Tired of Giving Fake Numbers to Sketchy People Who Hit on You?

Published On April 25, 2013 | Mobile

There are many reasons people might want to use a fake phone number. For instance, when  buying or selling items on Craigslist, giving your phone number to a stranger, or any other situation in which identity protection is crucial. So, when the need arises, rest assured there is an app for that.

Originally an iOS-only app that was introduced in August of 2012, the Burner app from AD Hoc Labs has finally come to Android. Traditional “burner” or disposable phones are mobile devices that are typically purchased at retail stores without the need for personal identification or a contract. They cost between $20 and $30 and once you have used up the phone’s prepaid minutes, you simply discard it. A burner phone is essentially an anonymous tool for communication.

How the Burner App Works

Once you open the app, press “Create Burner.” Then select an area code and choose the fake phone number you wish to use. Click another button to confirm your choice and you are done — You have created a secondary phone number that connects to your actual one. When you make a call using the burner number, your fake number and area code appear on the caller ID display of the person you are calling. When you have finished using the number, you simply “trash” it like you would a disposable phone.


The app is free to download from the Google Play Store. The basic price plan is $2 for three credits, which amounts to a week of activity, including 60 text messages and 20 minutes of voice calls. The plan can be extended. For example, five credits will allow you to extend the number for an additional 30 days and add 50 minutes of voice calls or 150 SMS messages. Paying up to $11.99 will buy you an additional 25 credits.

Not for Use with 911

Keep in mind that the burner app is not recommended for making 911 calls. Remember, its chief attribute is providing anonymity to the caller and using the burner number to make 911 calls could make it difficult for the 911 operator to locate you.

Keep It Legal

Even though you have created this disposable number, remember to keep your activities legal. Big Brother can still find you as Burner is a legally operated business and if the law comes knocking with a subpoena, the company will have no qualms about handing over your actual phone number associated with the Burner account and other data.

— By Rich Seward

Rich Seward is an instructional designer and freelance writer living in the Denver, CO area with his wife, dog and two cats. An avid reader, his interests include technology, philosophy, mythology, history, and a range of other subjects. He holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science with an emphasis in Archival Studies.



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