Have you ever received a text from Google with a verification code for which you did not request? Well, don’t click on any link in the message or send the code to anybody.
A Google Verification Code is a short numeric code. Google sends it to its subscribers via email or phone. Its primary function is to verify your identity or prove you are the owner of an account.
So, does Google send random verification code texts?
No. Ideally, you should not be receiving a verification code at random. You only get it after requesting it from Google. In most cases, you will see the numeric code in your email if you cannot log into your account. You will also get it if you have made changes to your account.
But if you receive a Google verification code email without requesting it, the best explanation is somebody is trying to access your account. It could also be due to a glitch in the Gmail software, but this is highly unlikely.
Why you may have received Google verification code text without requesting
Here are more reasons why you may receive the code without asking for it.
1. Google has detected suspicious sign-in attempts
When you sign in to Gmail, Google will want to ensure you are the one logging into the account. In that case, the service will ask you to complete several sign-in steps. That can happen if:
- Somebody else is signing in from a location where you often do not sign in.
- Somebody is using a device you have not used before.
The extra step includes entering a verification code. Google will send it to your phone by text.
2. Somebody has made changes to your account
In some cases, a person may sign in to your account successfully. When that happens, they may try to change some details in your account.
That may include your password, verification email, verification phone number, or other security questions. You will get an email with the security code before the person can make any changes.
3. You have signed in to your account from an old device
Google will send you a verification code by text after signing in from an old device. But why did this happen? This can happen if you had deleted cookies from your browser.
Furthermore, you will receive the verification code by email if you updated your browser, app, or used the incognito mode before.
4. You changed the password on your account
If you recently changed the password on your account, Google will send you a verification code even if you did not request it.
You will also receive a sign-in alert so that you can take some action immediately.
5. You are using third-party applications
You may receive the code if you are using third-party applications or browser extensions.
Some of these software programs require you to log in to your Gmail account to access their services. Consider turning off any apps or browser extensions you are using.
6. Somebody is trying to get your Google Voice number
A scammer can obtain your phone number if you posted it online or in the public domain. They will then remove their forwarding phone number from their account.
The goal is to forward calls to your primary or personal phone number. But once they get your personal number, they will use it to create a Google account and get a new Google Voice number.
The scammer will then use it to scam others. But to complete the steps, they will send you a verification code. If you give it to them, you will lose control of your Google Voice number.
I received a Google verification code from an unknown number!
If an unknown number sends you the verification code, several things might have happened:
- Somebody is trying to scam you.
- Someone has entered your phone number incorrectly for the 2-Step Verification of their account.
If you receive the verification code from an unknown number, do not reply to it. Instead, consider signing in to your account and changing your password.
Even though you will get the code, Google will send it to your email immediately. Also, it will be in the format G-******.
What happens if someone gets your Google Verification code?
When someone gets your Google Verification code, the following will happen:
- The person will change your account password.
- The person will change your verification phone number.
- The person will change your verification email.
- You will lose your Google Voice
Eventually, you will lose control of your account. That includes all the data you had saved and emails from friends, family, or businesspeople.
Losing control of your account will mean the person will use it to scam you. For example, they will use the phone number and send you a message to solicit money from you to regain control of your account.
Alternatively, they will use your Google Voice number to scam other people. They may send emails to your contacts requesting them to send you cash because of an emergency you are facing.
How to avoid Google Verification code scams
You can avoid these scams by doing the following:
- Avoid displaying your phone number to the public. If it is necessary for business or other purposes, do not link it to your Google account.
- Ignore the message or consider deleting it.
- Change your account details. That includes your password, security questions, and verification email or phone number.
- Check the email or phone number and ensure it comes from Google.
You can also turn on 2-step verification on your account. Here is how:
- Go to your Google Account.
- Select Security in the navigation panel.
- Under Signing into Google, select 2-Step Verification.
- Select Get Started.
From this point, follow the on-screen steps to complete the process.
Understand that although the 2-Step Verification measure adds some security to your account, codes sent by calls or text are vulnerable to phone number-based hacks.
That is the primary reason you are receiving Google Verification code without requesting it.
I received a Google verification code but didn’t request it. If this has happened to you before, the reason could be someone is trying to access your account from an unknown location.
Also, you will get the code if you are signing in from a new or old device. In other cases, people get the code when they are changing their password or security details related to their accounts.