HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY)– As inflation sores, more people are trying to find ways to make more money. Many people result to selling goods online, using platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Etsy.

The Better Business Bureau is now warning sellers as scam tactics rise online. One specific scam states that the ‘buyer’ claims to be very interested in an item, but the criminal wants to make sure the seller is legitimate.

The scammer then requests for the seller’s phone number so the scammer can text a ‘verification code’. However, it is all fake.

“When you give them that code, now they have the ability through Google to set up an account using your phone number,” said Julie Wheeler, from the Roanoke BBB. “Because two-factor authentication is all about verifying, it is then used by sending you an extra code to an email or phone. So, if you provide that verification code to anybody, whether it’s on a credit card or bank account, then you have given them access to your account where they can change passwords and can use that account”

To avoid online crooks, officials ask sellers to guard all personal information. Experts recommend to never give a personal phone number to make an online sale. Also, sellers should avoid offers that seem too good to be true or those that pressure you to make a deal quickly. Finally, the BBB encourages sellers to understand marketplace policies.

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