Scam Watch: One Time Passwords

One Time Passwords are designed to verify or authenticate that a user is who they say they are when it comes to sensitive information on websites or in apps.

Some “One-Time Password (OTP)” Scam Examples:

• Your bank contacts you to authorize a charge and then tells you to read off a texted code.

• You list an item for sale or post a plea to help find your lost pet and include your phone number. The crook calls you, feigns interest, but wants to verify that YOU aren’t a scammer. They then send an OTP that they ask you to read off.

• The cybercriminal tells you that you are about to get a verification code from Google Voice and asks you to read it back. In reality, they are attempting to log in to your account or create a new Google Voice account in your name.

How to Avoid this Scam:

Rule of thumb – If YOU are initiating the service (such as having a Tech Tutor perform resets on your computer, or calling a trusted customer support number for help), you may on occasion be asked for OTPs. This is usually okay.

Just don’t give them out to someone you’ve never met who contacts you and asks for one, even if they sound legitimate. If you are unsure, it’s best to call the company directly and make sure the request is real.


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