How to hide your phone number when calling
We know how important it is to keep your personal information private. That includes your phone number. You might be suffering from endless robocalls or you may have had issues in the past with relative strangers misusing your phone number. Whatever your reasons, the ability to make anonymous phone calls is essential to your privacy.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can make anonymous phone calls from your landline, iPhone, or Android phone. We cover them all below.
How to hide your phone number when calling, in short:
- Hide your phone number using *67
- Block your number by default on your iPhone or Android device
- Block your number through your carrier
Continue reading to get the complete details and some extra tips to keep your personal phone number private.
Hide your phone number using *67
One of the oldest and easiest ways to bypass that pesky caller ID is by using the trusty *67 Feature Access Code (FAC). This works on landlines and cell phones alike.
When making outgoing calls from your landline or mobile device, simply dial *67 followed by the number (including area code) you’re trying to reach. Unless the recipient has some sort of anonymous caller blocking like *77 (another handy FAC), this should work like a charm.
Block your number by default on your iPhone or Android device
If you don’t feel like dialing *67 every time you want to make a call, you can save yourself the extra step and automatically block your number on caller ID when using a cell phone. While this option may not be available on all mobile devices, we gave it a test run and found it works on iPhone and Android phones.
To hide your caller ID on an iPhone:
- Open your settings app.
- Tap “phone” and then “show my caller ID.”
- Set the toggle to hide your caller ID.
NOTE: If you use Verizon, this option won’t be available. However, you can still hide your caller ID through Verizon, which we’ll also cover below.
To hide your caller ID on an Android device:
- Open your phone app.
- Tap “settings” and then “call settings.”
- Go to “additional settings” and then “caller ID.”
- Select “hide number.”
NOTE: The exact steps may vary from device to device.
Block your number through your carrier
You can also get a private number through your wireless carrier. Call 611 to speak with your carrier’s technical support or customer support department to set it up.
NOTE: If your calls get rejected due to your number being blocked, you can still dial *82 to unblock your number for that specific call.
Additional tips to keep your number private
Use a burner app
Another solution to keep your phone number private while making calls is to download a burner app. These apps allow you to make phone calls using the internet, acting as a second number you can use when you want to stay anonymous.
Remember that most apps collect and share a ton of personal information. Before downloading anything, you should always consider the app’s data privacy practices, especially if the reason for blocking your phone number is privacy concerns.
To give you somewhere to start, we reviewed some of the most popular burner apps in terms of convenience and privacy. Here are some of our top picks:
- Google Voice
Get a second phone number
If your phone supports multiple SIM cards, consider getting a second number dedicated to making phone calls to numbers you don’t trust. This method comes with upsides and downsides.
On the one hand, your personal number stays hidden and you won’t be hindered by anonymous call rejection. On the other hand, you’ll still be exposed to spam calls and texts to your second number. Overall, it’s a good option, especially if you also follow our methods for blocking spam on your iPhone or Android.
Remove your phone number from data brokers and people search sites
Following any of the methods we’ve outlined above will help keep your number private while making phone calls. However, that doesn’t mean your phone number is actually private.
There are companies called data brokers and people search sites that make it their business to collect your personal information, create personal profiles (including your phone number and much more), and sell them to third parties such as marketers, random strangers, and, occasionally, directly to scammers.
If you google your own phone number right now, you’ll likely see at least a page full of search results leading to people search sites selling your data. And that doesn’t even include data brokers, which don’t normally index that kind of data.
If you want to protect your privacy and security, it’s important to remove your personal information from these sites.
We’ve done it ourselves many times. Here’s how you can do it:
- Google your name, phone number, or address to find which people search sites are offering your data for sale.
- Research which data brokers are active in your area. In most cases, you won’t be able to verify whether they have your data or not. It’s best to assume that they do.
- Visit the website of each people search site and data broker you find and locate the page dedicated to data-removal requests. Look for the “opt out” or “remove my personal information” link, usually located at the bottom of the webpage.
- Follow the opt-out process of each data broker and people search site. The process usually consists of filling out an online data-removal request and some follow-up communication with the company via email or phone. Removal may take several hours or even weeks.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 periodically. Data brokers and people search sites tend to replenish their databases on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this means that your data may end up there again and again.
What does *67 mean?
*67 is a Feature Access Code, or star code, that blocks your phone number on caller ID. It allows you to make phone calls while keeping your phone number and identity private.
Does *67 work on cell phones?
Yes, *67 works on cell phones and landlines alike. Simply dial *67 followed by the area code and phone number you are calling to hide your caller ID.
Can using *67 be traced?
Yes, *67 can be traced. While it prevents your phone number from being displayed to the recipient of your call, there are still ways they can trace the call back to you.
What is the alternative to *67?
As an alternative to dialing *67, you can dial #31# to prevent your caller ID from being displayed. You could also adjust your device settings or contact your mobile carrier to acquire a private number.