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Virtual Phone Numbers: Top FAQs You Should Know

September 6, 2023
Virtual Phone Numbers: Top FAQs You Should Know

Virtual phone numbers for businesses should not be confused with phone numbers connected to a landline or smartphone. These numbers are generated in the cloud and are connected to your possessing existing number.

These numbers are very popular nowadays for several reasons, including increased local presence, 24/7 availability, number portability, IVR integration, and more.

In this article, we've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions concerning virtual phone numbers. So, sit back and read till the end! 

FAQs: Using Virtual Numbers

In this part we’ve compiled all the questions about the basics of virtual phone numbers, how they work, and why you should use them.

Why are virtual phone numbers used?

Virtual numbers are cloud-based phone numbers that allow communication using no traditional landline networks, equipment, or installation. You can have a second phone line up and operate in minutes, and it can sit on your mobile phone while remaining independent from your number.

They have grown in popularity over the previous year and a half, owing to the pandemic's influence on distant working patterns. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the digital age, more and more enterprises are seeking a piece of the global market, and virtual numbers allow them to do so because of the exceedingly low call rates and the ability to appear local to the market they are contacting. 

How do virtual phone numbers work?

The consumer requests that their service provider give them a virtual phone number in the chosen area code. When a person in that area code dials the virtual phone number, the call is registered as if it were local, but it smoothly translates to the customer's actual phone number. Customers often pay a nominal monthly fee for each virtual phone number provided by VoIP service providers. 

How can I get a virtual phone number?

You can get it in several ways:

  • If your company already has a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) system, you may add a virtual phone number with their help.
  • You may get this service by purchasing a package from a VOIP provider that includes one virtual number, additional extensions, and more minutes. Otherwise, some suppliers sell virtual numbers. 

Are virtual phone numbers real?

A virtual phone number is a genuine number not linked to a physical phone line or SIM card.

Can two people share a virtual phone number?

Yes! A single virtual phone number can be shared by family members, team members, coworkers, and so on. You can easily share your phone calls, messages, contacts, and voicemail while keeping your personal information private.

Is it legal to use virtual phone numbers?

Yes. Even in countries where virtual numbers are prohibited, provisioning a virtual phone number is not always unlawful. Local service providers simply will not connect calls from VoIP phones. If you're concerned about the legality of VoIP numbers, check your local rules.

FAQs: Security and Privacy

Now that you know what virtual phone numbers are and how they’re used, the next thing that comes to mind is whether they are a safe option for your business. In this segment, we’ll try to answer all the concerns about the safety and privacy of using a virtual phone number.

Is it safe to use virtual phone numbers?

Yes! Virtual phone numbers are entirely secure. Even more secure than traditional phone connections. It shouldn't trouble you too much if you only use it for general calls and texting. But depending on the provider, you might have to deal with telemarketers and other annoyances. 

LimePhone offers complete privacy for your virtual number, keeping it away from the hands of telemarketers and spammers.

 

Is it possible to trace virtual phone numbers?

Tracing, in a legal sense, is not designed for the public. It is for the designated legal authorities.

Yes! It is possible to track virtual numbers. Aside from these regulatory agencies, every calling provider that provides virtual phone number services can also trace your number.

Can someone determine your location based on your virtual phone number?

With only a phone number, an average person cannot locate someone's tangible position. There are "find my device "applications, however, that allow users to trace their misplaced phone using their phone number and Google or Apple ID. Furthermore, there are likely additional ways for intruders to trace you using this number.

How do I know if someone has a virtual phone number?

This requires the individual to have Caller ID enabled on their smartphone. With this help, a company's name will show on the receiver’s phone screen. LimePhone provides custom Caller IDs, allowing you to personalize what the receivers see when you give them a call.

Another option is to utilize the reverse phone lookup service, which is easily accessible via numerous web channels. The cost of reverse phone lookup service varies per provider. Some businesses provide this service for free. It can inform you if the caller is a virtual phone number. It can also display the name and location of the number's owner.

Do scammers use virtual phone numbers?

Regrettably, yes. virtual phone numbers are pretty simple to forge. Furthermore, the caller ID information is readily changed. Asa result, virtual numbers are the favored phone number type for fraudsters and robocalls.

Do telemarketers use virtual phone numbers?

Virtual phone number service providers play an integral part in the robocall ecosystem, allowing fraudsters and abusive telemarketers to phone customers for pennies on the dollar. These letters notify VoIP companies that we will take action if they knowingly support unlawful robocalls.

Is it possible to hack virtual phone numbers?

Virtual phone numbers, like any other Internet-connected device, can be targeted by hackers engaged in fraud, theft, and other crimes. Many of these hackers are part of sophisticated organizations that seek to use corporate phones to make illegal calls.

Losing thousands of dollars to hackers can annihilate a small business's bottom line. Fortunately, a few basic procedures will considerably decrease the likelihood of virtual phone number fraud instances. Protect the critical settings on your phones, network, and corporate phone system to avoid invasions that drain money, time, and personnel.

How can hackers gain access to my virtual phone number?

Even if you exercise caution while sharing information online, it's always the hardest to keep your phone number safe from crooks. Here are five fundamentals methods a criminal could use to find your phone number:

  • Social media - Many social networking networks permit (and often demand) users to include their phone numbers. While this can help with platform security, it poses a security risk to your identity protection. Placing your virtual phone number on websites and social media networks allow thieves to contact you and launch fraud schemes.
  • Phishing scams - Criminals deceive unwary individuals by sending emails or SMS messages that appear to be from respectable businesses. Once the fraudsters have gained your trust, they might send you to a website where they can gather personal information, such as your virtual phone number.
  • The Dark Web - The Dark Web exists beneath the publicly accessible area of the internet where thieves gain and exchange personal information frequently taken following a data breach. In 2021, phone numbers were the fourth most common personal information stolen through data breaches.
  • Shoulder surfing - While you are in public, scammers can listen in and take your phone number. Hackers hijack public Wi-Fi and intercept any information you provide to a website in a more advanced variation of the shoulder surfing scam.
  • Stolen mail - Criminals can go through your trash to locate critical information. Shred any documents, including your phone number or other sensitive information. 

FAQs: How-to’s  

How can I make my virtual phone number untraceable?

  • Turn off Location Services: Allowing an app to utilize your location on your smartphone permits it to monitor and retain GPS data even when you aren't using it. Companies frequently sell this data to advertising, hedge funds, and other companies that can benefit from it.
  • Spyware detection and removal: Installing a spyware removal program is a straightforward approach to accomplish this. A reputable antivirus program can analyze your smartphone for signs of security breaches and give removal instructions.
  • Make use of a Private Browser: Private search engines, like DuckDuckGo and MetaGer, let you browse the web without revealing your IP address, location, or search terms. It decreases the possibility of hackers gaining access to your place or any other critical information via your online activities. 
  • Switch to Airplane Mode: If you feel someone is tracking your device using your internet activities, you can put your phone in airplane mode. It disables your phone's connection to cellular networks and prevents certain online services from obtaining your location. 
  • Unfamiliar Apps should be removed: To prevent hacking, fraud, or data leaks. delete any unusual programs immediately. Don’t install any apps outside of your device’s verified app store. 
  • Safeguard your Google account: Remember to update your password and privacy settings regularly to keep your Google account secure and your location information safe from criminals. 
  • Use a VPN: One of the finest methods to protect hackers, corporations, and advertising from getting your IP address and the actual location is to use a renowned VPN. 
  • Switch off your phone: If you realize someone is following your phone and need a quick solution, shutting it off altogether will disable all network and GPS data transmissions. While your smartphone is turned off, the tracker may still see your last known position but will not get any real-time updates.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi that is not password-protected: To decrease the possibility of a hacker placing spyware on your phone, avoid using public Wi-Fi and only connect to password-protected networks.
  • Turn off location tracking in social media apps: You can accomplish this by disabling location sharing for social networking applications in your phone's settings. If you use Facebook or Snapchat, you can also disable location tracking or limit who may view your location by going directly into the app settings. The app will keep your location data completely, but it will make it more difficult for other users to access it. 
  • Secure your SIM card: To help secure your smartphone from third-party trackers, you can execute a SIM card lock. But first, you'll need to confirm the default PIN on your SIM card (personal identification number). Most carriers use the same one for all devices, but guessing the wrong one multiple times will cause you to lose access to your SIM card. 

How can you tell if malicious software is tracking my phone?

There are several indicators that show if your phone is being followed, tapped, or monitored. The signals might be subtle, but if you know what to look for, they can be glaring: 

  • Unusual noises during phone calls: If you hear clicking sounds, static, or distant voices coming through your phone during a chat, it might mean you're being spied on. 
  • Decreased battery capacity: Reduced battery performance is another indicator of a bugged mobile phone. When your phone is tapped, it records your activity and sends them to a third party. This leaves a footprint in the form of greater energy use, and as a result, the battery depletes faster. 
  • When the phone is not in use, it displays activity: When you're not using your phone, does it make noises or light up the screen? When not in use, call and message alarms on one side of your phone should be silenced.
  • Does it also reboot for no apparent reason? If this is the case, someone may have remote access to your device. 
  • It takes a long time to turn off the phone: If your phone is being tampered with and delivering data to someone, it must finish the operation before shutting off.
  • As a result, if a phone takes longer than normal to switch off, particularly after a conversation, text, email, or online surfing, it may transmit data to a third party.
  • The phone battery feels warm: The temperature of your battery is another sign of a probable phone tap. If your phone feels warm even after you haven't used it, it might be surreptitiously transferring data. However, keep in mind that this is merely an indicator. 
  • Unusual text messages: Do you get unusual SMS messages with random numbers, symbols, or characters? The remote control element of spy software works by sending hidden coded text messages to your phone, which can be seen in some situations if the software is not functioning properly. If this occurs frequently, you may have a spy app on your phone. 
  • Data use has increased: Some of the less trustworthy spy applications utilize extra data to relay the information gathered from your phone, so keep an eye out for any unusual rise in your monthly data consumption. The data utilization of more complex spy software programs has been lowered and will be nearly hard to detect, whilst bad programs will show high data use. 

How to identify a Virtual Phone Number:

You might not be able to tell the difference between a traditional phone number and a virtual number at first glance. But don’t worry, there are several ways and many free tools to help you see if a number is virtual or not.

Here's a step-by-step process for identifying a virtual phone number:

  • Look at the area code: Virtual phone numbers often have area codes that are different from the area in which the owner of the number is located. You can use a quick internet search to identify the area code and determine if it is associated with a virtual phone number provider.
  • Text the phone number: Try texting the phone number. If it is a virtual phone number, you may receive an automated message asking you to reply with certain keywords or to click on a link. This could indicate that the number is being used for a virtual messaging service.
  • Call the phone number: Call the phone number and listen to the voicemail. If the voicemail message is generic or mentions a business name, it may be a virtual phone number. Also, note if the phone number has a distinctive ringtone or if the caller ID information is unfamiliar.
  • Check the Caller ID: Look at the caller ID information for the phone number. If the name associated with the phone number is unfamiliar or does not match the area code, it may be a virtual phone number. Sometimes virtual phone numbers will display a generic name or a company name rather than the caller's name.
  • Internet Search: Do a quick internet search on the phone number. If the phone number is a virtual phone number, you may find that it is associated with a business or service that provides virtual phone numbers. This can help you determine if the phone number is likely a virtual phone number.

By following these steps, you should be able to identify whether a phone number is a virtual phone number or not.

The Last Word

So, there are several advantages and disadvantages to using a virtual phone number. It allows you to keep your personal phone number private, as you can use the virtual number for business or other purposes. It also allows you to have a local phone number in a different area code or country, which can be useful for businesses with clients in different regions. However, there are also some disadvantages to using a virtual phone number. Such as reliability, spam, or telemarketing, which can be a turn-off for potential customers. 

Overall, virtual phone numbers can be a useful tool for businesses or individuals who need a dedicated phone number for specific purposes. However, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully and consider which virtual phone number provider is the best option for your needs. 

If you’re still on the fence, try LimePhone. Sign up for the free trial and get a feel for the most affordable fully-featured virtual business phone provider in the market. Don’t miss out, try LimePhone today!

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