How to Call and Text Anonymously

Incoming call on a smartphone screen without caller ID
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Summary: How to Call and Text Anonymously

Communicating anonymously is of utmost importance in a time when data breaches, security hacks, and government surveillance abound. Luckily, there are multiple ways to text and call anonymously.

  • Change the settings on your phone. On phones running Android, go to the Settings of your phone app. Once there, you’ll need to navigate to “Additional Settings” and select “Hide my Number” from the Caller ID drop-down menu. On iOS, you can simply turn off caller ID by navigating to “Phone” in the Settings app and toggling off “Show My Number.”
  • Add a region-specific code before the recipient’s number. For example, in the US, you can dial *67 before a number, and the recipient will only see “Private” or “Blocked” on their caller ID.
  • Get a burner app. You can also send anonymous text messages using websites such as anonymoustext.com.

If you’re not concerned about anonymity but just want to keep your chats encrypted, you can consider apps like Signal and Linphone, which encrypt your communications end to end.

Read the rest of the article for more detailed steps on how to call and text anonymously!

Most people use their real names when setting up their smartphones. As such, most phone numbers can usually be traced to their owners. Do you want to call someone but don’t you want this person to have your personal phone number? Or do you want to send texts as a private sender?

There are multiple ways to call and text anonymously with just a few simple tricks or third-party apps. You can communicate with someone securely so no one else has access to your communication. Here’s how you do it.


Calling Anonymously

Calling icon with anonymous icon

There are plenty of reasons why you wouldn’t want certain people or organizations to have your personal phone number. You may want to avoid telemarketers, scams, robocalls, or even stalkers, for example. However, the default setting for any smartphone is to display your phone number when you call someone.

In order to call anonymously, you have to hide your caller ID in the settings of your phone app. When you do this, the person you call won’t see your actual phone number, but just that they’re being called by a “private number.” Different mobile operating systems have different configurations for hiding your caller ID, but we’ll take you through the basic settings for devices running on Android or iOS.

Hiding caller ID on Android

There are many versions of Android on the market. With new versions coming out, the settings menu is often adjusted over time. If your phone isn’t fully updated or uses a different developer skin (such as Samsung’s or Motorola’s custom designs), there’s a chance your settings menu will look slightly different from the screenshots shown here.

In this case, you can simply look for the right keywords, and you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for. The screenshots for this tutorial have been taken on a OnePlus model running on Android 9.

Want to hide your caller ID on an Android device? Follow the following steps:

  1. Open the phone app on your device. This is the app you use to call others. The app is usually placed on the home screen in the bottom left corner and looks like a (green) square with a phone in it.
  2. Tap on the three dots in the top right corner and select “Settings.”
  3. Open “Call Settings.”
  4. Select the SIM card you’re currently using. If you only have one SIM card in your smartphone, you can skip this step.
  5. Go to “additional settings.”
  6. Tap on “Caller ID.”
  7. Select “Hide Number.”

Android Caller ID Settings Screenshots
From now on, your phone number will no longer be visible to anyone you call. This is great for your privacy but can also have consequences. Don’t be surprised if fewer people suddenly answer their phone when you ring them.

Hiding Caller ID on iOS (iPhone)

Just like with Android, it’s very simple to hide your caller ID in iOS as well. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open the settings on your iPhone.
  2. Select “Phone.”
  3. Select “Show my Caller ID.”
  4. Toggle “Show my Caller ID” so the option is turned off.

iPhone iOS Caller ID Settings Screenshots

Making a single anonymous call

It’s also possible to call someone privately by adding a small code in front of the number you’re calling. The advantage of this method is that you don’t have to go through all of your settings and then change it back when you want your number to be visible again.

If it’s just a single private phone call you’re after, all you have to do is figure out what code to add for your particular country.

CodeWorks for
*67United States (except AT&T), Canada (landline), New Zealand (Vodafone phones)
#31#United States (AT&T phones), Australia (mobile), Albania, Argentina (mobile), Bulgaria (mobile), Denmark, Canada (mobile), France, Germany (some mobile providers), Greece (mobile), India (only after network unlock), Israel (mobile), Italy (mobile), Netherlands (KPN phones), South Africa (mobile), Spain (mobile), Sweden, Switzerland (mobile)
*31#Argentina (landline), Germany, Switzerland (landline)
1831Australia (landline)
3651France (landline)
*31*Greece (landline), Iceland, Netherlands (most carriers), Romania, South Africa (Telkom phones)
133Hong Kong
*43Israel (landline)
*67#Italy (landline)
184Japan
0197New Zealand (Telecom or Spark phones)
1167Rotary phones in North America
*9#Nepal (NTC prepaid/postpaid phones only)
*32#Pakistan (PTCL phones)
*23 or *23#South Korea
067Spain (landline)
141United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland

If your phone works via a GSM network (like most Androids), you can always dial #31# to block your caller ID. Same goes for if you’re still not sure which code to use. #31# works in most cases.

Using a burner app

If you’d rather not play around with your phone settings or dial a prefix before each call, then a burner app is a good solution. These apps use the internet to make calls and essentially provide you with a second alternate number. Whenever you’re calling someone you don’t know personally, you can use the burner app to keep your primary number safe and secure.

Some of the notable burner apps in the market are Burner (paid) and Google Voice (free).


Texting Anonymously

Texting icon with anonymous iconIt’s also possible to send out anonymous texts via special websites.

If you plan on doing this, please be aware that there are many fake websites offering bogus texting services. They promise to send your text messages but instead try to install malware on your device. Meanwhile, your text is never even sent. Should you ever receive a strange text from an unknown source, make sure never to click on any links inside the message. This could seriously compromise your device.

One reliable website that actually sends out your anonymous texts is anonymoustext.com. The procedure on their website is very straightforward and the site is very easy to use. If you want to use this service, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Go to the anonymoustext.com website.
  2. Choose how you want the sender to appear on the recipient’s device. The most obvious choice is to keep this on “Anonymous.” However, you can also choose either a UK or US phone number to be displayed.
  3. Type in the phone number of the recipient. Don’t forget to add the correct country code!
  4. Enter the message you wish to send.
  5. Select whether you want to send it now or at a later date.
  6. Click continue.
  7. Pay for your text. You can do so either via PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or by credit card.

screenshot website anonymous texting

Anonymoustext.com offers a reliable service but isn’t exactly cheap. A single text will cost you as much as $1.25. However, there are special options available in case you wish to send more than just one anonymous text:

According to the website, “sending a text costs $1.25 per message. A long text of more than 160 characters costs $0.25 more per extra message. You can pay with PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or a credit card. It’s a single payment, and there’s no subscription attached. The recipient of the text message will not be charged.”

Anonymoustext.com also recommends that you use a VPN when using their service to be double sure of security. In case you don’t already have a VPN subscription, we’d strongly recommend NordVPN. It offers great speeds while being reliable and secure.


Encrypted VoIP and Text Messaging

Anonymous icon on the computer screen with encryptionPerhaps your concern isn’t necessarily that you want to stay anonymous to the person you’re communicating with. If you’d rather stay hidden from any outsiders who might be spying on your conversation, there are a number of third-party apps available to communicate privately. Thankfully, these alternative apps are mostly free and available to all online users.

The default apps that come with your smartphone usually aren’t sufficiently protected against possible surveillance. Therefore, we’ll be suggesting two alternatives that can greatly decrease the likelihood that anyone is listening in on your conversation. These are great tools for whistleblowers, journalists, people living in autocratic countries, or for anyone who simply wants to communicate privately.

There are more private messaging apps available, but the two suggested here, Signal and Linphone, have a steady record of providing safe communication for any online user. A good source for checking private communication software is privacytools.io.

Signal: Encrypted calling and texting

Signal was designed specifically for safe, encrypted communication. All of its texts and phone calls are secured through end-to-end encryption. Apart from this, Signal boasts a number of useful features, such as a timer for messages to self-destruct. Signal is completely free and available for Android, iPhone, and Windows.

Linphone: encrypted VoIP

If you want to video call someone in a safe and secure manner, Linphone is a very decent option. The software is completely open-source and available for free. It’s available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. All of the messages sent through Linphone are secured with end-to-end encryption.


Final Thoughts

There are multiple ways to text and call safely and anonymously. You can hide your caller ID, use an external website to send out your messages, or use a third-party app that provides end-to-end encryption for any messages you send.

A final remark we want to make is that these tips and tools exist to provide users with security and anonymity. They are not intended to abuse or harass others. Multiple people have gotten into trouble after bothering others over the phone using anonymous phone numbers. Your privacy is important, but it should not come at the expense of others.

If you’re interested in also finding out how to send emails anonymously, we have a handy guide for that here.

How to Call and Text Anonymously: Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ section below provides short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on how to call and text anonymously. Let us know in the comments section if there are any other questions that you’d like addressed.

There are various ways to hide your number when calling, such as:

  1. Changing your phone settings so that your number is hidden. This article provides a detailed explanation of how this can be done on iOS and Android.
  2. Using a burner app that provides you a second or alternative number to make calls so that your primary number remains hidden.
  3. Adding a prefix, like *67, before dialing the recipient’s number. Doing this will lead to your number being shown as “Private/Blocked” on the recipient’s phone.

Yes, dialing *67 before the recipient’s number will make your number appear as “Private” or “Blocked” on their caller ID. However, this code works only in the US, Canada, and New Zealand.

A list of the codes you can use in different regions is provided in this article.

No, *69 does not block your number from appearing on the recipient’s phone. Instead, it dials the last number that called you.

Cybersecurity analyst
David is a cybersecurity analyst and one of the founders of VPNoverview.com. Since 2014 he has been gaining international experience working with governments, NGOs, and the private sector as a cybersecurity and VPN expert and advisor.
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  1. So what does it mean like my message inbox I have two conversations from the same person the same contact saved somebody using a fake app or is it just something else

    • I wouldn’t know for sure, maybe one of our readers has an answer for you.

  2. How can you track a stalker that is texting rude, offensive, sex Harrasment? This person obviously knows who I am but I do not know who they are. Very, very scary. Please help me.

    Thank you,
    Dwan

    • It’s probably better not to take matters into your own hands. Try to block them as much as possible and contact the appropriate authorities.

  3. Hi – Sort of unrelated but on my Google Voice text messaging one text in my inbox displays the number for less than a second (but enough time for me to read the number) and then it says “closed” instead of the number. I don’t know if this means the sender has blocked me (I don’t want to text them back) or intended to send it anonymously or something else. This has not happened with any other texts that I receive on Google Voice. Thanks for your insights!

  4. Can someone with their Caller ID switched off text me even if I have blocked that contact?

    • No, they shouldn’t be able to text you, even if they turn off Caller ID.

  5. I want to send an anonymous text. I went to settings>phone.

    But my menu, on an iPhone using Sprint, doesn’t look like yours. There is no option about ‘showing my caller id’.

    Very frustrating.

    • Hiding your caller ID will help you call anonymously. If you want to send an anonymous text, you can use a special website. You can read all about how to do this in this article under “Texting anonymously”. Hopefully this helps!

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