If you're selling things on places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, you could be targeted as a potential victim of identity theft.
WAAY 31 dug into a scam involving a Google Voice account and how it's tied to identity theft. Omekia McNeal said that she's been contacted five times this month from someone playing the role of a concerned customer.
In reality, she said, they were trying to scam her.
“One of them was telling me, you know, there’s a lot of scams and different things going on, on the internet, and they just wanted to make sure I was real," she said.
McNeal said she was messaging people she thought were potential customers on Facebook Marketplace, but they were actually scammers. She said they kept trying to confirm she was real by sending her a code through Google Voice.
"They kept saying, ‘Well, for me, to make me feel comfortable, is that I’m going to send you a code on your phone and then you just give me that code,'" she said.
However, McNeal noticed it said not to share the code with anyone.
"I was like, ‘But it says here, 'Do not give the code out to anybody,'" said McNeal. "They went into a mode of trying to convince me. They weren’t hearing that.”
Giving the code to the scammers would have made it so they could create an account in her name, potentially steal her identity and scam others.
McNeal said it's a shame people spend this much time trying to steal instead of actually making something of themselves.
"As much time you’re taking to try and take from someone else illegally, you could use those skills to be able to build your own," she said. "Like, that’s a skill. It takes time, effort and planning to being able to come up with some of the outlandish stuff that you see today.”
Elizabeth Garcia, president of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama, said if you already have a Google Voice account, it could be linked to several things.
“It could be tied to your personal information, certainly, but also be tied to ... one of your credit card numbers," Garcia said. "So, they could get a lot of information from that if they’re savvy enough to get that information. Then, they will sell that information online. ... There’s so much that could be had simply by sharing that piece of information.”
If you've experienced this and have given the code to someone, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center here.