Definition

disposable phone number

Part of the Wireless and mobile glossary:

A disposable phone number is a virtual phone number that is usable temporarily.

The temporary number is purchased from a service provider. Calls to that number are forwarded to the user’s existing phone. This is usually accomplished through a smartphone app or through an online call forwarding service. The number is usually functional until a specified date, although the customer has the option of disabling it earlier.

People use disposable phone numbers for situations in which they don’t want to give out their permanent numbers. For example, a disposable number allows a seller on Craigslist to stop service to a phone number once the item that was advertised has been purchased. For online dating and other situations in which people are contacting strangers, disposable numbers can help maintain privacy and security.

See a video about a disposable phone number app:

This was last updated in September 2013
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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