Scammers target people who sell items online


You can be the target of crooks without even realizing it. WAAY 31 dug a scam involving a Google Voice account and its connection to identity theft.

If you sell things on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, you could be targeted for becoming a victim of identity theft.

Omekia McNeal told WAAY 31 that there were five times in October that someone played the role of a concerned customer. When in reality she said they were trying to scam her.

“One of them was telling me, you know, that there are a lot of scams and different things 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 were actually scammers. McNeal said they keep trying to confirm she was real by sending her a code through Google Voice.

“They kept saying, ‘Well, to make me feel comfortable, I’m going to send you a code on your phone and then you give me that code,'” she explained.

However, McNeal saw that he said not to share the code with anyone.

“I was like, ‘But it says here, don’t give the code to anyone,’” McNeal said. “They started trying to convince me… They didn’t hear that.”

Giving the code to the crooks would have allowed the crooks to create an account in his name and potentially steal his identity and defraud others.

McNeal said it’s a shame people take so long to fly instead of doing something on their own.

“As much time as you take to try to illegally take away from someone else, you can use those skills so you can build your own,” she said. “Like, it’s a skill. It takes time, effort, and planning to be able to come up with some of the weird things you see today.”

Elizabeth Garcia, president of the Better Business Bureau, said if you already have a Google Voice account, it could be related to several things.

“It could relate to your personal information certainly, but also to a credit card number, one of your credit card numbers,” Garcia said. “So they could get a lot of information out of it if they are savvy enough to get that information. Then they’ll put that information online, on the dark web. There is so much that could be obtained just by sharing. this information.

If you have been through this and have given someone the code, you are advised to contact the Identity Theft Resource Center.

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