Seeking advice from US Expats in PT - keep US mobile nbr for 2FA purposes – Miscellaneous – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Seeking advice from US Expats in PT - keep US mobile nbr for 2FA purposes

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 Anonymous
Topic starter
Joined: 53 years ago

While I wait patiently for my D7 visa to be approved I’m hoping for some recommendations to what seems to be an issue for those who remain abroad longer than 6 months when it comes to maintaining your US mobile nbr for two-factor authentications, which is needed to verify identity accessing financial services in America.

It feels as if I’ve scoured the depths of the internet (ever go down that rabbit hole?!) but nothing clear cut. I’ve read many go with Google Voice, other suggestions were iPlum, OpenPhone, Number Barn. The problem is majority are VoIP services, not many financial services will send the verification text to the voice over IP network. Such tricky business. Anyway, I think my brain is overloaded with content on this topic, reaching out to the lovely expat community here for any tips. 
Thank you,
Tanya

8 Replies
Posts: 10
Community Member
(@kevin-wilson)
Member
Joined: 1 year ago

I have an IPhone X. I called T-Mobile to transfer my number to the eSim, which is a digital version of a SIM inside the phone. I then popped the T-Mobile SIM out and replaced it with a MEO one. Now I have two phone numbers in one phone.

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4 Replies
 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago

Posts: 0

@kevin-wilson thank you! That’s a terrific suggestion and will look into this option. I presume T-Mobile won’t suspend the eSim after an extended period of time in Europe/outside the US?

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Community Member
(@kevin-wilson)
Joined: 1 year ago

Member
Posts: 10

I only used MEO while I was there, and let it lapse (pre-paid) after a month. I did pop the sim card out on the way back to the US.

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Community Member
(@rebeccajoy)
Joined: 2 years ago

Member
Posts: 5

@kevin-wilson hi so im leaving in 10 days to come to Portugal.  Do you continue to pay your Tmobile account? and how much do you pay monthly to maintain the number?  I got a lyca mobile US number and wonder about how to keep a US number for banking and login verifications.  the phone I have has 2 SIM card slots.

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Community Member
(@kevin-wilson)
Joined: 1 year ago

Member
Posts: 10

@rebeccajoy Sorry I missed your message, I was on the plane back. I kept my T-Mobile account active, because I have two lines, one for my mother. It's $60/mo for both combined. As you say, authentication is another reason I kept it active.

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Posts: 251
Premium Member
(@thunderduck)
Member
Joined: 2 years ago

We got new phones from MEO and keep our old T-mobile phones at home in airplane mode. They’re connected to wi-fi and work just fine for texting and wi-fi calling. Been over 3 months now and no issues. 

I also got an openphone account with a US number and unlimited calls and texts to the US. $10/month. It’s an app on my Portugal iphone so can use it anywhere. 

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1 Reply
 Anonymous
Joined: 53 years ago

Posts: 0

@maxgravy excellent, T-Mobile seems the way to go. Thanks so much!

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Posts: 62
Premium Member
(@jeanmori7)
Member
Joined: 8 months ago

Hi,

If you bank can do MFA via an authenticator app, that would be a lot more secure than sms.  You can have the app on the desktop and as an app on your phone.  I use Authy so I have the app on my phone and it syncs up with the one on my desktop.  So if I lose my phone or my laptop I'm still able to use MFA and if I lose both then I deserve whatever happens to me next !

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