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The Importance of Verification Codes

What is A Verification Code? 

Published 4/2/2024

You've probably received an email or text message in the past stating something similar to "Your one time passcode is..." followed by a series of numbers. This code is known as a verification code. It's a form of two-factor authentication which adds an extra layer of security to your account beyond a typical password. This helps to keep would-be scammers and hackers out.

Your account password and verification code work together, similar to the lock on your doorknob and a deadbolt lock. If you unlock the doorknob but not the deadbolt, you can’t get in. Likewise, if you know the account password but not the verification code, you can’t get in.

Why Do I Need To Keep My Verification Codes Safe? 

This same analogy can be applied to scammers. When you have two factor authentication enabled on an account, if a scammer is attempting to access your information, they will attempt to trick you into sharing your verification code.

A scammer will pretend to be someone you trust. They may say something like "We've discovered a problem with your account" or, "Someone appears to be using your identity." They will likely know a few facts about you, and seem very convincing. They'll offer to help you clear up the situation, and then they'll request you provide them with your verification code. STOP.

If you provide the code, they could access your account and do real damage. Never share your verification codes. Anyone asking for one is likely a scammer.

So, what steps should you take instead?
  • Hang up
  • Block the number
  • Do not text them
  • If you're worried about any problems, call a trusted number for the business that the scammer was impersonating.
Always remain alert and keep your personal information safe. If you'd like to learn more fraud or security tips, we recommend checking our the Fraud and Security Collection in our Financial Wellness Center.