Did you ever post a product or service on Craigslist only to receive a message from a potential customer who requests you to send them a verification code? You might be in deep trouble if your answer is yes. This is the start of a Craigs Verify scam.
The Craigs verify scam is a wicked scheme used to link your mobile number with the craigslist account of the scammer. By so doing the scammer may use your phone number to verify their account and subsequently be able to use their Craigslist account for a variety of activities. In case the scammer uses the website to conduct illegal activities, they won’t get in trouble, you will.
This fraud occurs in the same way as you would sign up for any other site, but this time, the scammer is the who signs up. This article will dive into the details of how this scam happens and describe the ways you can protect yourself from being a victim.
How Craigs Verify Scams Happen
1. You place an ad on somewhere public such as craigslist or on a dating site and include your personal phone number (it could be a landline or mobile number).
2. A scammer picks up your number and contacts you through SMS or email regarding your ad. They explain to you about how they need proof that you are a legit seller or that you are not an automated bot. They then tell you that they have a specialized phone that requires you to give them the six-digit code that an automated Google call will play for you.
3. Meanwhile, the caller is setting up the voice setup procedure. They ask Google Voice to place a call to your personal number, which in turn sends you the code, alongside a warning to keep the code secret and not share with anyone. IN the spur of the moment, you ignore the explicit waring and send the code number to the scammer. Once you do that, they, rather than you, are given a Google Voice number, and they can use your personal number as their account’s forwarding number.
How to Fix the Situation
1. It is crucial that you reclaim your personal number, and disconnect it from the scammer’s Google Voice account. You will find detailed instructions on how to do that below.
2. You can do this by adding your personal phone number once more to your existing Google Voice account. In case you do not have your own active Google Voice account, then
3. You should create a new personal Google Voice account, then add your own phone number as your forwarding number.
At no one instance do you enter a Google Voice number as a forwarding number.
In most cases, the scammer will have detached your forwarding number away from their account. Their goal is not forwarding calls to your own number, but merely to use it to get admission and generate their personal Google Voice ID. They will then use it to scam other unsuspecting people, get rid of the number, and keep repeating this scam again and again.
Steps for Reclaiming Your Number
1. Log on to https://voice.google.com/ and if you are about to create a new Voice account, choose to “Get a Voice number” option and follow through with the instructions on getting a Google Voice number. Once you are requested for a forwarding number, do not use the number that the scammer stole from you. Rather, use another phone number from which you can receive a Google verification call. This number can be any non-VoIP mobile, office, or home number that has no record of obtaining a Google-Voice number. You can later remove this number once you recover the one previously stolen from you.
2. Now, take the call from verification and fill the six-digit Google verification code. Never do this under whatever conditions, unless when you yourself initiated this procedure.
3. Once you have your account set up and ready, head over to this page.
4. Locate and click the blue circle with the blue plus sign (+) on the page for linking another number. Here, fill in your original phone number that a scammer stole as your chosen forwarding phone number to add. If this process for your number has not been repeatedly done in the past, the system will warn you that the number is already in use through another account and prompt you to reclaim it. This is a no brainer that you should respond with a yes. Doing this will remove your stolen number from the scammer’s account.
5. You need to note that once the warning doesn’t pop up that your number is in use, this just means that the scammer had already taken it off of their accoun and that you have nothing to worry about. At this stage, your phone number is safe, and you are done. If that happens, then the scammer only used your phone number for admission only.
6. Do not forget that in a public place like Craigslist, there is a catalogue of scammers and you could fall victim. Watch out for any red flags that might reveal themselves as you deal with these people. They will try to hurry you into it, and sometimes sweet talk you so you don’t have time to raise any questions.
If you unsuspectingly fell victim and agreed to the Craigs Verify scam then sent your code to a scammer, get in touch with Craigslist and notify them that someone used your code. Go to https://craigslist.org/contact. Once there, choose “scams” and click on “I got a call/email from somebody requesting for my code” to get an option to communicate with Craigslist.
As you post personal contact information on websites so that potential customers can get to you quickly, scammers might target you to use your phone number to verify their own accounts. The scammers will use these accounts for further fraudulent and other illegitimate purposes which will then be traced back to you. This scam can link you to being the prime suspect in serious crimes, and so you should stay cautious and stay clear of it.
Report the craigs verify scam immediately once you notice that someone stole your number, then follow the steps to reclaim it. Stay cautious when interacting with strangers and avoid the chances of these frauds.