Changing your phone number? Avoid identity theft with these tips

|Changing your number to a new phone number has risks. Use these simple tips to avoid problems and the risks of identity theft.

A phone number can signal a new and significant change in your life: a new phone, a new job, a new hometown, a new adventure. However, that adventure can turn into a nightmare if you lose track of who does (and doesn’t) have your phone number.

In our increasingly-interconnected society, phone numbers and email addresses are becoming as valuable as home and car keys.

Your phone number might receive texts from your bank, your veterinarian, your child’s school, your dermatologist, or other professionals with your personal information. If any of these chooses to text or call you with personal information, and they don’t have your current phone number, you could put yourself at risk for identity theft.

You also probably still have phone numbers stored from prior work contacts, supervisors, or coworkers. Many jobs are landed through referrals; if an old coworker sees an opportunity that fits you, will they be able to call you to let you know? You might think they would email you; but unless you gave them your personal email address, they only have your old (deactivated) company email information and, probably, your phone number.

Finally, there are always a few old friends and distant relatives who you talk to on occasion. You may not see them every week, but you appreciate being able to keep in touch when the opportunity comes up. How will you know if they’re in town for a weekend if they have the wrong phone number?

With all of these risks of changing a phone number, some people chose to keep the same number indefinitely. That can also backfire – for example, if you go on a date with someone from Tinder. Giving your date your phone number can open you up to privacy threats: if your number is listed on your LinkedIn profile, Facebook account, or another publicly available directory, a failed date could result in stalking or harassment.

Additionally, if you’re starting a new business, you may need a new or separate number to dedicate just to your clients. New businesses and dates aren’t the only situations where a new phone number is helpful; when you move to a new city, you may need to change your phone number. An unfamiliar area code can confuse your new doctors, dry cleaners, babysitters, and others, and result in missed communications and leaked information.

Getting a new phone number doesn’t mean you need to give up your old phone number; some services, like Hushed, allow you to register a new phone number that forwards calls and texts to your current phone. Hushed allows for custom voicemail, too, so you can have separate “business” and “personal” voicemail messages for callers.

Whether you choose to keep your old number or completely ditch it, changing your phone number can be a tricky process. Keep reading for our top tips on making the transition smoothly:

Notify everyone – and that means everyone

It’s easy to post a Facebook status saying “Hey, my number changed, message me for my new number!” You may be aware that a few individuals and institutions (like your bank, or your boss) aren’t connected with you on Facebook and need a specific notification about your new digits.

someone sitting in a coffee shop with a book and coffee in front of them looking at their phone

However, just publishing a shout-out isn’t enough. Not only will you lose some contacts, but you also might put yourself at risk for information leaks and privacy issues. Here are three things that happen when you don’t tell everyone about your new number:

You lose touch with people

You know those people who you only catch up with once or twice a year – but you always love catching up with them? How about your child’s assistant soccer coach, your go-to handyman, or the recruiter you met at a job fair a couple years ago?

If you don’t notify every individual of your new phone number, you could lose touch with friends, miss important notifications, or even miss out on career opportunities.

Your personal information might be sent to the wrong person

Today, it’s not uncommon for doctors, dentists, personal trainers, spas, and others to send sensitive information and appointment reminders over text or through voicemail.

You’ve probably signed a form stating its okay for these businesses to send personal information over the phone, and likely even appreciated the service – until now.

When you change your phone number, your old number goes to someone new; that person might find out about all your blood test results, dentist appointments, and more. Leaking this information makes you vulnerable to identity theft. If the messages go to someone with dangerous tendencies, they could even put you at risk for robbery or assault.

You could be locked out of your accounts

Have you set up two-factor authentication on any of your accounts? You know, “Before you log in, we’ll text you a code to make sure this is really you.”


Are you positive – not even at your bank? Even if you generally avoid the hassle of authentication, many online banking systems require it.

If you forget to change your phone number within your online accounts and at your financial institution, you might end up sending the two-factor authentication code to a total stranger. Not only is this a security risk, but it can completely lock you out of your account.

Pro tip: Register a new number, but let your old number stick around too

If you could keep your old number and get a new number, would you?

A “burner number” or “privacy number” is a phone number that receives calls and messages, forwarding them to your main phone – allowing you to keep your original phone number as well as a new one. You can make calls and send texts from your new number, or you can make calls and send texts from your original number; it’s up to you.

A privacy number keeps you from losing touch with important people and institutions even with a new phone number.

If you need a new number but don’t want to give up your old one, is the best solution. Hushed lets you keep your old number while registering a new one (and they offer numbers in over 45 countries). With affordable pricing plans and custom voicemail, it’s a great way to make a fresh start without the hassle of changing your number everywhere.

How to make sure you notify everyone

If you do change your phone number, it’s important to notify everyone in a timely way. By notifying everyone at once, you cut back on future confusion (“But I thought Mary’s number was something else?” “Maybe neither of us have the right number?”) ensure your privacy, and can make a quick, clean transition.

Here are a few people to remember to tell about your new digits:

  1. Your healthcare team. Appointment reminders, lab results, and more could accidentally be sent to your old number if you don’t notify your healthcare professionals. Even if your home number was a landline, be careful: these offices might still have sent text messages to your landline and could continue giving your information over text to the new number.
  2. Your child’s teachers and coaches. The last thing you want is for your child’s teacher to call a stranger and give sensitive information about your child’s location and activities to someone you don’t know. Even if you’re not sure whether a teacher or coach has their number, be sure to ask.
  3. Your business network. Whether it’s your clients, your manager, or your network contacts, be sure to notify your business network of your number change. If you’re on good terms with previous coworkers or supervisors, don’t forget to send them a message – if they see a job opportunity and think of you, they’ll need your most recent contact information for setting up a referral for the position.

Why get a new number if it’s such a hassle?

Now that we’ve covered the security and personal risks of changing your phone number, you may be reconsidering your decision to move on. After all, is a new phone number really worth the risk of being locked out of your work email?

A woman sitting at a table looking at her phone

While changing your phone number is a hassle, there are a lot of benefits to registering a new number. Here are a few reasons you should go through with changing or getting a new phone number this year:

Security concerns

From blind dates to Craigslist, there are some people you just don’t want to see again.

Unfortunately, if the phone number you give someone on Craigslist is tied to you online – listed on your Facebook profile, LinkedIn, business cards, or other profiles – these individuals could easily learn more about you and track you down.

Having a separate phone number for strangers is not just convenient; it’s also safer than using one number for everything.


If you have your own business (or you’re in sales, and your clients contact you directly) it’s important your clients know your contact information. You can put your phone number on your business cards, in your advertisements, on your website, in the phonebook, everywhere – and your clients might still forget your number.

Registering a new phone number allows you to claim something memorable, like “613-MORE-JOY” or even “303-030-3030.” Whether you use number patterns or words to make your number distinctive, having a memorable phone number makes it easier for your clients to reach you in a pinch.

If you’ve moved

Even though you may be able to keep your original phone number after a move, changing area codes can result in a lot of confusion for new friends, doctors, and other contacts.

Non-local area codes can be easily misheard (“Was that 657 or 576?”) or written incorrectly (“Oh, I meant to write 314 but I wrote 341 by accident!”). If you’re giving your old phone number to new contacts, you’ll likely miss a few calls here or there. Those phone calls could be received by strangers, who would then have your personal information. If you’ve just moved to a new city, it’s highly recommended that you change phone numbers to something with a local area code.

There is one other thing to consider when changing your number. You can actually do this with your mobile device and this is how it’s done.

Usually, you purchase a phone locked the phone before it was purchased by you, so you could use it. Which means that you cannot use your phone on any network, even when the Subscriber Identity Module card change.

The Subscriber Identity Module card is the bit of plastic which identifies your telephone. Altering your SIM card to have your mobile work is helpful if you wish to buy a prepaid SIM card without roaming charges, so you may have telephone access and wish to travel to another country and pay local rates. You will find solutions that offer to provide capacities, but don’t cover them.

You may or may not DIY at no cost, that’s the cost that is perfect. Contact your service provider before trying anything else and request an unlock code in accordance with your phone model. If you’ve been a client of theirs for a while, they’ll provide you. This is, undoubtedly, the best way of getting your mobile phone unlocked.

There is software can be found on some websites that are free and some paid which provide support if things go wrong. Find the Serial number of your mobile phone, also known as your International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI). This International Mobile Equipment Identity number is used in this case so that you to can find the right unlock codes for the appropriate phone models.

This could be done by either removing the rear of your mobile phone and looking beneath the battery, or by simply typing in .06. Into your mobile phone. It should be something like: 010072321539 9 7 6/079617808 3 6 4. Utilizing the software you’ve Downloaded, enter in your Manufacturer, and sliding out the card. Put the battery back in and power the telephone on.5. Enter all the characters that you see in your code, including. Symbols. To get a p press 3 times, to get a + press the key 2 times, to get a w press the key 4 times.

In order to unlock your mobile you usually need to enter only one code. In case your phone isn’t unlocked by typing the first code, use code 77. Message Cannot undo constraints means the telephone is Hard locked and can’t be unlocked by code. Warning Make sure to backup important info from your nokia phone. Make copies of all files downloaded from your mobile before they’re modified. When something would be wrong with the modified copy, that you can reload the unmodified one to go Back to normal in a lot of cases.

It should be noted that specific instructions may vary slightly depending on the provider

Closing Thoughts about Getting a New Phone Number

Getting a new phone number is a hassle, but it can also increase your privacy and work-life balance.

One of the best ways to handle a move, a new business, or even a series of blind dates is to register a new phone number – and with services like Hushed, you have the option to keep your old phone number too.

With a two-number system, you can give your new number to specific individuals, like recruiters, clients, or even Craigslist contacts, and keep your old number for friends and family.

Whether you’re changing your number for privacy reasons or adding a new number for a new business, think carefully about who you need to notify, check on your two-step authentication, and follow up with anyone who suddenly stops contacting you. With a little planning, the stress of a phone number change can be a seamless process that increases your privacy and improves your life.