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Thread: Receiving Tracfone texts while outside the USA?

  1. #1
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    Receiving Tracfone texts while outside the USA?

    I have pay-as-you-go Tracfone (using Verizon) and it works well for my lifestyle since I don't use a cell phone much. My plan doesn't work outside the US. I use the Tracfone nano-sim in an unlocked Android phone. I live in the US but I spend several months each year in England. What I do there is to switch to a Three (the name of the UK provider) sim for my pay-as-you-go plan over there. It's very simple as I just switch sims before the plane lands in England and do the same with the Tracfone sim when returning to the US.

    One thing that doesn't work well is when one of my US banks insist on sending me a verification text to my US (Tracfone) number. Some banks just won't email a verification code and insist on sending it to a real cellular (not VOIP) number.

    Can anyone think of a simple workaround to this so I can easily retrieve a text sent to my US Tracfone number while in England? I'm hoping not to have to get an international roaming Tracfone plan since, other than the occasional text from a bank, using the two pay-as-you-go plans works quite well and is inexpensive.

  2. #2
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    "I'm hoping not to have to get an international roaming Tracfone plan"
    I didn't think that TracFone offered one. The international service they offer is just for dialing overseas from the USA.

    The only solution that comes to mind is to create a Google Voice account, you'll be given a new phone number. Give that number to your banks. Install the app on your phone so you can receive texts while in UK.

    Or you can port your current number to Google Voice, and have TracFone reassign a new number to your account so you can keep all your credit. Not sure how to do this, but someone here will know.

  3. #3
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    In theory, you should be able to use Wifi calling to connect to TracFone service from overseas, but I tried to do this recently, from Honduras, and was totally unable to connect for no reason I could fathom.

    If you have an old junk phone, and a place to leave it plugged in, with your TracFone SIM while you're overseas, and you're ok with not having a working phone while you travel out to the airport and back, then you could likely find an app that will forward all incoming sms to your email address.
    Tasker for Android can be made to do this, but it's quite the learning curve.

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    Thanks JakeLewis, I tried the Google Voice idea and, while every bank let me input that as my "cell" number, I couldn't find one bank that would actually send a text to it. One support person at one bank told me they won't send a text to any VOIP number.

    That's a good idea to just use an old phone and leave it plugged-in in the US while I'm in England. I found MightyText which can forward texts. I might try that if I can find an inexpensive unlocked CDMA (I'm on Verizon on Tracfone as it's better service where I live) phone that takes sim cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by jakelewis View Post
    The only solution that comes to mind is to create a Google Voice account, you'll be given a new phone number. Give that number to your banks. Install the app on your phone so you can receive texts while in UK.

    Or you can port your current number to Google Voice, and have TracFone reassign a new number to your account so you can keep all your credit. Not sure how to do this, but someone here will know.
    Quote Originally Posted by jakelewis View Post
    If you have an old junk phone, and a place to leave it plugged in, with your TracFone SIM while you're overseas, and you're ok with not having a working phone while you travel out to the airport and back, then you could likely find an app that will forward all incoming sms to your email address.
    Last edited by ChristopherP; 09-18-2021 at 05:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherP View Post
    One thing that doesn't work well is when one of my US banks insist on sending me a verification text to my US (Tracfone) number. Some banks just won't email a verification code and insist on sending it to a real cellular (not VOIP) number.
    Maybe find a different bank? Or don't use that one while out of the country?

    If they won't email, use a VoIP number, or a UK number you mostly out of luck.

    Not sure what sort of verification messages they would be sending.

    I've traveled overseas, including London and Liberia and never needed to verify anything with any banks (my main checking, my credit union, or the company travel card).
    Last edited by ST Dog; 09-19-2021 at 06:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherP View Post
    One thing that doesn't work well is when one of my US banks insist on sending me a verification text to my US (Tracfone) number. Some banks just won't email a verification code and insist on sending it to a real cellular (not VOIP) number.
    Yep, that is a pain in the neck. For that reason I moved my main bank accounts out of Chase. I did a quick googling and it seems that it is possible to automatically forward texts to an email account.

    Edit: After some more thinking I wonder what if the phone is off all the time so the app isn't running or the phone isn't assessible to the mobile service (out of the country in your situation).
    Last edited by Rick880; 09-19-2021 at 10:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherP View Post
    I have pay-as-you-go Tracfone (using Verizon) and it works well for my lifestyle since I don't use a cell phone much. My plan doesn't work outside the US. I use the Tracfone nano-sim in an unlocked Android phone. I live in the US but I spend several months each year in England. What I do there is to switch to a Three (the name of the UK provider) sim for my pay-as-you-go plan over there. It's very simple as I just switch sims before the plane lands in England and do the same with the Tracfone sim when returning to the US.

    One thing that doesn't work well is when one of my US banks insist on sending me a verification text to my US (Tracfone) number. Some banks just won't email a verification code and insist on sending it to a real cellular (not VOIP) number.

    Can anyone think of a simple workaround to this so I can easily retrieve a text sent to my US Tracfone number while in England? I'm hoping not to have to get an international roaming Tracfone plan since, other than the occasional text from a bank, using the two pay-as-you-go plans works quite well and is inexpensive.
    You might ask your bank to turn off Two-factor(step) authentication on your account. It is an extra layer of security offered (required?) by banks. I had a problem signing in to my B of A account from overseas and was able to use VOIP to call and turn off the verification.

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    I haven't yet found a bank that doesn't accept my GV # for text 2FA that doesn't also allow phone call or email 2FA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I haven't yet found a bank that doesn't accept my GV # for text 2FA that doesn't also allow phone call or email 2FA.
    Assuming that a bank objects to VoIP numbers for 2FA texts, are they likely to accept VoIP #'s for a phone call verification? (Honest question, but it would appear to be the same security concern.) My providers that object to my Google Voice number for account recovery do not seem to discriminate between text and calls, but I haven't really verified that.
    My Tello referral code is P3BSR5HV, and gets both of us 10 Tello Dollars to pay for a plan.
    https://tello.com/account/register?_referral=P3BSR5HV

  10. #10
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    All my banks will send 2FA to my Google Voice Number except for Chase. With Chase, I just use the option to send me an email with the code.

    For all other purposes GV works great except for the fact that it doesn't rink if someone calls the GV number. I do not forward my cell numbers to it.
    TZ

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenhandle View Post
    Assuming that a bank objects to VoIP numbers for 2FA texts, are they likely to accept VoIP #'s for a phone call verification? (Honest question, but it would appear to be the same security concern.) My providers that object to my Google Voice number for account recovery do not seem to discriminate between text and calls, but I haven't really verified that.
    In my personal experience, Chase, yes, BoA, no. And both will send me 2FA via email.

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