Criminals Wreak Havoc With Your Cell Number

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Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
Hi all.

I've been researching how to safely use Craigslist. Apparently, there's tons and tons of scams. Thought you might like to see these articles about what criminals can do with your cell phone number. @Steve has talked about some of this but probably not to this extent. It's pretty scary.

How to get a throwaway phone or phone number.
Disclaimer, this site sells the service they're describing.

Do not post your cell number on anything. Consider setting up a PIN with the cell company to prevent people from rerouting your cell number to their phones. Consider a throwaway phone or phone number.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
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PS, any time you send a text to someone, they get your phone number. Therefore it's a good idea never to text a stranger. Many if not most things that say something like "text info to 12345 to get more data" or "for a chance to win" or "to play the game" or "to get your coupon" etc. are scams. Remember the saying "If the product is free, you are the product." I think @Steve has mentioned that periodically.

I completely agree that we all should have a throw-away or disposable second phone number. I pay about $35 a year for a number that requires a mobile app. If the mobile device is off-line, it can not ring. And the mobile app can be installed on multiple devices.

For more options for a second phone number, see the section on Phone Number Hiding here
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I have used an Android App, TextNow, before, and while it's far from perfect, it could probably be useful in a Craig's List situation. For me, however, that would just change my worry from one of digital safety to one of emotional and physical safety. I have heard too many stories of people showing up in person with the wrong intentions... and no money, or not enough, to keep me away from ever trying to meet someone in person to facilitate any sort of sale. I'll point you to Reddit and the ChoosingBeggars subreddit for the sorts of people you end up running into (from what I've heard.)
There are also services that provide sms virtual numbers. You can forward the message to your regular cell or email. Or interact as a regular sms with their app or through their webpage. Some services won't accept them, since they can identify these numbers as virtual. The fun part is you can get a number anywhere in canada or the us.
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