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A new method to earn a free premium subscription to Telegram has been discovered, but it comes with the risk of providing your phone number to issue one-time passwords (OTP) to other users of the messaging service.

If you are surprised at what you have just read then you’re not alone.

Within the terms of service of the new peer-to-peer login (P2PL) functionality, if you opt in you must agree to let Telegram utilize your phone number to send up to 150 texts with OTPs to fellow users to log into their accounts.

As long as your number is used to send a minimum number of OTPs each month, you will earn  gift code for a one-month premium subscription to Telegram.

At present, P2PL is only available on Android and restricted to certain (unspecified) locations.

What is the risk from the OTP service on Telegram?

In plain terms, your phone number will be visible to any other user, each time it is used to send a OTP.

The concerning aspect is Telegram has effectively washed their hands of any responsibility if there is any unwanted or dangerous actions initiated in the process. Telegram’s terms are as follows:

Accordingly, you understand and agree that Telegram will not be liable for any inconvenience, harassment or harm resulting from unwanted, unauthorized or illegal actions undertaken by users who became aware of your phone number through P2PL.

The messaging service states participants of the P2PL program should not text the recipients of OTPs, even if they texted first, but there’s no realistic way for Telegram to enforce any kind of security on this.

All things considered, is it worthwhile to get involved for the sake of saving $5 on the price of premium access to Telegram? The risk appears to significantly exceed the reward.

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