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Mystery SMS "charges when abroad"

Level 1: Joiner
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According to my Pay Monthly bill this month I've been charged extra for 5 (so far!) SMS messages to the following number while abroad: 07860 019210 


I don't recognise the number, I have not sent any SMS while I've been away, and I have no record on my phone of having sent these messages.


A quick Google of the number suggests it's either a scam, or it's related to O2 somehow, as other O2 customers have experienced the same while abroad. I am using an eSIM for mobile data since the O2 plan was too expensive.


Does this ring any bells for anyone?


I've been trying to get hold of someone at O2 customer service for the past 24h but no luck. I'd just like to understand what I'm being charged for, or whether it's a scam. (Blocking the number won't help since my O2 bill claims I sent the messages myself.)

Message 1 of 78

Level 76: Forum Legend
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No one one this forum who is replying to you is associated with o2, we are all customers so no one can admit to anything... 

Have you asked Apple if iMessage is registering when on a foreign network..

If your phone is sending SMS even via hidden methods then you are liable for them...  

That is my thinking as well, as that number doesn't come up anywhere when searching for it , apart from who calls me. 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
- Pixel 8 Pro - o2 and Vodafone UK
Message 31 of 78

Level 94: Supreme
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I did already suggest this back on page 1.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
Pixel 7a (O2 & Lyca), One Plus 6 (Sfr), iPhone 12 Pro Max (Vodafone)
Message 32 of 78

Level 29: Intuitive
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@MI5 wrote:


Customer services is just a tick box exercise and O2 would rather you came here or figured it out for yourself.


Their main preference is probably for customers not to notice and just pay up - which must happen in a large number of cases ! 

Message 33 of 78

Level 1: Joiner
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Hi everyone, I’m pretty sure that the app responsible for the 07860019210 charges is AirBnB. I think it sends a handshake or something if used abroad. I downloaded and used this app for the first time on 17th January while abroad outside the EU and then used it again to post a review on 22nd January. On both days at pretty much the exact time I would have been using the app, this number has sent an erroneous text message from my phone. This was my first experimentation with using AirBnB so it has enabled me to make this identification quite easily. Try to remember if you’ve used the AirBnB app while abroad on the days you were charged for this number. Any replies to this welcomed, as if others can confirm the same, I think we’ve found the culprit.

Message 34 of 78

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@MattyBur Hi Matty, it’s the AirBnB app sending some kind of handshake: I’m almost certain. Used it abroad for the first time on two days in January and on those exact days (and times) the texts to 07860019210 were sent.

Message 35 of 78

Level 94: Supreme
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It certainly appears to be some sort of holiday scam. Happens when customers are abroad.

If people call it, the number is 'unrecognised' 

Veritas Numquam Perit

Girl in a jacket
Message 36 of 78

Level 1: Joiner
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I had the same five random texts on my bill after a trip abroad. I had my O2 sim off and was using an eSim. I queried the bill in my local O2 shop and they refunded me straight away but could not explain why they were on my bill. 

Message 37 of 78

Level 1: Joiner
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This number sms issue is IMO not related to AirBnB or just iPhone 


I have 3 6ukp day changes in Malaysia due to sme to 07860 019210


My android phone is dual sim and my O2 number was switched off on landing Sim 1 and I switched over to Sim 2 for calls, sms and data and still got the charges 


I do not know how this is even possible same as another poster who noted in blocking number did not work 


This is some glitch on O2 Side probably to do with setting up provision of potential services with local carrier


All the sms were exactly at the same time to the second on each day

Message 38 of 78

Level 66: Unequalled
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You need to switch off the O2 SIM before leaving the UK. That way the network will not see you as roaming

This is not O2 and we are all customers here similar to yourself and cannot answer account type queries.
Message 39 of 78

Level 1: Joiner
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I have just had the same issue.

only message I received was from o2 itself. Not impressed at all 

Message 40 of 78