Google Verified secondary number randomly

Hi there,
Last night, in the middle of the night I got a notification that an unknown number was verified for my Google account. When I clicked on it, it went to the list of numbers and I saw this unknown number plus my own Republic number, but my number had a date verified under it and the other did not. I took a screenshot for a later ticket to Google and immediately deleted the number and changed my password. I went to recent security activity and nothing was there indicating a new number was verified, and I went to recently connected devices and saw nothing out of the ordinary. I searched forums on Google and it seems this happens to a lot of people, but there was no explanation other than you must have been hacked. Google just got back to me and their first question was who else has access to my account.

This was VERY concerning, but after some digging I thought to look for my secondary number. Sure enough, the number that was randomly verified was my Republic secondary number.

I am responding now and letting Google know about this since I found nothing about it on their forums, nor Republic’s community. My question is why is this happening without people prompting it and should we be trying to add this secondary number? I deleted it before I knew, so should I try and add it back? What would be the benefit of having this number verified with Google?

Thanks!

1 Like

Hi @mirandag,

We do not advise you to add this number, because it is not permanently assigned to your phone. It can change without notice.

We are not sure what is making the Google Messages app, add this number. It is possible it happens during a period of time when the Republic app is non-functional, such as immediately upon booting the phone or when a battery-manager app has put the Republic app to sleep. During those moments, the Google Messages app may be reading the cellular routing number.

We do know that this activity appears to be a function of the RCS Chat features in Google Messages, and this is yet another reason that our official stance is that we are unable to support RCS. We have seen too many strange behaviors associated with the RCS Chat features since it was released. We advise our members to disable the RCS Chat option in the Google Messages app in order to prevent such unusual and disruptive behaviors. How to Disable the RCS Chat Features in Messages by Google – Republic Help

5 Likes

Interesting. I have Google Messages on my phone, but do not use it. I use Republic Anywhere for SMS/MMS. Does that matter? I did just review your attachment to disable RCS and none of the Chat features were enabled.
Also, it did not reboot and was plugged in when this happened.

Hi @mirandag,

Thanks for those additional details, they’ll help as we try to better understand why/how Google is identifying the cellular routing number for its account verification purposes.

I believe one of our engineers noticed that this behavior may have begun with a recent update to the “Carrier services” app, so if you find that the number is once again added to your account despite your having removed it, you might try uninstalling the updates to that app.

3 Likes

@mirandag,

Would you check on something?
Open the Settings app
Tap Google
Tap Data and messaging
Tap Device phone number

Is your RW number there, a different number, or no number at all?

It is that secondary number. Not the one I use as my number (I assume is the RW number?).

Hi @mirandag,

Please ignore my earlier response in reply to your finding that secondary number in the Google settings for messages and data - my brain was on autopilot.

Please tap the number and select “do not use.”

Okay, I did that. Thank you!

1 Like

Thanks for asking this. I think I remember something similar happening a little while back. I’ll keep this in mind if it happens again, though my device shows no number in the settings, so hopefully I won’t see it again.

2 Likes

Thanks for posting this. I’ve had this happen to me as well. But not only was the number different in the messages app but also under the security settings under the SIM card lock section, and where it is says Republic there was a different number. Restarting my phone fixed the issue. It’s happened twice. Both times my phone was on and after i switched to data connection.

Sooo, should there be a number there or no number at all? Right now there’s no number.

Hi @WIFI-4ALL,

We don’t have insight into why Google feels the need to mine the phone’s number from the carrier and update their settings with it. There is no reason from a Republic service perspective that this number needs to appear in these setting menus.

Do you use the Messages app by Google, and if so, do you have the RCS (Chat) function enabled or do you sync your messages to a computer or tablet? I suspect something about those features of the Messaging app is triggering this behavior.

I have noticed this happen in the past. Whenever I get a group text and I can see another avitar added to the text I know that something is wrong and proceed to go to the settings in google messages, advanced, and see that odd number listed as the phone number. I change it back to my RW number and the group texts are back to normal. It always had me perplexed but now I know how to rectify immediately.

1 Like

This happened to me when I created a new Google account. Google picked up my “hidden” number rather than my “real” number. I hope RW comes up with a way so RW customers have some protections from others using our “hidden” number.

What’s your concern here. The “hidden” number is basically useless. It can’t receive texts, you can’t make calls from it, what are you worried someone will do with it?

Hi @louisdi,
I see you’ve found @martins.mkrfxb’s other, similar post in Request option to block/ignore incomming calls dailed direcly to the "Hidden" number - #15 by martins.mkrfxb and have continued the conversation there about any perceived risk associated with having a cellular routing number.

I just want to ask others interested in that aspect of the conversation to continue it there, and let’s keep this conversation focused on the topic of Google verifying that number and associating it with the Google account on the phone.

1 Like

Google added my underlying number a few weeks ago. I didn’t realize what it was at the time so I checked all my Google security, logins, and changed all my passwords, etc. Then a week later it happened again. I rebooted my phone and it hasn’t happened since.

I do use the Google Messages app, have RCS enabled, and sync message to my chromebook. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to test, etc, although it’s not happening to me anymore.

If you follow the steps in this post, is the cellular routing number listed?

Yes, I assume it’s the cellular routing number. The number listed is not my number and is the same number that showed up as a new number in Google as a new verified phone number on March 11 and March 17.

It ends in 1248?

Now I’m curious to know whether Google is mining this number because of RCS or if other factors are involved. Have you ever enabled the “Verified calls” feature that’s native to the Phone app?
Phone app > three dot icon :dots: > Settings > Caller ID & Spam > Verified calls
I did so, and my real phone number showed up in the same Google > Data and Messaging > Device Phone Number spot where you’re seeing the cellular routing number. I do not have RCS enabled.

Message an
Expert customer