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Expats keeping a phone number in their citizenship country (aka MagicJack not working).


JimmyJ

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:03 PM, NCC1701A said:

Prepaid T-Mobile account in the USA. $3 a month. Works great in Thailand for USA banking and others. It roams on AIS. No problems.

I have one cheap smart phone with that T-Mobile SIM card in my safe. I only take it out when I do on line banking.

 

Have you ever had to call your bank or have your bank call you on that #?

 

If so, how was the service? No problems with a voice call?

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I keep my UK number going in Thailand and My Thai number going when out of Thailand. So which number is used for verification sms both are available. 

Skype is working best, and have for the quality a very good value concerning the price. It´s also possible to buy a USA number with Caller ID ans both way SMS enabled.

Prepaid T-Mobile account in the USA. $3 a month. Works great in Thailand for USA banking and others. It roams on AIS. No problems. I have one cheap smart phone with that T-Mobile SIM card in my s

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10 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

Have you ever had to call your bank or have your bank call you on that #?

 

If so, how was the service? No problems with a voice call?

no problems. I roam on AIS in Thailand.  But I use Skype 99% for voice calls to banks or any business. I have never had to receive a call from a bank so far. The T-Mobile number is 100% for SMS bank and other companies authorization codes while living in Thailand.

All other personal calls are on LINE app.

 

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13 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

That's disturbing, as if other companies do that it will be a problem if it becomes necessary to switch companies someday.

 

They recognized that the addresses were mail forwarding?

Or perhaps just that they are business addresses and not residential addresses?

 

At any rate, I just decided to buy a Ting SIM while still in the US and keep it just in case.

 

1. No idea why both of my mail addresses were rejected. The Ting online system just wouldn't let me complete a SIM purchase order with either of them, no reason why given.

 

2. Not sure buying and storing a Ting SIM right now for future use is an especially good idea, because they're going to start issuing and requiring new SIMs sometime into 2020 because of their switchover from T-Mobile to Verizon as their network provider. So any SIM from them now is going to have a limited lifespan, AFAIK.

 

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On 9/7/2019 at 7:24 PM, riclag said:

I originally got Tings starter kit($6/pm) and bought a cheap GSM flip$30.

I went on another forum and was told after a week into my new membership with Ting that they were going with Verizon(CDMA) and ditching Tmobile)GSM). I called Ting CS they verified it. I began to inquire about service in the future specifically with my phone and the GSM sim. He said since Verizon is a CDMA the phone and sim can't be used with Ting anymore when the merger takes place. Furthermore I called that same day, spoke to another CS to confirm and she suggested that it might be rumors (conflicting advice) lol 

 

The initial CS recommended that I buy a LTE capable phone and a CDMA sim. I asked for the Sim only I told the CS if Verizon/Ting has a decent merger  that I would buy a LTE phone here in Thailand. I  asked . will Ting be able activate my service even if I'm out of the country,he said yes. 

So for me its a wait and see ,in the mean time I'm using Mintmobile(GSM) to receive  txt codes.

 

Maybe you missed my main point above...

 

1. You definitely will need to replace your existing Ting T-Mobile SIM at some future point with their Ting-Verizon SIM, though they supposedly are being allowed by T-Mobile to have all of 2020 to complete the changeover of their customers.

 

2. But my main point was regarding your mobile phone... wherein I was suggesting, since with a Ting-Verizon SIM you're going to be roaming in Thailand to a GSM network anyway, you might well end up being able to activate that Ting-Verizon SIM for the first time and continue using it here in Thailand on Ting-Verizon's GSM roaming partner in Thailand. In other words, at least for TH purposes, might not need to buy a new phone...

 

Although, all the Thai carriers are moving toward LTE based service and eventually to 5G, so at some point, it's probably going to become difficult to keep and use a non-LTE GSM phone here--totally apart from the whole Ting-Verizon issue.

 

 

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"Ultramobile PayGo (formerly T-Mobile $3 plan):

 

Called their CS #, told him my phone's Model Number, he checked and told me it is 60% compatible. Doesn't sound great although he brushed it off."

 

When he first said that I thought it meant it would not work with my phone, but he went on and said "So it will work with your phone".

 

Does anyone understand what he meant by "60% compatible"?

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Alarming to find this in Ting's Terms:

 

"Roaming While Outside the United States

International roaming is turned off on all new accounts by default. Enabling international roaming as a feature requires a minimum of three months of service, previous usage on your account, and for your account to be in good financial standing...".

 

For those of you with Ting accounts - did you use it in the USA for at least 3 months prior to using in LOS?

 

EDIT - Just read thru Ultra PayGo terms - Don't see anything similar thankfully.

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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5 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

"Ultramobile PayGo (formerly T-Mobile $3 plan):

 

Called their CS #, told him my phone's Model Number, he checked and told me it is 60% compatible. Doesn't sound great although he brushed it off."

 

When he first said that I thought it meant it would not work with my phone, but he went on and said "So it will work with your phone".

 

Does anyone understand what he meant by "60% compatible"?

 

Cant' say for sure, you really need to ask him/them what they mean.

 

But oftentimes, when they talk like that, they're splitting up the different kinds of service a cell phone can receive:

--old fashioned GSM 2G voice/SMS

--faster 3G data

--current 4G/LTE data....

 

So they might be meaning that your phone is compatible for 2 and 3G, but not LTE...  Or, they might be meaning that your phone is capable of receiving 4G/LTE on some of TM's frequencies, but not others, because which they use can vary from area to area.

 

It all comes down to what bands your phone is capable of receiving on, and what bands they're transmitting on... And there's different groupings for each of the three different types of mobile services I mentioned above.

 

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3 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

For those of you with Ting accounts - did you use it in the USA for at least 3 months prior to using in LOS?

 

I've never seen/noticed that Ting language.... And when I first signed up for my service months back, I remember I had a setting available in my online account management to either turn on or turn off intl roaming, which I set to ON.

 

Re your question, I activated my Ting SIM the first time here in LOS, and have never yet connected with it via a U.S. TM network.

 

And since I've had it, I've received a lot of U.S. SMSs here and even made a roaming call or two back to the U.S. when it was required for banking purposes.

 

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For TMobile in the U.S., these are the two LTE bands they mainly use. So you'd want to check your phone and see what LTE bands it can receive on...

 

1844820842_2019-09-0912_11_02.jpg.1eb99bcbe85f07ad8a4af8044b647da4.jpg

 

https://www.phonearena.com/news/Cheat-sheet-which-4G-LTE-bands-do-AT-T-Verizon-T-Mobile-and-Sprint-use-in-the-USA_id77933

 

If you're not sure re your phone, usually, the full spec sheets for particular models usually show which LTE and other bands they're configured for...  Or, you can go to gsmarena.com, search for your phone model, and it will show you its various radio bands.

 

LTE Band 4 is a very common band used on phones sold in the U.S. for obvious reasons, and on international version phones with models that will be sold in the U.S.  But it's less common on Asia market-specific models including for Thailand, because that frequency band is not used as much in Asia AFAIK.

 

 

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On 9/8/2019 at 5:13 AM, JimmyJ said:

Called their CS #, told him my phone's Model Number, he checked and told me it is 60% compatible. Doesn't sound great although he brushed it off.

He did not check the MEID # - I'll call back and see if someone can do that.

I would like to hear about that

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15 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I've never seen/noticed that Ting language.... And when I first signed up for my service months back, I remember I had a setting available in my online account management to either turn on or turn off intl roaming, which I set to ON.

 

Re your question, I activated my Ting SIM the first time here in LOS, and have never yet connected with it via a U.S. TM network.

 

And since I've had it, I've received a lot of U.S. SMSs here and even made a roaming call or two back to the U.S. when it was required for banking purposes.

 

I've checked - This Ting requirement happened within the last year, and IS enforced.

 

So switching to Ting will not work for those already abroad and/or who cannot use it in the US for 3 months before using it internationally.

 

The only hope is that they switch to asking for an international calling wallet - i.e., prepayment deposit.

Edited by JimmyJ
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I'll just say it again. You can go around and around with these mobile plans, but the only ones that will be bulletproof are those that enable wifi calling.

 

Its the only way that you will appear totally US  based

 

You will pay more, but connected to your home wifi they will be a US carrier.

 

Roaming is rare on pay as you go plans, and super expensive. Bite the bullet and just sign up for any of the prepaid carriers that give you wifi calling/text and it's done

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Jingthing - "I've been playing the fake U.S. identity game for over a decade. Address, phone number, U.S. I.P. logins, everything.

It seems like a constant game of catch up.

The firms keep making it harder.

It's exhausting. People get older and to do this they need to be ahead of the financial firms technically.

Going forward, will this game even be viable any longer?

What will be the next roadblocks for expats playing this game?"

 

Between Ting going to the new requirement to have used it in the US for 3 months before allowing international coverage,

 

and T-Mobile having this policy for their $20 plan:

""Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our network. Device must register on our network before international use."

 

it's getting more and more difficult to come up with workarounds, unfortunately.

 

I may have to get a Google Voice account before I leave the US, as much as I despise Google and their privacy invasions, to have that for a backup, assuming Ultramobile PayGo works for me as a primary.

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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I've never used Google Voice, and it's been a long time since I used Skype.

Have a few basic questions about them.

 

Setting up Google Voice -  I read that Google Voice itself is free, though you need a working, paid phone number to use it.

 

Is that true for setting up Google Voice on a computer? I need a working, paid number that it forwards to?

 

I've used Skype for chat and sometimes for voice calls long ago, and it was not necessary to have a working paid phone number.

 

Also - Google Voice or Skype for a backup?

Or set up both while in the US?

 

I gather that Google Voice has to be opened while in the US.

But Skype can be opened anytime from anywhere, can't it?

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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On 9/6/2019 at 5:08 AM, sunnyboy2018 said:

I keep my UK number going in Thailand and My Thai number going when out of Thailand. So which number is used for verification sms both are available. 

Just sent myself a text to keep my UK number alive! I wish I could get the same attractive packages in Thailand that are available in the UK. 

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15 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

Setting up Google Voice -  I read that Google Voice itself is free, though you need a working, paid phone number to use it.

 

Is that true for setting up Google Voice on a computer? I need a working, paid number that it forwards to?

 

You want to set up GV with a U.S. based Google account (one that has the U.S. as its home country location) and preferably while still physically in the U.S.

 

As part of the setup process, Google will want to send a confirmation code to a U.S. mobile phone number, which you'll need to then enter as part of the GV setup process.

 

But it doesn't necessarily have to be YOUR U.S. mobile phone number, though it certainly can be. It just needs to be one where you can see the code, or someone else can give the code to you in a timely fashion.

 

After that, as best as I recall, it really doesn't matter for GV purposes whether you have a U.S. mobile number, though you certainly can link a U.S. mobile number to GV so that calls to your GV number can be forwarded automatically to your mobile or elsewhere.

There might be some uncommon circumstances where you'd be asked to re-authenticate the account, but in my experience, that's pretty rare.

 

 

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17 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

The firms keep making it harder.

It's exhausting. People get older and to do this they need to be ahead of the financial firms technically.

Going forward, will this game even be viable any longer?

 

I don't think the subject is as dire as you're making it sound....

 

GV is a good option that probably will work for most of your SMS transactions. And yes, for those where GV doesn't work, it's good to have some kind of backup/alternative number. And for the most extreme situations, it can be only a conventional U.S. mobile phone number that will be accepted. But in my experience, those situations are pretty rare.

 

But even if one doesn't go with Ting (and I never ran into that foreign block issue you mentioned even though I opened my account with them only 4-5 months ago), there are still a variety of other discount mobile carriers that can be used to get a regular cell phone number without breaking the bank.

 

On the free Android app side, TextNow is a good app that provides a regular U.S. phone number and unlimited calling and texting to and from the U.S. via wifi. Whenever I rarely have a situation where GV isn't accepted, TextNow is always my second option to try. Then my TM $3 a month number after that (which a few times hasn't been accepted either), and then finally my Ting number (which has never yet failed in those rarest of times when I've actually needed to use it in lieu of the others).

 

And if I couldn't get TM or Ting, then I'd try Mint, or PayGo or UltraMobile or various of the others.... There's lots of U.S. MVNO's out there. But you do really need to focus, for any given one, on whether their accounts and services provide free or low-cost receiving of U.S. SMS messages when the recipient is roaming internationally.

 

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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yes but if one has GV on their USA phone, the messages would only go to their USA phone that has its SIM card.  If one went to Thailand wouldn't  they need  a typically high priced plan that allowed them to keep their USA phone and SIM card intact as a unit.  Otherwise they would have a Thai SIM card that would not have the same number Google voice is trying to conact

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5 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

I don't think the subject is as dire as you're making it sound....

 

GV is a good option that probably will work for most of your SMS transactions. And yes, for those where GV doesn't work, it's good to have some kind of backup/alternative number. And for the most extreme situations, it can be only a conventional U.S. mobile phone number that will be accepted. But in my experience, those situations are pretty rare.

 

But even if one doesn't go with Ting (and I never ran into that foreign block issue you mentioned even though I opened my account with them only 4-5 months ago), there are still a variety of other discount mobile carriers that can be used to get a regular cell phone number without breaking the bank.

 

On the free Android app side, TextNow is a good app that provides a regular U.S. phone number and unlimited calling and texting to and from the U.S. via wifi. Whenever I rarely have a situation where GV isn't accepted, TextNow is always my second option to try. Then my TM $3 a month number after that (which a few times hasn't been accepted either), and then finally my Ting number (which has never yet failed in those rarest of times when I've actually needed to use it in lieu of the others).

 

And if I couldn't get TM or Ting, then I'd try Mint, or PayGo or UltraMobile or various of the others.... There's lots of U.S. MVNO's out there. But you do really need to focus, for any given one, on whether their accounts and services provide free or low-cost receiving of U.S. SMS messages when the recipient is roaming internationally.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

It's definitely wise to have backup plans, and having several is even better.

 

 

 

"I don't think the subject is as dire as you're making it sound...."

I was quoting Jingthing's post.

 

 

 

I have a procedural question about what you describe, which I believe is related to what gk10002000 is also asking:

 

I tied my magicJack phone # to all my financial accounts.

With many of my banks now, they want to verify with an automated Phone Call or Text only, not email.

 

"Whenever I rarely have a situation where GV isn't accepted, TextNow is always my second option to try..."

 

Suppose I port my MJ phone # to GV.

So I get the rare situation where GV isn't accepted to receive the verification call/text.

 

Now in your case you use TextNow next.

But TextNow has to be tied to a different phone #, not the one you've registered with the bank. The bank's system isn't setup to now call/text to your TextNow phone #.

 

If that doesn't work, you use your T-Mobile $3 #.

But that has to be tied to a 3rd phone #.

 

How have you managed to work this?

 

The only thing I can see is that you've added TextNow as a secondary phone # with your bank? Not all banks will allow this though, and then you would have to switch it to being the primary # with that bank to receive communications from them.

 

Even that doesn't explain how the 3rd and 4th #'s will work with the bank's automated system.

 

Perhaps you call in and ask them to send the SMS to a different # each time you get that rare failure?

I would think most banks wouldn't allow this, as it defeats the point of the verification. (Although banks are often illogical).

 

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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Has anyone used or have feedback on this:

 

"Prepaid international SIM card"

 

https://www.truphone.com/us/consumer/sim/

 

One or a few Brits in this thread mentioned the good low cost plans available there.

Is this one that was being referred to?

 

 

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12 minutes ago, ThaiBunny said:

Why not just buy a local number off Skype?

I'd like to port my magicJack # which my accounts are  linked to currently to whatever I decide to use.

 

Riclag mentioned that some banks take 30 days to accept the use of a new phone #.

A new # is also likely to (justifiably) raise bank suspicion levels and perhaps bring more scrutiny, cause longer delays for awhile on larger withdrawals/transfers, etc.

I have several brand new accounts and those are especially closely watched during at least the first 30 days  so it will make life more difficult by trying to change phone #'s.

Edited by JimmyJ
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I too keep a phone number in the States. I have a Skype number. You can get one in any area code you want. It automatically routes calls to my Skype, and if Skype is off to my mobile phone in Thailand. If I don't answer I get a message on Skype for a missed call complete with caller's number. Unfortunately it doesn't yet accept text messages but not a problem for me. Excellent service and have never had any problem with it. Caller has no idea his call was answered in Thailand. The service, in my opinion is inexpensive, only around $4 a month and forwarded calls are at Skype rates, so also very inexpensive.

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6 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

But TextNow has to be tied to a different phone #, not the one you've registered with the bank. The bank's system isn't setup to now call/text to your TextNow phone #.

 

No, you seem to be confusing Google Voice with TextNow...

 

GV requires a U.S. mobile number, just at initial setup, to receive an activation/confirmation code. After that's done, the mobile number pretty much becomes irrelevant.

 

TextNow doesn't need a mobile number for anything, nor is it tied to any mobile number. It's a self-sufficient Android app that, as I said, provides a U.S. phone number that can be used for unlimited calling and texting to and from the U.S. via wifi.  The quality of the calls is quite good, and the texting is very prompt and reliable.

 

The only downside is, in those rare situations where the other party is accepting ONLY a conventional postpaid U.S. mobile number as recipient, it won't work for that.

 

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5 hours ago, paulbrow said:

I too keep a phone number in the States. I have a Skype number. You can get one in any area code you want. It automatically routes calls to my Skype, and if Skype is off to my mobile phone in Thailand. If I don't answer I get a message on Skype for a missed call complete with caller's number. Unfortunately it doesn't yet accept text messages but not a problem for me. Excellent service and have never had any problem with it. Caller has no idea his call was answered in Thailand. The service, in my opinion is inexpensive, only around $4 a month and forwarded calls are at Skype rates, so also very inexpensive.

 

TextNow does the same thing, is totally free, gives you a U.S. phone number in the area code of your choosing (subject to availability) and does provide both calls and SMS, in and outbound.

 

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7 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

I tied my magicJack phone # to all my financial accounts.

With many of my banks now, they want to verify with an automated Phone Call or Text only, not email.

 

FWIW, the Magic Jack service should be OK for voice calls, even if it isn't for SMS calls. I have the paid MJ dongle at home for my landline phone here, and it's reliability for voice calls is 99%+ over the decade I've had their service... But I also have the companion MJ app on my Android phones.

 

While it isn't the smoothest Android app out there, it has never failed me in terms of being able to successfully receive and make regular phone calls. And so should work in the case of a bank wanting to call you with an automated call providing a bank code or similar. IME, it's just the SMS receiving aspect of the MJ app that seems to be very poor and unreliable.

 

PS - I have run into one problem in the past with the MJ Android app, other that its SMS unreliability, and that's when you try to install and use the MJ app on more than one phone at the same time with the same account. Such as installing and logging in on a main phone and doing the same on a backup phone. In that case, sometimes the MJ system gets confused and disables its service on one or the other of the phones. And you need to call MJ CS to straighten things out. Best to only use their app on one phone per one MJ account.

 

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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7 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

The only thing I can see is that you've added TextNow as a secondary phone # with your bank? Not all banks will allow this though, and then you would have to switch it to being the primary # with that bank to receive communications from them.

 

Even that doesn't explain how the 3rd and 4th #'s will work with the bank's automated system.

 

Obviously, the details of this depend on the particular security procedures of that particular financial entity.

 

But I have A LOT of accounts, and I would say in most cases, they usually provide several different options for verification:

--email

--SMS

--automated phone call

 

And then among those, often the option to have multiple entries, as in, more than one phone number listed and more than one email address listed. 

 

At least in the case of my particular accounts, I can think of only one where their system limits me to only one specific option for receiving log-in codes, and that happens to be a small bank that only gives you the option of a single phone number entry for receiving SMSs, and  they happen to accept GV numbers just fine.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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18 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

TextNow does the same thing, is totally free, gives you a U.S. phone number in the area code of your choosing (subject to availability) and does provide both calls and SMS, in and outbound.

 

Text now is a VOIP isn't it! Banks and financial institutions verification policies are changing everyday! Many are not allowing a voip #.

 

Jimmy, I have the same issues as you with the USA 2 step verification processes !

 

   

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23 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

No, you seem to be confusing Google Voice with TextNow...

 

GV requires a U.S. mobile number, just at initial setup, to receive an activation/confirmation code. After that's done, the mobile number pretty much becomes irrelevant.

 

TextNow doesn't need a mobile number for anything, nor is it tied to any mobile number. It's a self-sufficient Android app that, as I said, provides a U.S. phone number that can be used for unlimited calling and texting to and from the U.S. via wifi.  The quality of the calls is quite good, and the texting is very prompt and reliable.

 

The only downside is, in those rare situations where the other party is accepting ONLY a conventional postpaid U.S. mobile number as recipient, it won't work for that.

 

What I meant by this isn't relating to the setup of TextNow.

 

What I mean is that I have 1 email address and 1 phone number linked to my accounts.

 

So if you don't get the 1st text to your phone #1, you have them text to phone #2, then phone #3, then phone #4. (I realize this almost never happens).

 

A bank told me a few days ago that I can list a 2nd phone #.

But only 1 will be the primary and receive texts.

I would have to  call in and make the 2nd phone # the primary (if getting a text at the 1st one fails) and get a text there.

But I don't think I can link a 3rd # and a 4th #, and then it would mean calling back a 2nd time to have cs switch to the next # and then calling back again and switch to the next #.

I'm surprised that works as I'd think the banks suspicions would be raised, but great if it's successful.

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5 minutes ago, riclag said:

Text now is a VOIP isn't it! Banks and financial institutions verification policies are changing everyday! Many are not allowing a voip #.

 

Jimmy, I have the same issues as you with the USA 2 step verification processes !  

 

For my numerous accounts, I'd say TextNow would work (be accepted by the financial entity) for receiving SMSs about 90% of the time....

 

But I will mention, I have noticed a difference between what some banks and such are requiring to OPEN a new account vs. what they'll require and accept to receive log-in codes for security once the account is open.

 

In my experience, I've run into the "we'll only accept traditional postpaid mobile numbers" more often as part of a new account opening process, but very rarely once accounts are open and the entity simply wants to send you a log-in verification code for an existing account.

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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