We've detected unusual activity on your account.

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Apparently Google locked me out of my e-mail, and I get this message...

We've detected unusual activity on your account. To sign in, please follow the instructions below.

Provide a phone number to continue. We'll send a verification code you can use to sign in.

Google will only use this number for security purposes.

Standard text messaging rates may apply.
Receive verification code via:
Text message (SMS)
Automated voice call
What in the heck is up with this?? :mad:

Um, I don't own a cell phone, and I am like 2,000 miles away from home.

WTF?!

Why are they asking for this, and what can I do to get into my Gmail???

Sincerely,


Debbie
 

taptic

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2012
1,331
418
California
Apparently Google locked me out of my e-mail, and I get this message...



What in the heck is up with this?? :mad:

Um, I don't own a cell phone, and I am like 2,000 miles away from home.

WTF?!

Why are they asking for this, and what can I do to get into my Gmail???

Sincerely,


Debbie
Here are some reasons why it might be happening:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/140921?hl=en

I'd recommend you ask a friend to borrow a phone for a second and continue...
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Here are some reasons why it might be happening:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/140921?hl=en

I'd recommend you ask a friend to borrow a phone for a second and continue...
Well, that is what i am afraid of doing...

There is a church I have been going to while away from home, and I asked the secretary here if I could do that, but both she and I are leery about giving out the church's Tele #.

I mean what in the hell is Google going to do with that?!

The secretary is *very* concerned that Google will start calling the church or sell their Tele # or share it with Telemarketers.

And I have no way to guarantee that couldn't happen.

Plus, if I used the church's tele #, then does that mean I have to use it every time I log in to my Gmail for the rest of my life?

I don't even understand why Google wants it?!

Is someone at Google going to call that #?

I am freaked out that I am locked out of my Gmail and no way to get in, and I am also freaked out about having to involve someone else's Tele # in this mess... :(:(:(


Debbie
 

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
290
244
No one's going to call that number. Google only wants it so they can send you a verification code which you can use to unlock your account.

I find it extraordinarily unlikely that the number would ever be used for any purpose beyond this.
 

LostSoul80

macrumors 68020
Jan 25, 2009
2,133
6
Buy a dumbphone with a number if you are serious about keeping the gmail account. It won't cost you more than $20 probably.
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
No one's going to call that number. Google only wants it so they can send you a verification code which you can use to unlock your account.

I find it extraordinarily unlikely that the number would ever be used for any purpose beyond this.
Again, I don't have a cell phone or a tele # where I am at now.

So if I entered the Tele # for the church I have been going to, then what would happen next?

Google would call the church?

Then what?


Debbie
 

Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,647
152
Atlanta, GA
Again, I don't have a cell phone or a tele # where I am at now.

So if I entered the Tele # for the church I have been going to, then what would happen next?

Google would call the church?

Then what?


Debbie
They send a text, they don't call. You'll need a phone capable of receiving text messages.
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
31
Again, I don't have a cell phone or a tele # where I am at now.

So if I entered the Tele # for the church I have been going to, then what would happen next?

Google would call the church?

Then what?


Debbie
according to the message you quoted in first post they'll either send a text message or an automated voice call.

Presumably you get to choose which - either that or the system is smart enough to figure out itself whether the number you enter is a landline (getting the voice message) or a mobile (getting the text).

either way you end up with a verification code you'll then need to enter on their site to continue
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
according to the message you quoted in first post they'll either send a text message or an automated voice call.

Presumably you get to choose which - either that or the system is smart enough to figure out itself whether the number you enter is a landline (getting the voice message) or a mobile (getting the text).

either way you end up with a verification code you'll then need to enter on their site to continue
Right, but when Google calls, where there be some automated voice saying, "You Verification Code is 1234" or do they have to leave a message for it to work?

And once I have that Verification Code, then do I have to enter that every time I need to check my Gmail?

Even worse, by going down this path, am I going to have to get a phone call from Google everytime I need to check my Gmail?

And what happens if I move - which I am in the process of - and I am no longer at this particular church and the church's tele # I gave Google. Then what?! :eek:

Sincerely,


Debbie
 

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
290
244
You get an automated message, either a voice or text, telling you your verification code. You use that ONCE to unlock your account. Then you're back in business.
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
You get an automated message, either a voice or text, telling you your verification code. You use that ONCE to unlock your account. Then you're back in business.
And is there a way to delete the church's tele # so I don't have to worry that they would ever be bothered down the road?


Debbie
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,484
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Are you staying at a hotel? During a quite moment - Ask to use their number… and then hang out by the front desk for a few minutes until the call comes in. I highly doubt that Google will do anything with that number except use that once to send a code… but even if they do, the hotel will be used to handling junk calls….

On the other hand, if you are using the number for the church that is published anywhere in a directory or on a website - then the telemarketers already have that number.
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Are you staying at a hotel?
No I'm staying with an elderly couple from church, and so the phone thing is an issue for a couple of reasons...


On the other hand, if you are using the number for the church that is published anywhere in a directory or on a website - then the telemarketers already have that number.
Valid point.

I just know the church secretary sorta lectured me, "If you use our number, we better not start getting a whole bunch a calls because of this.

So I need to be careful.

(According to her, when I have been using Line #3 - which is an unpublished Tele # - they have been getting LOTS of calls since they started letting me do my job search here. I don't know if it is these Indian recruiters just hitting "redial" or if it is something more ominous. But I do know I got "the business" this morning!)


So if I understand what has been said so far, Google just wants a Tele # to call to leave a Verification Code that I then have to enter as a one time thing to get back into my Gmail. is that correct?

If so, what is Google accomplishing?

Um, if I was a hacker, and I took over Debbie's account, and then I as the hacker got locked out, all I would do is give Google my Hacking Tele # and have them call me so I could get back into the Gail account I hacked in the first place?! :rolleyes:

(It's not like Google has my Home Tele # on file?!)

So what does all of this accomplish??

And when I move to another state for a new contract, is having used this Church's Tele # going to haunt me?

Is there some scenario where because I gave a Tele # in Virginia that I would have to use it again, after maybe I have moved to Colorado? :eek:

Sincerely,


Debbie
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
31
Right, but when Google calls, where there be some automated voice saying, "You Verification Code is 1234" or do they have to leave a message for it to work?

And once I have that Verification Code, then do I have to enter that every time I need to check my Gmail?

Even worse, by going down this path, am I going to have to get a phone call from Google everytime I need to check my Gmail?

And what happens if I move - which I am in the process of - and I am no longer at this particular church and the church's tele # I gave Google. Then what?! :eek:

Sincerely,


Debbie
1 automated voice will give you the code. When they ring just pickup the phone and listen (it doesnt need to be left on an answering machine).

2 you need to enter the code once

3 you wont get a call every time, but you could be asked to go thru the procedure at a later date if whatever activity has tripped the checks persists or reoccurs - once you've completed the procedure I'd recommend you change your current Gmail password, just in case someone has managed to guess your current one.

4 for this particular 'locked account verification' procedure you can use whatever phone number you like. If you get asked again at a later date it can be a completely different number - even a payphone will do (which would make it kinda pointless for google to sell the numbers collected thru this to tele marketers etc even if they wanted to)

Basically it's an anti-spam feature that relies on it being impractical for mass spammers to provide hundreds/thousands of different phone numbers in order to reactivate hundreds/thousands of gmail accounts (if you provide the same verification number for a bundle of different Gmail accounts then the number will get flagged as being used too much).


Note - its also possible (but not compulsory) to register a phone number with google as an aid for their password recovery procedures (eg folks forgot their password can request a new password, and use their registered phone number as means of obtaining verification code to confirm its themself thats requesting the password reset).

That's an entirely different thing from what you're being asked above and is one where the phone number would get stored for future use.
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Hi snorkelman. :)


1 automated voice will give you the code. When they ring just pickup the phone and listen (it doesnt need to be left on an answering machine).
Okay.


2 you need to enter the code once

3 you wont get a call every time, but you could be asked to go thru the procedure at a later date if whatever activity has tripped the checks persists or reoccurs - once you've completed the procedure I'd recommend you change your current Gmail password, just in case someone has managed to guess your current one.
No, what caused all of this was WiTopia?! (They always blame Google, but I am becoming skeptical...) :rolleyes:


4 for this particular 'locked account verification' procedure you can use whatever phone number you like. If you get asked again at a later date it can be a completely different number - even a payphone will do (which would make it kinda pointless for google to sell the numbers collected thru this to tele marketers etc even if they wanted to)
Okay.


Basically it's an anti-spam feature that relies on it being impractical for mass spammers to provide hundreds/thousands of different phone numbers in order to reactivate hundreds/thousands of gmail accounts
Okay.


(if you provide the same verification number for a bundle of different Gmail accounts then the number will get flagged as being used too much).
I do have a "main" Gmail account and then like 3 other Gmail account related to some side businesses.

Where do you think is the cut off point for getting flagged?

Also, what are the chances that this Churck Tele # will get stored in the "bowels" of Google and be stored forever to build a file on Debbie for the NSA??


Note - its also possible (but not compulsory) to register a phone number with google as an aid for their password recovery procedures (eg folks forgot their password can request a new password, and use their registered phone number as means of obtaining verification code to confirm its themself thats requesting the password reset).

That's an entirely different thing from what you're being asked above and is one where the phone number would get stored for future use.
Right.

Thanks,


Debbie
 

snorkelman

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2010
607
31
Hi snorkelman. :)

I do have a "main" Gmail account and then like 3 other Gmail account related to some side businesses.

Where do you think is the cut off point for getting flagged?

Also, what are the chances that this Churck Tele # will get stored in the "bowels" of Google and be stored forever to build a file on Debbie for the NSA??

unless all 4 accounts are locked and in need of verification at same time then I wouldn't have thought the need to re-use same number for verification would arise.

Even if they do all need phone-verified I'd have thought 4 wouldn't be too many to have verified on same number Quite a few folks are going to have multiple gmail accounts in one household and all using the same tele number for reverify's

(though I suppose if you do ever need to verify all 4 and it does starts breaking down on 2nd 3rd or 4th one just keep the use of same number in mind as one reason it might be spitting those additional ones out).

I dont see them storing the number long term for anything other than the 'this particular number has been used X amount of times to verify Y amount of Gmail accounts' purposes.

ie To ensure it doesn't show up 1000 times in space of a month verifying 500 or more accounts :)
 

doubledee

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2012
496
0
Arizona
Well, I broke down and gave Google the Tele # at church.

Got a call, entered the code, and I'm back in my Gmail.

Hopefully the Church Tele # is safe, and Google isn't building some file on me and my religious practices... :eek:


Debbie
 

Tyler23

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2010
5,647
152
Atlanta, GA
Apparently Google locked me out of my e-mail, and I get this message...



What in the heck is up with this?? :mad:

Um, I don't own a cell phone, and I am like 2,000 miles away from home.

WTF?!

Why are they asking for this, and what can I do to get into my Gmail???

Sincerely,


Debbie
Just a quick question, to satisfy my own curiosity..I've noticed your threads, and you seem to be on the road a lot..

How/why would you not own a cell phone?