Getting unknown iCloud verification key messages

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gslrider, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. gslrider macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2005
    In the last month, I've received 2 "Your iCloud Keychain verification code is: xxxxxx" from an unknown number (actually the number comes up as 504-72. Because I have iCloud off on my phone, and never requested any changes to it, I thought this was just spam. I never hit the link.

    The second time I received the message, I forwarded it to my brother, to let him know if he gets the same message to ignore it, as it's probably a spam. Then he tells me he's already received a number of them. Initially he ignored them, but it was getting so frustrating for him receiving them, he finally clicked on the link. It took him to a verification screen on his iPhone, so he entered the same code he received in iMessage. Once in mid December, the other around 2pm today. Which happened to be the 2 times I received the iCloud keychain message on my phone.

    That was a little too much of a coincidence for me. Then as a test, he clicked on the link again, entered it, and suddenly I'm getting the iCloud keychain verification message. He sent me a screen shot of the verification screen he gets when he clicks on the link he received in iMessage, and turns out my phone number is the one attached to it (last 4 digits of my number shows up). Not sure how that happened.

    Also note, I'm still on iOS 8.3, my brother updated to iOS 9 in December. And as far as he knows, he didn't set up a 2 step account verification process. All he did was update, and used his phone as usual. He's also had a number of issues come up since updating to iOS 9.

    So my concerns are:

    1. My brother hasn't made any change request to his iCloud account to warrant even getting those verification messages. Just like I haven't made any changes, but still getting them. So why did he get them in the first place, that leads up to my issue? At least on my end, I know it's coming from him. But how is HE getting his messages? Is this some sort of hack or spam iMessage chain? eg. If I click on the link, someone else will get a verification message?

    2. How is my number on his verification screen? How does he remove it?

    3. How do we avoid this in the future?


    Apple is such a bully now. Jobs knew what users wanted, and he gave it to them. He also knew what we wanted before we even knew we wanted it, and he gave it to us. Cook, gives us what HE wants, just to make sales. Quality is out the window. And frankly Apple has gone down hill for me since the passing of Jobs. After 20+ years of loving my Mac, and later iPhone, they are now both frustrating to use. You literally have to have the latest and greatest, to keep your computer or devices working "great". Gone are the days when your Mac is good to go for at least 6 years. Now, it's like Windows machines. After 3-4 years, your already looking to upgrade because it's running like crap already. Your also forced to update your OS or iOS, or else they can't help you with any technical issues. When updating is usually the thing that makes things worse, at least in my experience. But people like me are caught between a rock and a hard place. Like politics, because all politicians are "evil", you vote for the least worse. Apple is the least worse. lol
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    It sounds like someone set up iCloud using your phone number as the verification for the 2-step or two factor process.
    I would go through your iCloud setup and enable 2-step/2-factor if you haven't done so, and verify that everything looks like it should with your account details. Maybe it was unrelated to your account, maybe not.
  3. gslrider thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2005
    Thanks for the input chrfr. As I mentioned, it's my brother's phone that started this, since he updated to iOS 9. And I've already asked him, he said my phone isn't part of his "trusted device", nor did he set up the 2 step verification, or use my number to set anything up. So not sure how my number ended up being the number to verify on HIS phone.

    I've told him to sign out and sign back in to his iCloud account through his iPhone. We'll see if he gets anymore verification messages without making any changes to his account.

    Right now, my account looks fine without the 2 factor set up. I also get an email from Apple if any changes or activity is done on my account. ie. password change, purchases, etc.. Unless I have to, I won't set up for the 2 factor verification. Never had it all these years, and all has been fine. Not about to jump on just because something inexplicable is happening. I like the way my phone works, and every time something wonky happens to it, I don't want to just do "something". I'll exhaust all other possibilities and troubleshooting first before going to extremes like changing my account, updating my iOS or wiping the phone and reinstalling everything from scratch. Which I've had to do a number of times over the years.

    Which is why I don't update my iOS whenever a new one comes out. Not one of those guys. Most of the time, I get issues once I do an update. Causes more problems than it fixes. My phone was working fine, and without doing anything different on my end, it starts acting up. Again, I see Apple doing these things in the background to force people to either update their iOS so it can eventually make your older phone crappy, forcing you to upgrade your phone. Or just force you to want to upgrade your iPhone all together and not deal with the hassles updates brings for some users. Win win for them, lose lose for us. Well, you get the latest and greatest, and it works awesome. Until a new iOS and iPhone comes out, then you have a crappy phone again for some reason. lol
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    It's your choice, but setting up 2-factor authentication wherever possible is simply smart practice. It has nothing to do with whatever you think Apple's motivations for things might be.
    I've gotten similar requests on my accounts and it's nice to know that without physically having my phone, people aren't going to be able to get into my account and steal my iTunes credit or use my card to make purchases. I would not assume this is related to your brother's account in any way.
  5. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007
    Many of us are not able to activate 2-factor authentication because Apple hasn't flipped the switch for us...
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    I can't either, because I still have a 3rd generation Apple TV, but I do use 2-step authentication.
  7. lewisd25 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2007
    What do you mean because you still have a 3rd generation apple tv?
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    If you have older equipment like an Apple TV 3rd generation signed into your Apple ID, you won't be able to use 2FA.
    System requirements are listed in this document, most of the way down the page:

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