The Federal Trade Commission is warning of a verification scam targeting people who sell items on Facebook Marketplace. The FTC calls it the Google Voice scam and say it can lead to someone using your phone number to conceal their identity and rip off other people.
Here’s how it works
The scammer sends you a message letting you know they’re interested in buying your item.
They ask for your cell phone number instead of corresponding on Facebook Marketplace. They’ll say they’re hesitant to proceed because they’ve heard about fake online listings.
Once they have your phone number, they say that "they want to verify you’re a real person and in order to confirm your post is legitimate, they’ll send you a six-digit Google Voice verification code".
Danger! Never send back codes texted to your phone!!!!
This code can be any number of things, such as a two-factor authorization code that'll let the other party take over one of your email accounts or even your Facebook account. Or it might be the authorization code to set up a new Google Voice telephone number, which the other party can use to run even more scams, except now they are using YOUR phone number!
There's no reason why you'd ever have to "prove you're real," especially by forwarding some sort of code. If someone on Facebook Marketplace asks for your cell phone number in order to purchase something, move on to the next buyer. It will be worth your while.