Many services on the Internet require a phone number to verify a created account. They usually send you a code to that number, which you will need to enter in the account registration process to complete verification.
So far so good. However, the situation gets complicated when you need to create an account from a country where you are not located. For example, you are in Mexico and you need to create a Google account in the United States (perhaps to download apps only available in that country), create a Google Voice account , a service that is only available in “USA” for conventional users. Maybe create a United States PayPal account , to make purchases in online stores in that country. In this case, your Mexican phone number will not work for you. The service will not recognize it as valid and you will not be able to complete the creation of your American account.
This is when it is useful to obtain an online or virtual phone number from the United States or from the country you are interested in. In the online inbox of that number you will be able to see the confirmation code that will be used to complete the creation of your account.
There are many websites, applications and services that offer you this type of virtual or “disposable” mobile numbers, both for free and for a fee. I have tried several of these services and although in some cases the free ones can serve you perfectly, in others they may not. If you enter them for certain accounts, they may be rejected. If this is the case, you will necessarily have to resort to buying a virtual number.
Free web pages
Most people use the toll-free numbers on these pages to perform SMS verification of a service. You simply enter the site, choose a phone number and you will have access to your SMS inbox. Finally you enter that phone number in the service you want to register and in that online tray you should receive your verification code. If not, please refresh the page or try another number.
I have tried several of these services, including receive-smss.com and smsreceivefree.com. In them I have seen that their phone numbers receive verification codes from multiple services, including WhatsApp, Microsoft account, Apple ID, Amazon OTP, PayPal and even Google verification codes.
However, I’m not sure if what you see on these services is true or just a set-up to make it look like they work. Particularly, whenever I have used them to verify Google United States or Tinder accounts, just by entering them in the registry I have received notices such as “This phone number has been used many times”, “This phone number cannot be used for verification” or “Oops, we can’t send a message to XXX.”
Indeed you should try your luck with them before anything else, but if they don’t work for you you shouldn’t be surprised. Companies like Google are aware of these strategies and are responsible for blocking these types of numbers used by many people. When you enter them, their systems automatically detect them and generate an error for you.
I’ve also tried mobile apps, including Hushed, one of the most popular. Lately I tried to register in it again and now I haven’t even been able to do that.
In this case the results were similar: either the service I was trying to sign up for rejected the number or accepted it but never received the confirmation code.
I even bought a “premium” number from Hushed for around $3 to receive my Google account confirmation code and never received it.
Again, before you pay for something like this you may want to try apps with free phone numbers first.
So far, the most effective option I know of for SMS verification of a complicated service, such as a Google account from another country or Google Voice , is to buy a Skype Number. It has virtual numbers from multiple countries, including the United States, as well as other countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. You can pay by credit card or PayPal.
I’ve bought a phone number here a couple of times and was able to verify my US Google account via SMS with no problem, as well as a DoNotPay account (a code I never received on the free phone services mentioned above). If you want a temporary number, you can buy it a month for around 7 dollars. And if you stop paying, they reserve it for you for a while in case you want to reactivate it in the future.
Once you acquire your Skype number, download the Skype app on your mobile (the normal version, not the “lite”) and from there you can check the messages that arrive to you.
The only service I need to check is Burner , one of the most popular in terms of online numbers. However, its price is 5 dollars per month, slightly less than Skype. In addition, it only serves to obtain a number from the United States, previously consulting a state or city code to see if there are available numbers.
Update: For many users Skype is not working to verify Paypal USA accounts or receive SMS from US banks. The problem, as explained here , may be that these companies or institutions use shortcodes (special numbers such as 729725) to send these messages. Skype does not support receiving messages from these numbers and consequently the message is not received. The drawback may be that this service offers VoIP numbers, so the solution is probably to buy a NON-VOIP number if you find yourself in this situation. Unfortunately I haven’t tried any such service yet to be able to recommend it.