From Burner Phone Numbers on The Wire to a Wireless Burner Phone App


Have you seen The Wire?

The Wire Scene

A few years ago you would hear that question all the time. There was a good reason. The TV show drew you into a world of memorable characters like McNulty, Stringer Bell, Bubbles and pretty much everyone’s favourite Omar Little (including President Obama’s fav).

But aside from its characters and their string of catchphrases, the show also popularized the burner phone. These were unlocked, prepaid cellphones that could be paid for in cash, which meant a user could make calls without being traced to that phone. Once the minutes were up, you tossed it and got another.

In The Wire, drug dealers were using burner phones to stay a step ahead of the cops. As a viewer, it was easy to understand why this technology could be a benefit.

Now a few years later, however, it’s also become clear that having a burner phone number isn’t only for D’Angelo Barskdale.

Why Would You Get a Burner Phone Number?

Ask yourself: have you ever worried about someone having your private phone number? Then it’s fair to say you already see the benefit of having your own burner phone number.

The other handy thing is that, unlike characters from The Wire, today you no longer have to buy a prepaid phone and toss it away once it runs out of minutes.

Now you can skip the corner store and go to the app store where you can download the Hushed burner phone app to get a burner phone number on your smartphone. Hushed gives you a disposable, temporary phone number that can mask your phone’s real caller ID when calling or texting.

A burner phone number gives you the benefit of a second identity and, in some cases, even more. For instance, you can separate your business life, dating life or travelling life from each other all with different phone numbers.

And you can control when you cut off a particular identity simply by choosing when you’d like to dispose of your identity’s burner phone number.

Temporary Number and Texting

The other bonus that the Hushed burner phone app has over The Wire’s burner phones is that it lets you call or text from a different number. Granted texting hadn’t taken off yet back in 2002 when The Wire came out. And let’s be honest, even if texting was around back then, if you’re a drug dealer, it’s probably not the smartest move to write down what you’re talking about.

But fast-forward to 2016 and you’re probably spending the majority of your time communicating with people through text. Having a burner number app gives you a temporary number for texting and calling that you can use at any time and dispose of at any time.

It’s been 14 years since The Wire first aired and obviously a lot has changed since then; not least is that today you’re more likely to be asked: “Do you watch Game of Thrones?”

But more than that, burner phones themselves have changed.

Disposable Phone Numbers for Everyone

Once seen mainly as a benefit of underground networks that characters from The Wire or even Jason Bourne moved in, free phone number apps are becoming increasingly invaluable to everyday people who want a temporary phone number or disposable phone number to manage the many aspects of their busy lives.

Clearly, then a lot of people are answering the question of whether they find a temporary phone number app helpful. Hushed has 3.5 million downloads already and counting.

As for The Wire, it’s harder to pinpoint an exact sales number, but since its burner phones have been around a lot longer, it’s probably safe to say it’s doing fine.