From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

Selling items on an online marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace can be an easy way to make extra money and get rid of things you don’t need. However, scammers are using a clever trick to target sellers and set up a phone number in their name.

How the Scam Works

You list an item and get an immediate response from a potential buyer. The “buyer” claims to be very interested in your item, but they want to make sure you are legitimate first. The scammer asks for your phone number, so they can text you a verification code. They instruct you to reply with the 6-digit code on the platform where your item is listed.

Sounds reasonable, right? However, here’s what’s really happening. The scammer is setting up a Google Voice number linked to your phone number. If you send the verification code, the scammer will be able to complete the account set up. Then, the scammer can then use that phone number to conceal their identity. Or, if a scammer gets your Google Voice verification code and other information about you, they can pretend to be you and open new accounts in your name.

One seller told BBB Scam Tracker about their experience listing and item on Facebook Marketplace and getting a response from an interested buyer. “He asked if he could call/text me. Then, I agreed and he said, ‘Ok first I want to verify you. If you’re real I will trust and meet you. Can I send the verification code to your…

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