iPhone 4S sending secret SMS messages

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by peckerhead, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. peckerhead, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    peckerhead macrumors member

    peckerhead

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #1
    My iPhone 4S was replaced under warranty on 4th March by the Genius bar due to a faulty volume switch.

    Starting exactly on that date, my phone bill is showing text messages being sent to one the following numbers (UK numbers as I am in the UK) every few day and sometimes several times a day:

    07860015000
    07860015001
    07860015002
    07860015003

    In the past month according to my bill, my phone has sent messages to these numbers 30 times. However, none of these show in the messages app on the phone, and do not belong to any of my contacts.

    After Googling the numbers, i managed to find this page saying that one of the numbers belongs to Apple and the phone sends a secret message to it when you set up iMessage for the first time.

    Makes sense, and since the numbers are all sequential, I presume they are all used for this purpose.

    Looking through past bills, I can see the original phone only sent to these numbers once, which was the day i activated iMessage.

    So the question is, why is the replacement phone constantly sending messages to these numbers? Can it be something to do with the fact that it was a replacement phone and it was restored from a backup of the previous phone?


    It's not a huge concern at the moment as my plan has something stupid like 2000 inclusive text messages, however I will be going abroad in about a month where I will obviously be getting charged for these messages, so need to find a fix for this.

    Anyone else had this issue?
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    That's most likely FaceTime activation requests.
     
  3. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    +1
     
  4. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #5
    FaceTime and/or iMessage is failing to activate properly. Turn both off and on again then reboot the phone itself. Should fix it.
     
  5. peckerhead thread starter macrumors member

    peckerhead

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #6
    I have tried this to see how it goes. It did get stuck on 'Activating' but after changing my Apple ID password (it seems an upper case character is now mandatory) they have activated OK.

    I guess I will need to wait for my next bill to see whether it has worked.
     
  6. Daveoc64, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

    Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #7
    There are a few problems with the iMessage/FaceTime activation systems:

    1) If you are on a "supported" carrier (or the phone thinks you are), then you won't be asked if it's ok to send the activation message (Apple has arrangements with "supported carriers" to not charge for the activation messages). If you're using an MVNO of a supported carrier (e.g. Virgin Mobile in the UK), then that means you might be charged for a message you weren't instructed about.

    2) Sometimes the system glitches and the activation doesn't succeed. That means that it might resend the activation message (potentially at your expense)

    3) Even if the activation succeeds, something might go wrong, causing it to reactivate the service(s). If this happens regularly, then the cost could add up. Some people report that it tries to reactivate every time they reboot their phone.

    I swap SIMs occasionally, and that prompts a new message to be sent (see the attached picture).
     

    Attached Files:

  7. peckerhead thread starter macrumors member

    peckerhead

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #8
    I have done a bit more digging on this and believe I have found the reason in this thread on the Apple forum.

    Rather than the issue being caused by me getting a replacement phone, it seems it was caused by the release of iOS 5.1 which was a couple of days later.

    My network is 3 UK (a supported carrier) and when I took out the contract I transferred in my number from another network. However, the SIM still has the temporary number that came with the phone stored, meaning when I go to Settings > Phone > My Number a number that is not mine is displayed.

    As this is different from the number identified by iMessage/Facetime, this causes the phone to continue repeating the activations multiple times.

    There is no option in iOS 5.1 to change this number. In iOS 5.01 it updated itself based on the number identified by iMessage/Facetime activation so therefore didn't have this issue.

    As this number is stored in the SIM and iOS 5.1 does not allow this to be changed, it seems there are 2 solutions:

    1. Put the SIM in a phone that allows you to edit the stored "My Number"
    2. Get a new SIM

    Looks like I will be asking 3 UK for a new SIM.

    Strangely, although I am on a supported carrier, the messages are definately being taken from my allowance so I am keen to get this resolved.
     
  8. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #9
    OP, go to Settings > Phone > My Number and change it. I have iOS 5.1 and I have that option. If you don't, it's because Scumbag Three disabled it for their SIMs. It's not the phone's fault.
     
  9. appleaddicted macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
  10. peckerhead thread starter macrumors member

    peckerhead

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #11
    I did try that, and there is definitely no way to change this, so it looks like it has been locked somehow.

    It was also locked on iOS 5.01, however it seemed to take update this field with the number discovered when iMessage was activated. However this was obviously not written to the SIM.

    In iOS 5.1 it seems that the number stored on the SIM was allowed to override the number discovered by iMessage.

    Anyway, I went to the 3 Store and the guy there agreed that there was a problem so gave me a free replacement SIM. He did say that the SIM would be blank and not have any number stored in it.

    Sure enough, when I put it in the phone and went to Settings > Phone > My Number it showed up as 'unknown'. After reactivating iMessage and Facetime, this field has now been populated with my number. I assume it has not stored it in the SIM, but is using the number discovered by iMessage since there is nothing in the SIM.

    Hopefully that is the issue resolved, and I will eagerly await my next monthly bill to confirm.
     
  11. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    After a number port, switching iMessage Off/On should prompt the number to be updated (on the SIM).

    I ported my number from Three to O2 and it happened within seconds of toggling it.

    This is a standard network procedure. Hundreds of people port their number every day in the UK.
     
  12. chestvrg macrumors 65816

    chestvrg

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
  13. peckerhead thread starter macrumors member

    peckerhead

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #14
    I did do this when I was on iOS 5.01, and although it did appear to update the 'My Number' field, it seems it did not write to the SIM as when on 5.1 it reverted to the old number.

    It also seems that on 5.1 the number stored on the SIM overrides and other number.

    It must be the case that Three lock the SIM, as on that thread I linked to earlier, the last few pages are of Three users with the same problem. Getting a new SIM seems to be the only solution.
     
  14. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #15
    It's definitely a Three issue, my giffgaff SIM is in my iPhone 4 and I can change the number easily.

    If the new SIM fixes your problem that's what's important anyway :)
     
  15. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Forgot to mention that the network can send a message over the air that will change the number on the SIM.

    They normally do that when your "temporary" number is assigned to another customer.
     

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