How to make a phone call anonymously?

5 Free Ways to Call Anonymously: Protect Your Privacy and Identity

Finding information about a person is now easier than ever. Share your phone number, and somebody could probably grab your name, address, and all sorts of other details with nothing more than a quick search online. Some people may use this information for nefarious purposes. Therefore, it’s now more important than ever to protect our information, and this can start with learning how to call anonymously.

There are many reasons why somebody may want to learn how to call anonymously. For example – you might want to return a phone call to an unknown number without that number knowing who you are. You might want to call in an anonymous tip, or you just might not want the person on the other end of the line to know who you are.

Throughout this blog, we’ll share five different free methods for calling people anonymously. We’ll start with simple methods, such as using caller ID blocking. We’ll then move on to other methods, like Google Voice, burner apps, VoIP, and pre-paid phones. Some of these methods for how to call anonymously you may be familiar with, other methods may be brand-new. Rest assured, by the end of this page, you’ll have all the tools you need to make phone calls anonymously, giving you the privacy that you need.

What Is Anonymous Calling?

It’s simple. Anonymous calling is when you make a phone call while hiding your real phone number i.e. the phone call recipient won’t see your phone number on their caller ID. Some methods will display a ‘burner’ number instead (which can’t be traced back to you).

Basically, anonymous calling is all about ensuring that the person you’re contacting can’t work out who you are.

Reasons to Call Anonymously

There are many reasons why you might want to call anonymously. This includes:

  • Returning a phone call to an unknown number. This way, the unknown number can’t see who you are. If they are a scammer, they won’t be able to work out that your phone number is ‘active’. This can protect you from future scams.
  • You wish to call in a tip on illegal activities. A lot of people call the police using anonymous phone numbers.
  • You just don’t wish to share your phone number with somebody. This way, you can’t be placed on ‘junk’ call lists. For example, you might want to call a business using an anonymous phone number. If somebody has given you a phone number at a social event, you might also wish to check it with an anonymous number too, especially if you’re skeptical that the number you’ve been given is real.

You might have your own reasons for making a phone call anonymously. You landed on this guide of how to call anonymously for some reason, after all. It doesn’t matter the reason. The only thing that matters is that you’re protecting your identity. The following five methods will help.

5 Free Ways to Call Anonymously

All of these methods are 100% free, although do bear in mind that some may not be available in your region. At least one of these methods will work for you.

Method 1: Use Caller ID Blocking

This is the most ‘traditional’ method for blocking your phone number. When you make a call, you’ll add a few extra digits before the phone number you’re dialing. This will then ‘hide’ your phone number on the caller ID display.

The positive is that this is an easy method to use. You don’t need an account anywhere. You don’t need a separate app on your phone. You just use the right prefix code (we’ll discuss that soon). Although, the problem is that the prefix to use will vary depending on where you live, and the phone operator you’re using. You may also find that some phone numbers will block received calls using this method, although that’s quite rare.

This is one of the only methods on this page that’ll let you block your number when calling from a landline.

This is how you do it (this works on both mobile and landlines):

  1. Tap the prefix number into your phone (we’ll share some prefixes shortly)
  2. Add the rest of the number you’re calling
  3. Press the call button.

Simple! As we said, the prefixes you’ll need to use will vary from country to country, and mobile operator to mobile operator. These are the most common prefixes:

  • *67 – all of the United States (except AT&T), Canadian landlines.
  • *31# – AT&T numbers in the US, Canadian mobiles (plus many European countries).
  • 141 – United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland

We anticipate most of our readers will be from the US, so just use *67 or *31#, depending on your location and phone operator.  If you’re outside the US, it won’t be too difficult to find the prefix to hide your caller ID online.

Method 2: Google Voice

Google Voice is a service available to people in the following countries:

  • Anybody with a Google account in the US.
  • Anybody with a Google Workspace account in Canada, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

Google Voice will give you a new phone number (if you’re in the US), and allows you to make phone calls, and send text messages over the internet. You can use the Google Voice number online, or via a smartphone app. There are a few more features too, but most of those are for business users.

To set up a Google Voice account, you can head to Sign in using your Google account and follow the instructions. Once you’ve got a Google Voice account, download the app to your smartphone (it’s available on both the Apple Store and Google Play).

You can use Google Voice to hide the caller ID of any call made through the app. To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Google Voice app.
  2. Select the Menu button (three lines stacked on one another)
  3. Select ‘Settings’
  4. Find ‘Calls’
  5. Turn on ‘Anonymous Caller ID’.

Once you’ve done this, any call made through Google Voice will hide the caller ID.

If you wish to block the caller ID on individual calls, follow the instructions in method one. These prefixes will also work through Google Voice.

Google Voice is an incredibly simple way to block your caller ID, if you use the app. This is because you only need to switch on one button, and the ID will be automatically blocked. There’s no need to remember loads of prefixes.

Method 3: Use a Burner App

These apps won’t block your caller ID. Instead, they’ll give you a ‘burner’ phone number i.e. a phone number that can’t be traced back to you at all. Sometimes, this is all you need to quickly make a phone call.

Most of these apps won’t give you permanent free numbers. You’ll eventually need to pay. However, if you need a burner phone number for a phone call over the course of a couple of days, then a burner app is perfect.

How each burner app works will be different. They’ll all give you a phone number. However, to use that number you’ll need to download the app to your phone, sign into that app, and make all calls through that app. It is very similar to Google Voice, although you won’t be blocking your caller ID.

Here’s some of the best burner apps around. You’ll want to go through each of these services to see what they offer. They each offer a different selection of phone numbers and features:

Obviously, the major con is that your number will only last for a couple of days. So, you can’t really use it as a permanent option if you need to keep making anonymous calls (unless you pay), but for a one-off, these methods are fine.

Method 4: Use a VoIP Service

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP, for short) allows you to make phone calls over the Internet. Some VoIP services will provide you with a phone number (normally a landline number in any country you want), while others won’t provide you with a number, but will let you call phone numbers with credit in your account.

As VoIP services are online, they are hard to ‘trace’ for the call recipient. With a VoIP, you’ll either have no phone number or a burner phone number, which means people will struggle to work out who you are (you’re calling anonymously). In addition to this, many VoIP services allow you to sign up sharing minimal information.

There are a couple of downsides, though:

  • If you’re calling a telephone number, you’ll probably need to pay some money. Very few VoIP services will let you call phone numbers without buying ‘credit’ from the service.
  • If you’re not calling a telephone number, you can only contact other users of the same VoIP app. For example, if you use Skype, you can only contact other Skype users unless you pay money.

This means that there are some serious limitations if you’re doing things for free. However, if you are willing to spend a small amount of cash, you can use a VoIP service to completely hide your phone number.

Here are some VoIP services you can check out:

  • Skype (small payment if you’re calling landlines or mobiles)
  • RingBlaze (free trial, includes a US or Canadian mobile number)
  • 2nd Line (free with a US and Canadian number, but only available on Android devices)

As we said, there are some serious limitations in place unless you pay. So, this is a method that you’ll probably only want to use if no other method is viable (and we are sure most other methods will be viable).

Remember – when you’re signing up, try to fill in as little information as you can. Don’t share phone numbers unless required. If you really want to avoid being ‘traced’ through your VoIP account, then you might want to see if you can get a temporary credit card number from your bank (or buy one online).

Method 5: Prepaid Phones

We’ll wrap up with a very ‘traditional’ way of staying anonymous. This is a ‘burner’ phone. This means that you’ll purchase a SIM card and a low-cost prepaid phone. You can then make anonymous calls from that device.

The reason you’ll want to get a prepaid phone is that with a prepaid device, you won’t need to share your name or address. This means that there is no way to tie that device to you. So, even when the phone number comes up on the recipient’s caller ID, they have no way of finding out who you are.

This method only works in some countries. Some countries, e.g. Sweden, require you to identify yourself when buying a prepaid phone. This means that this method isn’t suitable for everybody. For now, however, it’ll work in the US and Canada.

Obviously, this method will require you to spend a bit of money upfront. You can pick up cheap prepaid SIMs from tons of different places, including:

  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • 7-Eleven
  • Target
  • CVS

You’ll be fine with any old phone network. T-Mobile and AT&T are among the best, though.

Buying a mobile isn’t too difficult either. There are cheap ones on eBay and Amazon. Depending on where you live, you’ll likely find a couple of electronics stores in your local area that’ll sell a mobile for $10-$30 too. Remember – you don’t need anything too good here. It’s just a burner phone. You’ll only be using it for phone calls.

When you get a prepaid SIM, you can just put it into your phone. It should activate right away. In some cases, even the free SIMs will come with 30 or 60 minutes included, so you won’t need to pay anything (or share any personal details) if you’re just making one or two calls.

If you need to add ‘credit’ to the SIM, you can buy credit from many stores (including the ones we mentioned before). You’ll then need to follow the instructions included with your SIM card to top your account up. Once your account is active, it is active. There is no legal requirement to identify yourself at any stage of the activation process in the US.

The drawback is that this will cost you some money. But, once you’ve got that prepaid phone and SIM, you’ve got it for life (most of the time, your call credit won’t expire). You’ll also have a phone that can receive calls if you need to share your phone number with somebody you don’t trust. Although, we must admit that the people around you may be a little suspicious that you have multiple phones. It certainly is a lot more effort to carry around a couple of phones with you.  


There are multiple methods for making anonymous calls. Most are free (Google Voice, trials with burner apps, caller ID blocking, and some VoIP services). Others will require a small upfront fee (prepaid phones) but have no ongoing costs. Each method has its own pros and cons, and you should do your research to determine which one is right for you. Remember – always use these tools responsibly. Only ever block your caller ID if you have a genuine reason to do so.

Today, protecting your privacy is more important than ever. Especially since anybody can easily find out who you are from your phone number alone. Only share your phone number with people you trust.

With this in mind, make sure that you stay vigilant when making any phone call, receiving a phone call, or communicating with anybody online. It only takes your phone number getting into the wrong hands once, and you’ll be plagued by spam calls, or, worse, somebody can share your number with other people for nefarious purposes. Learning how to call anonymously is a great way to get started with protecting your privacy. It is easy to implement too. As long as you follow the methods we shared on this page, you’ll be well on your way. 

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