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DIG this week's security tip


Have you tried selling or buying something online lately? There has been an explosion of malicious people in online groups here in Montana lately. I recently posted an item for sale in my hometown sale group on Facebook. I was immediately inundated with multiple requests to provide my phone number so they could “call me” about the item.

Mobile phone with messages on screen

This is a common scam in which the malicious person asks if they can send “a code to make sure you’re not a fake.” Really the scammer is using that code to set up a Google Voice number. Once you provide them the code, they set up a Google Voice number matched to your phone number so they can scam others. They could also use the code to take over your online accounts, to spy on you through your phone, or to steal your identity.

Please be cautious of fraud when interacting with strangers online, no matter what the story is, don’t share your Google Voice verification code — or for that matter, any verification code — with someone if you didn’t contact first. That’s a scam, every time. If you are scammed, report online fraud to the FTC at

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