Getting an SMS without a phone?

Texas_Toast

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Feb 6, 2016
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Is there a way that I can get a two-factor SMS without having a phone?

I just set up a Twitter account, and now they want my tele # so they can send me an SMS to get back into my new account, but I use VOIP on my MBP, and my VOIP provider provides spotty service for 'short" SMS messages.

What can I do?
 

konqerror

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Dec 31, 2013
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This is intentionally difficult as services use phone numbers to make creation of spam accounts difficult. As you are finding out, many services detect and block VoIP SMS services. You can look for VoIP services which claim to offer a "real" mobile number.
 
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Texas_Toast

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This is intentionally difficult as services use phone numbers to make creation of spam accounts difficult. As you are finding out, many services detect and block VoIP SMS services. You can look for VoIP services which claim to offer a "real" mobile number.
There must be some workaround for a legitimate user like me.

I mean I pay $$$ every month for my VOIP business tele #. I have a real, registered business. So isn't there some legitimate way to get twitter to leave me alone?

I don't understand why they let me create an account and now I cannot get in.

if they would call my number and give me a vocie code I'd be golden - Google does this.
 

konqerror

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There must be some workaround for a legitimate user like me.
Contact support and see what they say. Services have determined the benefits of stopping spam and bots outweighs the concerns of people who legitimately don't have a mobile phone.

I mean I pay $$$ every month for my VOIP business tele #.
The reasoning these days is that legit businesses have little issue providing (or reimbursing for) employee cell phones.
 
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Texas_Toast

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I wonder if your VOIP service might have some kind of solution for getting texts? (probably not)
They told me that while they offer SMS service, it won't work for "short" SMS messages (e.g. authentication code).

This is the one thing that pisses me off about my VOIP provider - otherwise I love them. (And they have saved me thousands of dollars since I dumped AT&T 8 years ago.)
- - Post merged: - -

Contact support and see what they say. Services have determined the benefits of stopping spam and bots outweighs the concerns of people who legitimately don't have a mobile phone.

The reasoning these days is that legit businesses have little issue providing (or reimbursing for) employee cell phones.
I don't have a cell phone because it is a tracking device, plain and simple!

So you cannot think of another way to prove that I am me and get this to work?

(Why in the hell can't they call me tele # and give me a voice code?)
 

Texas_Toast

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To block VoIP services as well as some landline services, e.g. payphones.

I said, either contact support, or some VoIP provider claim to use real mobile numbers.
You keep saying "real" phone numbers.

What is it about my paid VOIP tele # that makes it appear different than say a landline with AT&T?
 

konqerror

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You keep saying "real" phone numbers.

What is it about my paid VOIP tele # that makes it appear different than say a landline with AT&T?
Every telephone number is listed in a database so that when you make a call, the originating carrier knows which company to send the phone call to. The database contains the line type and carrier.

This is (was) used for billing because there were different rates owed for landline vs cellular vs VoIP carriers.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Every telephone number is listed in a database so that when you make a call, the originating carrier knows which company to send the phone call to. The database contains the line type and carrier.

This is (was) used for billing because there were different rates owed for landline vs cellular vs VoIP carriers.
But apparently now they use it to discriminate, huh?

Just out of curiosity...

I used to have a landline with AT&T before I ported it over to my VOIP provider. Now would THAT telephone still be "good" or does it now say "VOIP"?

Ironically, I have a bunch of tele #'s with my VOIP provider, including local and toll-free #'s for two businesses I own plus other numbers for cities I used to work in.

VOIP is such a coup, but I guess this is the one "gotcha"! :-(
 

konqerror

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I used to have a landline with AT&T before I ported it over to my VOIP provider. Now would THAT telephone still be "good" or does it now say "VOIP"?
Depends how smart they are. If they first look up the number in the number porting database (LRN lookup), they will get a pointer to the current provider. If they don't, then they will still think it's an AT&T landline.

VoIP allows cheap services and small carriers, but that causes problems. Robocalls are certainly not coming from landlines.
 

Texas_Toast

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Depends how smart they are. If they first look up the number in the number porting database (LRN lookup), they will get a pointer to the current provider. If they don't, then they will still think it's an AT&T landline.

VoIP allows cheap services and small carriers, but that causes problems. Robocalls are certainly not coming from landlines.
Am I wrong in using VOIp for my personal and business phone lines?

I have been using VOIP and this first/only VOIP provider since like 2013, and it have saved me so much $$$ and opened so many doors that I cannot begin to tell you.

The ability for a little guy to have his own toll-free #, phone tree, to change numbers to wherever I am at the moment, 3-way calling, call music, etc, etc is something you'd be paying $10,000/year for from AT&T.

It has literally changed my life.

BUT, as more and more services choose to text you authentication codes - because they like to discriminate against non smartphone users and people with disabilities - it gets harder to have a modern online life and still use VOIP.

*sigh*
 

konqerror

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BUT, as more and more services choose to text you authentication codes - because they like to discriminate against non smartphone users and people with disabilities - it gets harder to have a modern online life and still use VOIP.
No, it's becoming harder not to have a cell phone. People have cell phones, office phones, Google Voice numbers, etc. It's not new. People had separate pager numbers for a time, if you remember that.

Why do you think there's tax-subsidized cell phones for low-income families?

It's not discriminating against people with disabilities either, because it provides information in a computer-readable form. Voice authentication calls are an accessibility issue.

SMS is more accessible because by nature of being a computer-readable format, your phone convey the information in text-to-speech, Braille displays, large print, etc. not to mention eliminating problematic CAPTCHAs.
 
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Texas_Toast

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I found a site online that was bitching about what i am going through now. The author made it sound like if you email Twitter, and patiently wait a few days, that they will most likely restore your account - I never even used my account, so I couldn't have done anything wrong?!

Do you think I will be safe after that, or is not having a tele # on file gonna keep rearing it's ugly head?

(Again, I have no problem sharing a legitimate business tele #, but I cannot receive text messages.)
 

Texas_Toast

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Give them someone else's mobile number and have them tell you the code.

Or get a temp number (most don't work, it's trial and error: https://www.google.com/search?q=receive+sms+free) and use that. I'm assuming this is a one-off verification not something you'll need to do each time you log in.
Well, that is part of my concern...

I suspect that this could come up in the future. And especially since this is a business twitter account, it makes me nervous to put in someone else's mobile # for my account.

What is to say that THEY might not end up claiming my account?
 

LizKat

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it's becoming harder not to have a cell phone
Well it's also harder to have a cell phone and still live in a 400-square mile dead zone than back in the day, when all that meant to me was that my "mobile" phone was for when I was actually on the road.

Sure I can get codes for authentication now using my mobile over WiFi calling. But I live in nagging fear of needing the facility to receive a code sometime when for whatever reason, my DSL access is down.

Real PITA to have to drive up on a mountaintop 5 miles away and deal with the problem out of the car, eh? It will feel like a sitcom scene once I get up there: ok I got the code, now what the heck was I doing that triggered the need for it again? Oh yeah, ok, lemme wake up the laptop here...

Honestly the Silicon Valley guys need to understand that plenty of people still live or work in dead zones that the carriers may call "spotty service". I'd opt to have my landline phone receive voice codes if that option were offered. Some websites I deal with do offer that, but not outfits like Google.
 
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konqerror

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Honestly the Silicon Valley guys need to understand that plenty of people still live or work in dead zones that the carriers may call "spotty service".
Which is why most services, including Twitter, offer U2F/FIDO and TOTP (6 digit code) authentication methods. The more common case is the user is travelling internationally where SMS/data is expensive. Further, U2F and FIDO2 offer anti-phishing protection that SMS doesn't.

The issue here isn't login authentication, it's trying to tie you into a (relatively) expensive service to eliminate bots and spam on their platform. Since it's a one-time-only deal, any hassle is acceptable to the vast majority of users.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Well it's also harder to have a cell phone and still live in a 400-square mile dead zone than back in the day, when all that meant to me was that my "mobile" phone was for when I was actually on the road.
That sucks.


Sure I can get codes for authentication now using my mobile over WiFi calling. But I live in nagging fear of needing the facility to receive a code sometime when for whatever reason, my DSL access is down.
Wait, so is there a way i could use my SIM-less iPhone and WiFi to get a code for Twitter?

I don't see how, because your SIm card gives you a tele #, right? And my real tele #'s are part of my VOIP account.


Real PITA to have to drive up on a mountaintop 5 miles away and deal with the problem out of the car, eh? It will feel like a sitcom scene once I get up there: ok I got the code, now what the heck was I doing that triggered the need for it again? Oh yeah, ok, lemme wake up the laptop here...
Well, when I have been out of state working on a project and I had no Internet where I was staying, I used to have to do the same thing. Drive across town to find a McDonalds so i could sit out in my car in the heat using free Wi-Fi to make a call or check email.


Honestly the Silicon Valley guys need to understand that plenty of people still live or work in dead zones that the carriers may call "spotty service". I'd opt to have my landline phone receive voice codes if that option were offered. Some websites I deal with do offer that, but not outfits like Google.
Actually, Google does offer voice codes to log in with 2FA, however, the dumb asses do NOT offer that if you get locked out of your account?!

And Twitter certainly doesn't offer that, so I am screwed...
- - Post merged: - -

The issue here isn't login authentication, it's trying to tie you into a (relatively) expensive service to eliminate bots and spam on their platform.
Why is the act that my Twitter handle matches my domain name matches my email address not enough?

And why not call me to verify - that' as real as it gets?!


Since it's a one-time-only deal, any hassle is acceptable to the vast majority of users.
And is this a "one-time deal"?

That is my hesitation using someone else's phone. (That, and I have no family or anyone I trust, and I am out of state, so am i gonna ask the girl at the front des of my hotel??)
 

adrianlondon

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If your worry is being tracked, and assuming you already have a landline number which is registered to an address, get a mobile, a payg sim, and only use it for 2FA. Leave it at home.
 
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konqerror

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Why is the act that my Twitter handle matches my domain name matches my email address not enough?
What are they going to do if you're a spambot? Currently, they'll block your phone.

In fact, that's probably why you have to do this, a Twitter handle that matches a domain name is potentially spammy.

And why not call me to verify - that' as real as it gets?!
Again, trying to weed out payphones or people on random office or hotel phones.

And is this a "one-time deal"?
Unless you trip their bot detection (again).

The problem is you're not thinking about the problem like a malicious bot.
 
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chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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Is there a way that I can get a two-factor SMS without having a phone?

I just set up a Twitter account, and now they want my tele # so they can send me an SMS to get back into my new account, but I use VOIP on my MBP, and my VOIP provider provides spotty service for 'short" SMS messages.

What can I do?
2 factor authentication via SMS is not secure. Twitter offers the option to use an authenticator application to set up 2-factor, so use that instead.
Twitter’s instructions detail how to use an authenticator app: https://help.twitter.com/en/managing-your-account/two-factor-authentication
 

jaytv111

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Oct 25, 2007
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Am I wrong in using VOIp for my personal and business phone lines?
No, just seems pretty rare to find a person who wants to use Twitter and doesn’t have cell phone service at all.

Interestingly Twitter used to be all about sending and receives tweets through SMS. They shut that down recently. The magic of using SMS that way is that you don’t need a smartphone or data, you just SMS which is able to work without internet (But still needs cell service).
Wait, so is there a way i could use my SIM-less iPhone and WiFi to get a code for Twitter?

I don't see how, because your SIm card gives you a tele #, right? And my real tele #'s are part of my VOIP account.

And is this a "one-time deal"?
No, there is no way. If you don’t pay for cell service then you won’t get an SMS through the cell networks. The poster above was just saying that their iPhone works over WiFi now but they need to pay for service still. It’s called WiFi calling, it lets phone users have service nearly anywhere they can have internet.

I don’t use Twitter but I think they may send codes if you ever sign into a new unrecognized device or browser, so someone else’s phone may work as long as they’re someone you know and trust and they’ll be around, as long as you want to continue to be without cell service while using Twitter.
 

Texas_Toast

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Original poster
Feb 6, 2016
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If your worry is being tracked, and assuming you already have a landline number which is registered to an address, get a mobile, a payg sim, and only use it for 2FA. Leave it at home.
I don't have a landline.

What is "payg sim"??

Fwiw... In addition to being concerned about being tracked everywhere I go with a mobile device, and the fact that most people pay thousands of $$$ each year for the "privilege" of having a mobile plan, there is also the issue of having to cough up as much information to get an AT&T/Verizon account as to open a bank account or get a U.S. Passport that totally turns me off from going mobile.

Now, if I could pay $20 (or even $50 or $100) cash, to get a SIM card/telephone # that i could use solely for 2FA, and that number would never expire, and my balance would never expire, and it could in no way be traced to me - because I paid cash - then I might consider getting something like that.

Of course, then there is the fear that I'd lose my SIM card or m iPhone and then I'd be f because I have no way to prove my identity. (If the dumb *sses as Twitter would let me use my REAL VOIP telephone number, then i would never lose that, and they could ALWAYS identify me as the owner of my account. What a horribly INFLEXIBLE authentication system?!)
 

chrfr

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Jul 11, 2009
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I don't have a landline.

What is "payg sim"??

Fwiw... In addition to being concerned about being tracked everywhere I go with a mobile device, and the fact that most people pay thousands of $$$ each year for the "privilege" of having a mobile plan, there is also the issue of having to cough up as much information to get an AT&T/Verizon account as to open a bank account or get a U.S. Passport that totally turns me off from going mobile.

Now, if I could pay $20 (or even $50 or $100) cash, to get a SIM card/telephone # that i could use solely for 2FA, and that number would never expire, and my balance would never expire, and it could in no way be traced to me - because I paid cash - then I might consider getting something like that.

Of course, then there is the fear that I'd lose my SIM card or m iPhone and then I'd be f because I have no way to prove my identity. (If the dumb *sses as Twitter would let me use my REAL VOIP telephone number, then i would never lose that, and they could ALWAYS identify me as the owner of my account. What a horribly INFLEXIBLE authentication system?!)
PAYG = “pay as you go” but again, don’t use SMS for 2-factor.
 
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