RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Scammers are increasingly targeting online sellers, according to the Better Business Bureau. It is recommended that sellers using websites like Etsy or Facebook Marketplace avoid giving their cell phone numbers to buyers. 

The scammer will typically contact the seller saying they are interested in an item but want to make sure the seller is legitimate. The scammer will ask for the seller’s phone number so they can text a verification code. 

According to Julie Wheeler, President of the Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia, when you give scammers the code, they will be able to set up an account using your phone number. The code is used as two-factor authentication to verify that you are the person setting up the account. Meanwhile, the seller is unaware that the account is being set up.

“If you provide that verification code to anybody…then you have given them access to your account where they can change passwords and can use that account,” Wheeler said in an interview with WAVY.

If you are selling, you are advised by the Better Business Bureau to guard your personal information at all costs.