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New 'Burner' app lets iPhone users create temporary, disposable phone numbers

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
If you're an iPhone user looking to maintain a bit of privacy from time to time, you can now turn to a new app called Burner thats lets you create temporary phone numbers that can be disposed of at will.

The development team over at Ad Hoc Labs says the app is ideal for dating, Craigslist, short-term projects, side businesses, bands, FaceBook marketing posts and any other endeavor for which you'd like to give out a phone number on a non-permanent basis.

You can create one or several numbers at the same time, each of which acts as a separate line within your iPhone that can be used for voice and SMS messaging. Outgoing calls will show your temporary Burner number on the recipient's caller ID while incoming calls will either redirect to your main mobile number or go straight to voicemail, at your preference.

Each number comes equipped with a ?Burn? button so that it can be destroyed when you?re done with it.

The app made its debut on the App Store yesterday for $1.99 and includes enough credits to create one short-duration Burner line -- one that will last for a week and be good for 20 minutes of talk time or 20 SMS messages; whichever is exhausted first.



After that, you can purchase additional credits to create more Burners of various durations, or to extend Burners that you have already created. The larger the credit purchase, the bigger the volume discount.

Once you "Burn" a number, its gone forever. If someone calls after that, they?ll get a generic out-of-service message, Ad Hoc says. Creepers everywhere rejoiced.
post #2 of 66

Cool if I was a drug dealer or into one night stands. It seems to me like the nefarious uses for this far our weigh the legitimate ones, but maybe that's just me.

post #3 of 66

How big is the pool of disposable numbers? Seems like this thing would run out of capacity pretty soon.

post #4 of 66

There are ZERO drug dealers who are going to use this. Too risky. 

post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

How big is the pool of disposable numbers? Seems like this thing would run out of capacity pretty soon.

 

I got a call from a woman I was talking to online one day and it had 3 or 4 extra digits.  I'm assuming she had a similar app or something.  This was about a month ago

post #6 of 66

Perfect for cheaters and people looking to harass someone!

~Rick
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~Rick
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post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

 

I got a call from a woman I was talking to online one day and it had 3 or 4 extra digits.  I'm assuming she had a similar app or something.  This was about a month ago

 

The question is, McFly, whether she's going to give you her real number.   ;)

post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

 

I got a call from a woman I was talking to online one day and it had 3 or 4 extra digits.  I'm assuming she had a similar app or something.  This was about a month ago

Phone number supply has been a problem in my area for years. They make new area codes all the time. Eventually we will probably have something like IPv6 for phones or just VoIP.

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post #9 of 66

Note that even tho the number might be "burned", AdHoc still keeps a backup of your service usage for some undermined length of time. If you have any concerns about the legality of whatever you're using it for, AdHoc can still share what they've logged with law enforcement if requested, even after the burning. In addition your carrier phone logs will still show the call data.

 

Use it for casual fun but not if you're really concerned with being anonymous and think you can't be identified.

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by logandigges View Post

News Flash: New iPhone "Burner" Debuts Just for Drug Dealers, Rapists, Murderers and Whores!

Story: Drug dealers, pur your hands up! A new app has debuted for you along with the other bad people in the world such as, one night standers, stalkers and Craigslist rapists and murderers! Rejoice, terrible people! Come buy this app for an extremely low price and avoid the law.

This should really not be on the app store.

 

I hope everyone gets your message. Shout much?

post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by longliveapple View Post

There are ZERO drug dealers who are going to use this. Too risky. 


You seem rather knowledgeable about who drug dealers might or might not do.

post #12 of 66

You can do the same thing with Google phone for free (except that you need a new email address every time)

post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

I hope everyone gets your message. Shout much?


Why did you quote and therefore create a copy of his eyesore to burn our eyes? Why?

post #14 of 66

It's funny how quickly people took a negative view to this app!

 

I think the craigslist angle is great.  We have a window we want to sell on craigslist and this will be great for that, for all the obvious reasons.  It also isn't uncommon for my wife and I to meet people while on vacation and maybe have dinner or do something together with them.  Having a disposable number will make these brief encounters easier as I don't like to give out my phone number even in normal situations.

 

Sure, it can used for "nefarious" purposes.  Maybe we shouldn't have phones AT ALL since phones in general can be used for illegal activities.  While we're at it, let's get rid of all modes of transportation (when I was in high school a kid used to sell marijuana from his bike), and maybe ban the Internet.  And TV.  The postal service.

John
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John
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post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by longliveapple View Post

There are ZERO drug dealers who are going to use this. Too risky. 

Because all drug dealers are too smart, right?

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TechnoMinds

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post #16 of 66

I was thinking just to limit telemarketers and such - or for cases where you need to enter a phone number and while you may want to be reachable for say the time it takes your online order to go from placed to received - but then the number is flooded with stupid calls - dump it and start again. Keeps your "true" phone number available for things like family to get ahold of your. 

 

I only recently discovered that Time Warner Digital Phone allows blocking of up to 30 numbers - now I can finally stop the stupid 1800Service numbers from even ringing - the truly stupid thing about those is that I do sometimes pick up just to see if maybe I can get off their list - but no - there isn't anyone there - if you are going to spend any amount of time or money - even if minuscule - shouldn't there be even an automated thing when I pick up? 

 

Now I need to get that on my business line - or switch that line to TW as well - I have been getting calls from collections agencies on that line looking for the person who had the phone number before me. Have these idiots never heard of a phone book? If you want to get ahold of Karen Hall and I have told you repeatedly that you have the wrong number - why don't you try looking up her name to see if she has a new number you could try. 

post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

It's funny how quickly people took a negative view to this app!

 

Having a disposable number will make these brief encounters easier as I don't like to give out my phone number even in normal situations.

 

 

Casual encounters huh... ;)

 

I can see the benefit of this app for some. Craiglist, eBay etc.

post #18 of 66

Moe's Tavern is going to get a few extra calls...

post #19 of 66

This app has all the makings of a trap product for law enforcement use. CISPA and new cyber security laws are forcing these VoIP companies to include CALEA access, so use of these "burner" apps are a false sense of security. First of all, the app is required to use Apple's billing platform, meaning the person using Burner is trapped into Apple's billing for payment tracing. Unless you're setting up your payments with a prepay card and an fake name on itunes, the DEA can easily nab you with a simple NSA letter to Apple. 

post #20 of 66
Wanna be a miscreant of society.... Yea there's an app for that!
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #21 of 66

Some might, but they wouldn't be very smart to do so. Probably the kind of dealer who'd believe a photocopier was a lie detector.

post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

The question is, McFly, whether she's going to give you her real number.   ;)

 

Probably not heh.  Not a big deal

post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post

You can do the same thing with Google phone for free (except that you need a new email address every time)

 

and the phone number lasts longer than one call...   I do do this when on craiglisting selling stuff.  A different phone for each posting (stops getting calls 4 months later... "do you still have that thing?")

post #24 of 66

I would use this App if I were researching services, offers, mortgages, and when purchasing large ticket items in general.

Nothing more annoying than calling into a company, on your terms, to get quotes or questions answered.

 

You decide what you want to buy and from which company but for the next three months, you continue to receive calls from all the Other vendors, that did not win your business still trying to sell you.

 

Also,

Craigslist/newspaper ads are obvious, along with anytime you need to put your number in a public place, say trying to sell a car, house or items pinned at the supermarket wall.

 

This App can be very useful.

post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

 

stops getting calls 4 months later... "do you still have that thing?"

You know you can delete an ad off of Craigslist when you sell it... right?

post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

... I do sometimes pick up just to see if maybe I can get off their list - but no - there isn't anyone there - if you are going to spend any amount of time or money - even if minuscule - shouldn't there be even an automated thing when I pick up? 

 

 

Sorry to tell you, but the act of picking up the phone confirmed to them that there's a live body there and validated the purpose of the call.

Similar to the rule of never replying to questionable emails.

post #27 of 66

I hate this so much. 

I hate this so much.

I hate this so much.

I hate this so much.

I hate this so much.

I hate this so much.

I typed out each of those.

 

This is the phone equivalent of those 10-minute e-mail signup websites. The only use for those is TROLL ACCOUNTS ON FORUMS. 

 

With the ability to make a phone number that lasts 20 minutes and 20 SMS, telemarketers and spammers can send as much crap as they want to as many people as they want and NOT GET PUNISHED because when you go to report the phone number to the Do Not Call list, it's not actually tied to anything, and so no one knows where it came from.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #28 of 66

Our friends at Credit Card Services should love this.

post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

 

and the phone number lasts longer than one call...   I do do this when on craiglisting selling stuff.  A different phone for each posting (stops getting calls 4 months later... "do you still have that thing?")

Sorry, already sold the kidney.

post #30 of 66

A "burner" in the drug world is a separate "business" phone, usually a prepaid cellular, used for drug deal and other illicit activities that can be quickly disposed of "burned" to avoid leaving a trail.  When I first saw the name of the app and what is what used for, I was surprised that Apple let it go thru with that name.  Then again, they probably don't have many screeners who are familiar with the drug trade.

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

It's funny how quickly people took a negative view to this app!

I think the craigslist angle is great.  We have a window we want to sell on craigslist and this will be great for that, for all the obvious reasons.  It also isn't uncommon for my wife and I to meet people while on vacation and maybe have dinner or do something together with them.  Having a disposable number will make these brief encounters easier as I don't like to give out my phone number even in normal situations.

Sure, it can used for "nefarious" purposes.  Maybe we shouldn't have phones AT ALL since phones in general can be used for illegal activities.  While we're at it, let's get rid of all modes of transportation (when I was in high school a kid used to sell marijuana from his bike), and maybe ban the Internet.  And TV.  The postal service.

Exactly!!

How is this any different than picking up a pre-paid phone or sim, it's just more convenient for people who might need this. And why does it have to be nefarious? Everything can be misused, why punish those who have a legitimate use for it. When I'm traveling, especially abroad, I have the need to give my number out everywhere I go, hotels, restaurants, businesses, people I meet, airlines, etc. by necessity I have to get a local number in France for instance. But the ability to burn that number at the end of my trip is amazing. Only the people I truly want to connect with then end up with a real way to contact me. There's nothing worse than Bernie the insurance salesman you met at that resort who you gave your number to to get him off your back continuing to call you for the rest of your life forgetting the 3 hour time difference in the process. Heck sometimes I give these people a fake name, To ensure they can't track me down later, but that doesn't mean I'm selling drugs.
post #32 of 66

Google Voice acheives this at no cost with even more features like voice mail sent to ones's email address and people who call to harrass can be blocked.

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffurillo View Post

A "burner" in the drug world is a separate "business" phone, usually a prepaid cellular, used for drug deal and other illicit activities that can be quickly disposed of "burned" to avoid leaving a trail.  When I first saw the name of the app and what is what used for, I was surprised that Apple let it go thru with that name.  Then again, they probably don't have many screeners who are familiar with the drug trade.

 

Not just drugs, anyone wanting to maintain more anonymity.  Watch any police procedural on TV.  Yes a lot are drug related, but certainly not all.  Katie Holmes used 3 different burner phones when she was working up to leaving Tom Cruise so she could setup her lawyers and such w/o his knowing.  There are legitimate uses.

post #34 of 66

Absolutely brilliant, Hopefully it works for Facebook. #BrokeSwag

post #35 of 66

We used Edmunds a few weeks ago to send out requests to car dealers for Internet pricing quotes. 30 hours later we had purchased our car from the dealer with the lowest quote, but we are still getting calls from many of the other dealers (they can't seem to take no for an answer). This app would have been perfect for our situation.

post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

You know you can delete an ad off of Craigslist when you sell it... right?

also- when I use my Google Voice number for CL, I say you can call or text.

I rarely get calls, I get texts though.

After I delete the ad, I might get a couple of texts for a week due to scraper sites that pick up my ad from CL and then republish it, but that is about it.

plus if someone is an asshat I can block them.

plus it is free.

 

The pool of numbers that BURNER has will eventually get used up and then debt collectors will be hounding each one of them.

I just "added a line" to our U-Verse account and it IMMEDIATELY began receiving robocalls from debt collectors, fortunately I could block them.

What happens down the line when you pay your $1.99 to get a "new" burner number only to find that you immediately start getting texts and calls from robodialers?

post #37 of 66

This app will most likely be used for impropriety and who knows how many other destructive things. I can see benefits to it if it is being used without malice. I doubt there will be much use of the app that doesn't involve something shady.

post #38 of 66

Oh... and give me an app that will allow me to blacklist certain calls and texts. That would be useful.

post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

 

Probably not heh.  Not a big deal

 

Doesn't matter. I was just messin.   ;)

post #40 of 66
Originally Posted by Alexmit View Post
Oh... and give me an app that will allow me to blacklist certain calls and texts. That would be useful.

 

An app wouldn't be able to do anything; just build it into the OS. Screw what the telecoms want us to do. If I want to block a number, I get to block a number. For free. And as many as I want to block.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
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