As 9to5Google noted today, Android users reported their phones sent out text messages on their own over the past few months. As if that wasn’t creepy enough, those messages were sent to Google. The good news is this isn’t spam or a phishing attempt.
Based on several screenshots, the message includes a shortened link and random code. It also states, “Google is re-verifying the phone# of this device.” Android users from India mainly reported the message, but those in the U.S. and several countries in Europe also observed the same occurrence.
According to a section in Google’s Help Center, this is by design:
For your security, we’ll re-verify from time to time to make sure that your phone’s number is still yours. When we re-verify, you might get text messages from Google or see outgoing texts to Google. The message could say something like, ‘Google is verifying the phone number of this device.’
Google doesn’t explicitly state why it re-verifies your phone number. The company mentions things like two-step verification, video calls, account recovery, and messages. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense why Google re-verifies your phone number. However, people were kept in the dark as a result and were very concerned something fishy was happening.