I recently received the dreaded Facebook verification page while attempting to log on to my Facebook account. Although the account had been in use for over six months, Facebook decided that they needed to verify that I was still me.
Here is a screenshot of the Facebook verification screen:
Previously, there were alternate verification methods. But recently Facebook verification has gotten more strict in their security policies.
Note the line “The phone number you use can only verify one account.” In my case, my wife had used our cell phone to verify her account and I don’t have an extra cell phone.
No problem,” I thought, “I’ll just activate my Google Voice number that is associated with my Gmail account.”
After going through the Google Voice set up process, which still requires an active phone number to receive a message for verification, I tried using Google Voice to receive the Facebook verification text. I inserted the Google Voice number in the Facebook page, pressed enter and waited for the text to appear in my Google Voice account. And waited, and waited, and waited some more. The message never arrived. I tested the Google Voice account by texting to and from my wife’s cell phone and those texts worked normally. Some more research on the Internet showed that Google Voice is not capable of processing the type of texts that Facebook uses. Damn.
Undeterred, I decided the best way to tackle this would be to find the cheapest cell phone available and use that for the Facebook verification. A quick Internet search showed that Wal-Mart has the Samsung T105 TracFone available for the amazing price of $9.98. This price includes ten minutes of air time and “.3 minutes of Text Messaging.” I was hoping the .3 minutes would allow me to receive Facebook verification text.
Off to Wal-Mart I went. The TracFone was available and priced at $9.98. Sold.
At home, I assembled the phone and plugged it into the charger. The TracFone activation process requires setting up an account and entering the phone’s serial number on the TracFone web page. Note that you should be careful when registering a new account as it is possible to insert incorrect information. Nothing prevents you from using “Bozo de Clown” as your name and “1234 Anystreet” as your address. However, PO Boxes are not allowed in the address fields. This might make a difference if you plan on reloading the phone with a credit card, but otherwise it appears there is no error checking for account registration.
With a few delays caused by the set up process, I was finally able to use my new TracFone.
Note: DO NOT TEST your new TracFone by sending or receiving any text messages! The “.3 minutes” of texting provided is enough for only one message. You want your first (and probably last) message to be your Facebook verification code.
I entered the number of the new cell phone in the Facebook verification screen and shortly thereafter received the code via text message. Inserting the code finally cleared the activation hurdle in Facebook.
My Internet research showed that there are a lot of questions on how to get past the Facebook verification process. Some recommend using online services to temporarily access cell phone accounts. Unfortunately, none of those methods appear to work. I spent more time searching than it would have taken me to run down to Wal-Mart.
Although I wasn’t happy to spend $10.00 to get my Facebook account verified, this has been the cheapest method I have found to accomplish this task.
For those who don’t have a Wal-Mart close by, the same model TracFone (Samsung T105) can be purchased through Amazon.
Price at Amazon is currently about $6.99, plus $4.99 shipping. If you can wait for the delivery, this could be the best option if you live in an isolated area.
Note that the TracFone is locked and you will not be able to unlock it for use with other providers. At this price point, unlocking the phone would take more time and trouble than it is worth. Consider this a “one use” phone.