be employees of legitimate organizations such as banks, police, telephone or internet providers, and attempt to obtain personal and financial information from victims, including credit card details, bank account information, and PINs. They may also try to persuade victims to transfer money or withdraw cash to be given directly to the scammer.
Voice phishing attacks often use social engineering techniques to create a sense of urgency or authority, and may involve caller ID spoofing to appear trustworthy or familiar. They are frequently targeted at vulnerable populations such as immigrants and the elderly, who may be coerced into wiring large sums of money in response to threats of arrest or deportation.
The use of audio deepfakes has further enabled fraudsters to deceive victims by mimicking trusted individuals. In addition to financial gain, motives for voice phishing attacks may include anonymity and fame within the cyber attack community.
Voice phishing has unique characteristics that distinguish it from other types of phishing attacks, such as email phishing. It allows scammers to target individuals without email knowledge, and takes advantage of the trust many users have when speaking to someone on the phone. The personal nature of voice communication can also make voice phishing attacks more impactful than email phishing.
There are various methods for initiating voice phishing attacks, including direct calls, pre-recorded messages, text messages, and phishing emails. Scammers may use different tactics, such as posing as an important person or agency or threatening victims with arrest or deportation. Romance scams, in which scammers pose as potential love interests and request emergency funds, are also common.
While phone numbers are difficult to block and scammers can often change numbers, phone companies and governments are working to combat the problem of voice phishing. Education and awareness about these types of attacks can help individuals protect themselves from becoming victims.
Beware of the Google Voice Verification Code Scam: Tips to Avoid Falling Victim
One such scam that has become prevalent is the Google Voice verification code scam, and here’s how it works.
The scammer targets people who post items for sale on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or people who post looking for their lost pets. They’ll contact you, expressing interest in buying your item or returning your pet, but before committing, they’ll ask for a verification code to ensure that you’re a real person.
The scammer will send you a text message with a Google Voice verification code and ask for the code. If you give them the code, they’ll use it to create a Google Voice number linked to your phone number. This number could be used to scam others or obtain further information about you.
The consequences of sharing your verification code could be severe, and scammers could potentially access your accounts or open new ones in your name. If you’ve given away your verification code, Google provides steps to reclaim your number.
Expert Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Scams When Buying or Selling Online
To avoid falling victim to this scam, never share your Google Voice verification code or any verification code with someone you didn’t contact first. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stay vigilant and keep your personal information safe.
To avoid scams while buying or selling items online, renting an apartment or home, or posting about a lost pet, experts recommend taking these precautions:
Use a Google Voice number instead of your real phone number.
Stick to email communications to prevent scammers from accessing your phone number.
Avoid accepting payment through apps like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App, as well as personal checks, bank checks, cashier’s checks, or wire transfers.
For local transactions, arrange to meet in a public place such as a police station or grocery store.
For transactions that require shipping, conduct the transaction through a secure buying and selling site like eBay or Poshmark and avoid any contact outside of the site.
In general, the key to avoiding scams is to make sure that others earn your trust by conducting your own research and questioning everything, according to experts.
Protect Yourself from Scams with ScamHelp’s Anti-Fraud Experts
At ScamHelp, our team is highly experienced in dealing with anti-fraud cases. Whether you’re an individual who has been scammed or a company seeking to safeguard its interests, we are well-equipped to assist you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to protect yourself against this or any other type of scam.