The FBI is seeing so much activity around malicious Google Voice activity, where victims are associated with fraudulent virtual phone numbers, that it sent out an alert this week.
Fluffy is missing.
You post your lost pet’s photo online, hoping that some good Samaritan will find Fluffy, listing your phone number and crossing your fingers.
You get a text or email from somebody who thinks they’ve found Fluffy – or, say, somebody who wants to buy that scruffy old couch you posted for sale on Craigslist.
The purported lost-pet-finder/old-couch-aficionado tells you they don’t want to get scammed, though. They’ve heard about fake online listings and want to verify that you’re a real person and not a bot, or they might say that they want to verify that you’re the pet’s true owner.
So they tell you they will send you a Google authentication code in the form of a voice call or a text message, and then ask you to repeat the number back to them to prove you’re real.
In reality, they’re setting up a Google Voice account in your name, using your phone number, and the “authentication” code is actually the two-step verification code