I'm not sure if this is android related but can't find anything on this,

I keep on getting a sms with the message(>4 157>?0A=>). Does anyone know what this error is?

edit: I live in South Africa, I get that messages from different numbers that I believe to be a part of a service people use to send out messages. I have seen the same message from the same number I have received an EA login code.

I use a Samsung note 4, Android version 6.0.1

  • 1
    In the screenshot, it can be seen that the SMS came from a number. So, try to dial that number to find out who is it.
    – Puspam
    Apr 4, 2019 at 14:56
  • 2
    Country Code +27 is South Africa, and the number of digits is accurate for that country. Know anyone there? If not, expect a large bill. Also, research first before calling any strange numbers.
    – wbogacz
    Apr 4, 2019 at 15:39
  • Yeah, I stay in South Africa, I get it from a lot of numbers so I assume its just a reused number for services. Apr 5, 2019 at 7:45

2 Answers 2


If someone has made malware and have installed it in your phone this message can mean anything. I can't see any other reason for someone to send such a strange SMS. It may be an alternative of a C&C server. Don't respond to it as it may be some kind of scam and charge you but if I were you I would run a malware scan.

  • I ran scan with bitdefender and my device is clean. Apr 5, 2019 at 8:14
  • Is your phone rooted ? If yes then the malware may be such sophisticated that a malware scan cannot detect it. I would suggest a wipe if this persists and see what happens.
    – NickDelta
    Apr 5, 2019 at 10:30

It could be related to many things on Android, but most likely it is one of two things based on the nature of it's content.

  • SMS Remote Control Message
    Malicious applications can receive command messages and do specific actions based on that command, it may be an application that is being controlled via SMS command...

Back before Android 5.0 day's, SMS Message's could be easily hidden from the user and malware like this was reasonably hard to identify, as you wouldn't even see the outgoing or incoming message's...
This can still be achieved, however the constant permission acceptance and the new Default SMS App selection in Settings make it a lot harder to perform tasks in the background, hence the visible command message.

  • Zero SMS / Flash SMS It is also possible that someone is attempting to send you a Hidden SMS called a Flash Zero SMS.

Flash Zero SMS Message's can be uses to see if your device is active buy using SMS Received Replys, but not allow you to see the message on your end ( usually ).
Sometimes the Flash Zero SMS's PayLoad is not correctly formatted and you'll actually See the message being received. SMS PayLoads have a lot of power on any Mobile Phone, some Pay Loads can program your devices APN for example, Some can configure internet access settings, some can initiate a hidden call to monitor your device, please look into SS7 security protocol to understand more.

The Android version you are using will help to identify the source & help to understand what might be vulnerable.

You should use some sort of Online search engine to find out more information about the number, or even try calling it !

  • I can't seem to detect any malware, Do you have any advice on what to use, I used Bitdefender. I don't think I will get anywhere trying to track the number based on my edit. Apr 5, 2019 at 8:32

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