Your phone number is connected to a SIM card, and unless you have a dual-SIM phone, there’s no easy way to change your phone number when you text. You may need to switch a phone number because you don’t want to give up your personal information or something informal like pulling a prank.
Although the easiest way to text someone from a different number is to use a friend’s phone, this method can be easily tracked and is thus unreliable.
Luckily, there are many ways to text someone with different phone numbers, but you’ll have to use services and apps. In this article, we’ll look at the best ways to mask the sender’s ID.
Use an Online SMS Service
These types of online services were widely popular back in the day when SMS was the primary form of texting. If you didn’t have enough mobile phone credit on your prepaid plan, or you wanted to anonymously text someone, you could’ve used one of these online services.
Online texting services still exist, and they allow you to send an unlimited number of messages to anyone in the world. All you have to know is the recipient’s phone number and the international dialing code. If you search the internet, you’ll find plenty of such websites. Some of them include Globfone, SendAText, OpenTextingOnline, MFreeSMS, Wiko, and others.
Most of these websites limit you to 155 characters per message, which is just below the default character number of a single text message. Also, you should check the regional availability on the website before you send a text since some of them can’t send messages to all countries.
The recipient will only see a random phone number of the service and the content of your text. There won’t be any other data available, such as your name or phone number. Of course, unless a particular service requires you to fill out a certain dialog box with this information.
One of the major problems with these services is that you’ll never know if the data you input can be abused. This means that all the numbers that you type will probably remain in the server, so someone can use it to send malicious links or commit data theft.
Spoof the Number
Some of these web services go a step further and allow you to spoof a phone number in order to prank your friends or family. These spoof services will send a text message to any number, but the recipient will see a number of your choice on the display.
Spoofbox is one of the most popular phone spoofing apps. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices, and it allows the sender to fake their ID. It also has other features like prank calls at the exact time and spoofing your email. These types of software are a good means of protecting your privacy, as they can mask your ID if you want to make a private call or send an email.
Although spoofing is not illegal in itself, by no means should you use it with malicious intent, for harassment, violence, threats, or similar activities. If you do, and the recipient reports it, you can get into big trouble.
Use Third-Party Apps
There’s a wide range of third-party apps for Android and iOS with the sole purpose of masking your real phone number. Unlike spoofing, where you can type any number to appear as your own, these apps will create a single, unique number. These apps allow you to anonymously text and call without revealing your personal phone number.
Depending on the purpose, the apps vary in size, features, and price. The most popular third-party apps for hiding the phone number include the following:
- Burner – This app shares the name with the popular phones that you could use for a short time before they become useless. This app will also assign a ‘burner phone’ number instead of a regular one. This number is temporary and you can use it to hide your personal information from untrustworthy entities. It only works in the US and Canada.
- Hushed – Similar to Burner, Hushed will give you a temporary new number to mask your ID. Also, the app can make calls via your Wi-Fi, which can be useful if you’re out of minutes on your phone. It works in over 40 countries, including most of Europe. However, this is a premium app with a free trial available.
- Flyp – Here is another premium app that allows you to have up to five more phone numbers on your phone. All these numbers can have separate options, like different voicemails, calls, and texts. You can also see them all in one place.
- Google Voice – You can make a restricted call on Google Voice. When you call a number using this app, you can command Google Voice to hide your caller ID from the recipient’s display.
- TextNow – TextNow is both popular and free. It allows you to choose your area code and keep your phone number as long as you continue to use the app.
Beware of Legal Issues
It is okay to use a different phone number to text someone occasionally due to various reasons. However, your intentions should always be good, even if you’re looking to prank your friends or relatives in some way.
If you want to use a fake phone number for malevolent reasons, most of these applications and services have a way to track your ID or IP address and you can get in legal trouble with the authorities. So, just because these features exist, it doesn’t mean that you should abuse them. Use them wisely and with a positive purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to track where a text came from?
When using third-party texting services, pre-paid burner phones, and texting websites it can be incredibly difficult to find out who is behind the fake texts. Although many of these services require you to login with an account, some do not which may make it more difficult to track the original sender.
Depending on your reasons for sending text messages from fake phone numbers, there’s always a way to track the origin if you’re smart enough. Prepaid phones require personal information to start service. IP Addresses can be traced. Most common users won’t be able to track the texts origins, but it can be done.
Can I send an SMS text message using an email address?
You may have received at some point a text message with no phone number. Instead, the contact information listed is an email address. This is possible and anyone can do it with nearly any e-mail client.
Instead of typing in an email address, type the recipient’s ten-digit phone number into the recipient field. Each cell phone carrier in the U.S. has a unique code that you’ll need to input after the phone number. For example, to send an email to a text to an AT&T you’ll need to type “[emailprotected]” Type your message and send like you normally would. Assuming you know the other person’s cell phone carrier and the code, this will work for you.
What is your favorite phone number-masking third-party app not included in this list? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
There are many mobile apps available that will allow you to send anonymous text messages. Some of the more popular ones are Burner, TextNow, and Mustache. Some are free, some come at a cost. There are also websites where you can send an anonymous text from your computer.Is it possible for someone to send a text from my number? ›
They've changed (spoofed) the caller ID to look like they're messaging you from your number, but the shock of getting a text from yourself is bound to get your attention — which is what they're after. If you get a text from your own number, it's a scam.Is there an app to use a different phone number? ›
2Number makes it possible to have different phone lines for your personal and business needs without an extra SIM, as well as call and text internationally. The app allows you to choose a custom phone number and make phone calls without displaying your real number.Can I disguise my cell phone number? ›
Use *67 to hide your phone number
Open your phone's keypad and dial * - 6 - 7, followed by the number you're trying to call. The free process hides your number, which will show up on the other end as “Private” or “Blocked” when reading on caller ID. You will have to dial *67 each time you want your number blocked.
Simply type the numbers 141 before the phone number you plan to dial. This is the same system used on landlines but it also works on mobiles. It was first introduced to stop people getting your number when they dialled 1471.Can you spoof an iMessage number? ›
Yes, as I said, any message (SMS or iMessage) can be inserted into the local database and it'll look like whatever you set it up as. There is a column in the database called service which is either iMessage or SMS . You simply add a new row and fill it out and bam.Can someone hack phone and send texts? ›
Skilled hackers can take over a hacked smartphone and do everything from making overseas phone calls, sending texts, and using your phone's browser to shop on the Internet. Since they're not paying your smartphone bill, they don't care about exceeding your data limits.Can you send an anonymous text? ›
Can you send a text anonymously? The simple answer is yes. But to send an anonymous text, you'll need to use a third-party service, whether it's a VoIP service, an app or a website.Can you have two numbers on one cell phone? ›
A dual SIM phone is one that can have two active numbers, plans, or accounts. You get this convenience on one device because it can have two separate SIMs: A physical SIM: A plastic card inserted into your phone. An eSIM: A digital SIM downloaded to compatible devices.How do I link two phone numbers to one phone? ›
The use of two phone numbers on a single device is easy with a dual SIM device that accepts two different plastic SIM cards. Some phones allow you to insert one plastic SIM card and for the other number, you can download a completely digital eSIM.
Hushed is the best private phone number app for any occasion! When you need a different number to call and text with, Hushed lets you get local numbers from more than 300 areas codes in the US, Canada, and UK. You can use Hushed for private calls and texts.What does * 57 do on a cell phone? ›
Malicious caller identification, introduced in 1992 as Call Trace, is activated by Vertical service code Star codes *57, and is an upcharge fee subscription service offered by telephone company providers which, when dialed immediately after a malicious call, records meta-data for police follow-up.Can someone fake a phone number? ›
When is spoofing illegal? Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibit anyone from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation.Does * 67 disguise your number? ›
To block your number from being displayed temporarily for a specific call: Enter *67. Enter the number you wish to call (including area code).What is * 82 used for on cell phone? ›
*82 - Unblocks Caller ID on one outbound call
This star code will unblock your caller ID for a single outgoing call if you have previously used *61 to block caller ID for all outbound calls.
Withholding your telephone number means that it won't be available to the person you're calling. You can ask us to permanently withhold your number, or you can choose to withhold it yourself on a call-by-call basis. To withhold your number on individual calls, just dial 141 before the telephone number you want to call.What does * 69 do? ›
Call return (*69) automatically dials your last incoming call, whether the call was answered, unanswered or busy. Call within 30 minutes, during which you can still make and receive calls. To deactivate while waiting for the party you are trying to reach to become available, dial *89.How do you fake messages on iPhone? ›
- In a conversation, tap. , then choose a Memoji.
- Tap. to record your facial expressions and voice. Tap the red square to stop recording. Tap Replay to review your message.
- Tap to send your message or. to cancel.
- Hard press on the message bubble you want to edit.
- Tap 'edit'
- Make the changes you want.
- Press the check mark to save the changes.
- Go to Settings > Messages and make sure that iMessage is on. ...
- Tap Send & Receive. ...
- In the "You can receive iMessages to and Reply From" section, make sure that your phone number and Apple ID are selected.
Our ruling: False. We rate the claim that dialing *#21# on an iPhone or Android device reveals if a phone has been tapped FALSE because it is not supported by our research.Can someone hack my phone number and be able to get my text messages? ›
With control of your phone number, the hacker not only can receive messages on your behalf — but also send messages, make calls, and access your accounts.Can you tell if your phone is hacked? ›
There are other signs of a hacked phone, such as reduced screenshot quality, unusually high data usage, and apps crashing randomly. If you notice any of these signs, you can take immediate steps to protect your device by downloading a security tool that can scan your device for risks and remediate threats.How do you send a secret text message? ›
- Rename Your Contact. ...
- Turn Off Message Previews. ...
- Hide Alerts for Specific Text Message Threads. ...
- Use iMessage's Invisible Ink. ...
- Lock Third-Party Messaging Apps With Face ID or Touch ID. ...
- Use Screen Time to Lock the Messages App With a Passcode.
In most jurisdictions, you can hide your caller ID if you preface your call with *67. This does not work with SMS, but there are ways to take advantage of anonymous texting. However, you should not use the technologies to send anonymous text messages for illegal purposes.Can you send an automatic text to someone? ›
Yes, you can schedule text messages to send on phones with Android 7 and newer. If your phone isn't connected to Wi-Fi or data at the scheduled time, your message will send when reconnected.Does * 67 work on text messages? ›
In most jurisdictions, you can hide your caller ID if you preface your call with *67. This does not work with SMS, but there are ways to take advantage of anonymous texting. However, you should not use the technologies to send anonymous text messages for illegal purposes.Can I send a text anonymously? ›
Can you send a text anonymously? The simple answer is yes. But to send an anonymous text, you'll need to use a third-party service, whether it's a VoIP service, an app or a website.Does * 82 work on cell phones? ›
*82 can be dialed from U.S. land-line house phones and business lines, as well as most cell phones and mobile devices. Some mobile devices may alternatively offer or require a menu selection to override Caller ID blocking per call.What does a half moon mean next to a text? ›
It means you have muted notifications for that conversation. When the crescent moon icon is shown beside a contact's name in the messages list in the Messages app, it means that you have selected not to receive notifications about new messages from that contact.
It means that person has all text messaging blocked by their carrier and can't send or receive any text messages.How can I secretly text someone? ›
15 Secret Texting Apps in 2020:
- Private message box; Hide SMS. ...
- Threema. ...
- Signal private messenger. ...
- Kibo. ...
- Silence. ...
- Blur Chat. ...
- Viber. ...
- ProtonMail – The best secure email provider. ...
- Tutanota – The most anonymous email provider. ...
- StartMail – The most user-friendly private email provider. ...
- Guerilla Mail – The best temporary email to combat spam.