BBB warns of scam targeting online sellers

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a scam making the rounds locally that the Better Business Bureau wants you to be aware of.

“Scammers never rest, they’re constantly looking for the next thing,” Better Business Bureau State Director Jessie Schmidt said.

Scammers are currently targeting younger sellers on platforms like TikTok and Facebook Marketplace using the Google Voice Verification scam.

“It has an answering system to it, so it says this person is using Google Voice, if you have business with them, press this,” Schmidt said.

They want you to share your Google Voice Verification Code in an attempt to create an account linked to your phone and your contacts.

A scammer targeted Schmidt who was attempting to sell furniture on Facebook Marketplace.

“They say I’m going to send you a link and you need to send me the Google Voice Verification and I said no you can just text me directly or we can stay on here. Well why won’t you do it, you look like a scammer,” Schmidt said.

The lack of a user profile was an immediate red flag to Jessie, but when the final five messages of their exchange asked her to send the Google Voice code she knew something was up.

“They’re really looking to capitalize on my identity. It is identity theft, it just starts in a whole different way that we haven’t seen around here a lot,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says you can protect yourself by not sharing codes and using strong passwords and familiar forums.

“I always tell people stay on the platform that you’re on because you have some documentation there. If they want to move you off to a different platform I think that’s perhaps a sign,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says what lures people in is the fact the scammer claims to be requesting the code as proof that you’re not scamming them.

Click HERE for a list of the latest scams.

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