Does an Untraceable Cell Phone Exist? | ITS Tactical

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Does an Untraceable Cell Phone Exist?

By Bryan Black

Cell Phone 01I’d like to share my attempt to find out if there’s any truth to obtaining an untraceable prepaid cell phone.

Now by untraceable I don’t mean being able to hide having it tracked when it’s powered on, I feel that’s kind of a no-brainer.

The signal could always be triangulated via cell towers, but this article is not meant to go into those details.

Untraceable in this sense means untraceable to a person, or anonymous use of a cell phone.

I have always been curious about prepaid, no-contract cell phones and decided the best way to learn about them was to buy one for myself.

Emergency Use

This journey started off with me wanting to get a prepaid backup cell phone on a different network than what I currently have.

In an emergency, I wanted to have a phone on a different network just in case mine went down.

When I finally got ready to make my purchase of a prepaid phone, I thought to myself, how easy is it for a criminal to gain access to a untraceable cell phone?

What if they paid in cash? Would there really be no record of who made the purchase?

All these thoughts started running through my head and causing tons of  “what if” scenarios to play out.

With all the bad things that happen on a daily basis in our country, I was confident that prepaid cell phones weren’t something that could be used for the wrong reasons.

Surely there would be some kind of identification check, right?


The short answer is no. I’m going to leave out a lot of details in my findings, due to this being an open internet site.

I’m currently in the process of contacting the company to implore them to investigate what I’ve found though.

Is an untraceable cell phone possible, you bet it is. In my opinion, it’s a dangerous thing for literally anyone to have the ability to gain access to one.

However, I’m not a fan of regulation and don’t want this to turn into a political article, so lets just keep it at that.


With the particular prepaid phone I purchased, I had to buy my minutes separate from the phone, and those minutes were only good for 30 days once activated.

The phone also had to be activated from another phone (land-line or cell phone) or their Web site, before it was able to accept the minutes and allow calls to be placed.

Calling the activation number put me in touch with an operator working in a call center in India.

After I read the IMEI number from the phone I’d purchased and let the operator know my name and address, a phone number and area code was created based on the address I provided.

Essentially that was it, no other personal information was required, and I now had a working phone and 30 days to use my minutes.

If the phone account is not refilled within 30 days after the service end date, the phone number will be lost and a new one will be generated when the phone is reactivated.

I realized that to use my new prepaid phone for emergency purposes, I’d need to purchase an optional minute plan where the minutes never expired.

Having a card ready to load in an emergency wouldn’t be a good option, because I’d have to wait through the process of activating the minutes and potentially having my phone number changed.

Closing Remarks

The implications of an untraceable cell phone are fairly significant, and something that I feel should not be taken lightly.

While no real details were provided into how to make a cell phone untraceable back to the purchaser, it was fairly easy to figure out.

This is also an account of just one of the many prepaid providers out there, and is not a reflection of the majority.

What are your thoughts on the availability of phones like this? Do you consider them dangerous?

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  • Larry Rocha

    Where I hail from, Brasil, these pre-paid phones are the boon of the criminal industry. And if they are coupled with SIM-card capability which can be hacked you have a recipe for disaster in the wrong hands.

    On the other hand, many of us who are not criminals can benefit from the same technology if certain situations arise.

    Good article, look forward to hearing more about this from you.

    • Larry,

      Thanks for the comment,

    • Jimi Deathamphetamine

      there are talks in the government conferences to pass a law which let you buy a prepaid sim card only with your ID… but then you can buy a fake ID with ~150$

  • Without intending it, this is pretty much the way my cell is set up since I got fed up with contract service and switched to pre-paid. I think I used my real info when I set it up but there is no guarantee they kept it. Though I imagine, at this point I’ve put minutes on with my plastic though which ties it to me either way.

    Do I think its dangerous? It has the potential to be. But, so do a lot of things. Regulating who can buy a cell phone and how is going too far, in my opinion. It is still a free country, and in a free country, if I want a cell phone that has the anonymity of the old payphone on the corner, I should be able to own one.
    More to the point, if I use a prepaid phone and only pay cash for new cards, I don’t want to be criminalized for not being findable. Being anonymous should never be a crime – Plenty of ordinary citizens find they need to disappear, with no criminal intentions whatsoever.

    Even if new regulation was put in place to prevent this sort of open access to cell phones, how functional could it be? It would have to be fairly severe to begin with to verify personal information, and it would still have to depend on the honesty of the person buying the phone. Phones could still be bought and set up by X, and then given to Y. Stolen identity information can still be used.
    When I set up my last contract phone, there was a guy with an extremely thick Mexican/South-of-the-Border accent buying a phone, and he read “his” information, including social security number, off a hand written note. Was it really his? I doubt it.

    My take is there are better things on which to expend energy than cell phone access. I only see a thing like this hurting the innocent, while the criminal element continues to do things the shady way.

    • Great comments Morgan!

      You raise some terrific points and I completely agree with all of them. There’s a way around everything, and there are plenty of things that are dangerous out there.

      Without going into details, my intention with the article wasn’t to spark regulation, but to raise awareness and to elude to a fairly significant security loophole created by the company with whom I purchased my prepaid service. That loophole is best left off of the internet.


    • CounterTerrorismDude

      You cant live in fear. and dont think for a second ANYONE has your best interest , to include the government- which has the least of your interest. regulation and control becomes a step to the next. yes someone can do something bad in your name, just like someone could steal your mail, or spread a rumor. this fear is being wielded and used for political gain. false flag and such. scanners at airports= public hates them…. suddenly we have an underware bomber…gov wants to regulate the internet= public says no…… Iran gets a computer virus, messes up a bunch of stuff= suddenly the internet needs to be regulated with governement oversight. that tracphone maybe the last piece of privacy you have left.

  • k

    Immediately their use in terrorism comes to mind, but our countermeasures are limited.

    1) Cell jamming is expensive and indiscriminate. It would do more harm than good.
    2) Registration of a phone to an identity takes our ability to make anonymous speech.

    One thing to note is that if you have an old phone, even if you’ve switched over to a new phone, is required by law to have access to 911. So there’s a more cost-effective solution on hand already, and network congestion is likely going to saturate every carrier in an area in a case of an emergency.

    • K,

      Good point on the old phone still being able to call 911. I tend to forget that sometimes.
      Also, you’re spot on with the network congestion in an emergency, although the specific purpose I had for the backup phone was for smaller emergencies. I carry bigger radios for a breakdown in the entire network.


  • M. Atwood is on the right track: the technology is merely a tool. Is it dangerous? Sure, but what isn’t? I can build a house with a hammer. I can also inflict a pretty good head wound.

    in that respect, this cat was out of the bag a while ago (which is why I don’t feel bad talking about it). I’ll bet more than a few readers here have seen IEDs (or at least pictures of them) with a Nokia jury rigged to [your favorite detonator]. While some phones are likely stolen and re-purposed, I’d be willing to bet that a great deal of those are pre-paid… and possibly activated with stolen ID information (which Atwood also intimates). Makes you think twice about identity thieves, though, doesn’t it?

    In the bigger picture, targeting anonymized cell phones is a little like treating the symptoms rather than the illness. The best you can really hope for is to keep sound fundamentals in your security practices.

    • Thanks for the comment Erik!


  • Zach

    I don’t have a problem with it and am glad that there is still a potentially anonymous means of communication available, despite the potential risks. It’s not much different from using a payphone or internet cafe, after all.

    The fear about them seems much ado about very little, if not nothing.

    • Zach,

      Thanks for the comment,

  • There used to be a website (that I wont mention for… well it doesn’t matter) where you could go to learn about anything illegal from making crack-cocaine to selling live organs on the black market. The website has long since been closed down by its owner, but they had several articles about how to live “off the grid” and prepaid cell phones were a very common article. I’ve had first hand experience (don’t ask why) setting up fake accounts in Hialeah and Miami, from Austin, TX where I used to live. There is nothing hard about it. I agree, there should be some kind of additional verifiable information you need to provide. This is minute in comparison to the overwhelming ease at creating a whole new identity in itself. Don’t believe the “it’s not possible” nay sayers. It is very possible, and very easy, and very very cheap.

  • TJK

    In my country, just like Larry Rocha said, there are a lot of scams involving pre-paid phones.
    Also over here you don’t even have to give your ID or any other data in order to activate the phone.
    Just buy the phone, buy a card, and activate the card. You keep the number forever, and every 3 months without buying a new card you loose your minutes.
    That’s it.

  • danneskjold

    Anyone seen The Wire? Thats how the drug dealers in the show communicated, through pre-paid phones if I remember correctly.

  • spenceman

    Anonymous pre-paid is absolutely going to be exploited by criminals and terrorists, like Larry Rocha and Erik said. Unfortunately, there are law abiding citizens that may have a need for it too. Granted those needs tend to be few. I can think of a few purposes that I could take advantage of it, but they’re all quasi-legal, or at least only applicable to times when things get shady. Having to pay an extra fee over the phone with a credit card so that minutes don’t expire is an okay, but still not hard to circumvent. Needless to say I think I’m going to take advantage of the loophole while I can, because anonymity can be invaluable.

  • A fair number of years ago I helped set up the prepay processes for one of the big 4 UK mobile telcos. Initially registration could be annonymous, with just the SIM number needing to be provided for activation. The IMEI and IMSI would be picked up by the network once the SIM was provisioned.

    Around 2000-2001 the rules changed to force registration. Users didn’t need to provide proofs, just verbally ID their name and address. This was partly driven by security concerns but was more for the mobtelcos to improve the quality of their subscriber data – a database of 10 million plus people is a valuable thing! It also made it easier, and more likely, for customers to use credit card payment which is cheaper to process and more secure than printed vouchers. In the UK now any prepaid mobile phone SIM is supposed to be registered before activation, and this is often done in the store. However there is a large market in SIM cards, and many of these are registered prior to being sold. Some are second hand, some are registered by the retailer before sale.

    Buying one of these SIMs, and likely a second hand phone, would be effectively anonymous. The unique ID of that SIM and handset would be known to the network and could be triangulated, but that could not be identified to an individual without additional intelligence.

    There are other options for anonymous communication as well. VOIP via internet cafes and the like give similar options. It’s all good in my opinion. The fact that some people misuse the phone is no reason for the state to control or monitor access to communication.

  • Using your prepaid mobile this way will allow you to carry a rock-bottom cheap mobile browser with you at all times!Many prepaid mobile plans combine the features mentioned above, plus others.

  • Chris K.

    Today you may be a “good” guy. Tomorrow a law may be passed that makes you a “bad” guy. And you will have done nothing different. I think the ability to remain anonymous when this happens (and it happens everyday) far, far, far outweighs any potential risks.

    Keep in mind the federalist papers were written anonymously too.

  • Tony

    You know what scares me? It isn’t some nebulous and fairly theoretical threat of “the terrorists”. It is this, right here. A bunch of – as far as I know, at least 🙂 – level-headed people having a serious discussion on how being able to own a functional cell phone without the government sticking its dirty paws into the affair is dangerous!

    None of us live in a free country. What little freedoms we have are constantly under attack by the ever expanding nanny states the western world has become. THAT is the real threat!

    Yes, with the availability of anonymous communication methods, criminals can transmit messages to other criminals without government knowledge. Criminals… like you and me. Personally, I find this to be a GOOD thing. Any little thing that stands in the way of the truly Orwellian surveillance society all western countries seem to be striving to become is a good thing.

  • What about using Google Voice (or finding a similar voip service but with more anonymity) to hide everyone you are calling? Of course your calls can still be tapped with anyone nearby with the right listening equipment.

  • By more anonymity I really meant, they don’t keep CDR, or call records.

  • micro

    the same situation exists in most countries of the world. but, honestly, i can probably name 100 products from boltcutters, to lockpicks, to TAZERS, to spraypaint, to guns that have more than one use. Society only survives because the criminally minded people are a small minority.

  • Steve Jacquizzi

    Well, I’ve thinking about trying to clone my verizon phone, because i hate when people steal mine, i don’t want to do anything illegal, so i googled untraceable cell phones, and this came up, and if people can’t clone some of there cell phones, and they still want some of that stuff like the same number or whatever they should switch to prepaid, and have multiple ones, so that they can have multiple numbers if one dies…

  • Nick Sharp

    I believe that this article was almost just the thing I was looking for, though it was lacking a few points.

    Though they are not important at this moment, I’d like to thank you with this article, as I have found the best untraceable cell phone as far as pre-paid phone companies go. TracFone.

  • rob

    I work in a place where people buy pre paid cell phones and we actually activate them for the customer. No ID is required and for most companies, all you need to do is verify that the customer is over the age of 13. All this coupled with paying with cash, i’d say it is close to untraceable. That being said, some companies offer “recent activity” management on the account through the computer. So if someone remembered the customer’s number and PIN, they could access the account and find out who they are calling.

  • Skuzzy G

    I will inform you all as far as what I know about the whole “Pre-Paid Cell Phone” Issue.

    I use to work for a major retail store as a Assets Protection member. We were in the OR I-5 “corridor” as we called it. About every 2 weeks or so we would get a call from one of our stores either above or below us on the I-5 and be warned that our “cell phone” buyers were making their runs…

    We would collect as much data as possible on these individuals. The situation as far as I tracked them was normally a family consisting of the Father, Mother, normally two older sons, and a daughter. (Sometimes we would only have the father and son, or the two older sons… They were mid twenties.) The family would enter the store and would all attempt to buy as many pre-paid cell phones as possible. I literally mean as many as possible. There was one or two times that we were caught off guard and they cleaned our supply out… this means over 50 phones at one time.

    Our AP team took heavy into tracking these individuals. They almost always paid with a credit card. (They did not care about their name being on file.) I had tons of face shots from my security cameras from when I zoomed in on them at the check out stands. We gathered all their information, I had their credit card numbers on file, all their names I could gather, and would then follow them into the parking lot with the PTZ cameras and got license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions.
    I remember that we would either see them in an old white ford minivan or a grey toyota. I remember watching one time as the father and son opened the trunk of the toyota and we saw the trunk was COMPLETELY FULL of pre-paid cell phones from all the other stores they had bought them from.

    We gathered all this information and sent it up to the district office. Our investigators would then turn all documentation over to FBI agents. – So all together, the FBI and our other federal agencies do know about this. The reason they were “watching these individuals” from what I was told was that they were traveling from WA to CA all up and down the I-5 corridor and after buying all the phones they would then send them over to the Middle Eastern Countries, where it was believed they were then sold or given to possible terror cells. I dont know how much of that is true… but not to be a judge, however… I believe it 100%…. do keep in mind however that I worked for that company over 3 years ago… so I cant comment of current situations…

    Skuzzy G

    • Wow, thanks for sharing the story!

      ~ Bryan

    • Anon

      Dude, relax. The reason they are buying so many phones is simple: you can make money by selling them overseas. Prepaid phone companies don’t make money on selling the phones, they make money when people buy the minutes, so companies price the phones very cheap. What you can buy here for under $20 will cost $50-$75 in other countries. The result? People buy phones and sell them overseas, it happens all the time. Remember in many middle eastern countries, cell phone sales can be restricted/monitored, meaning phones are harder to come by (so more $). Pure economics, no terror cells needed.

    • Thomas Tucker

      Just because they dont know whos using the phone don’t mean they cant trace the phone. Most phones have GPS now a days.. so if they need to they can track the phone down within 1-2 mile radius.

      And then they can use other clues, like the numbers you call, to better determine who you are.

      Or if you pay in cash they can look at the time of sale, and in some cases catch you on video paying for the exact card that was sold.

      All of this can be worked around… but it’s easier just to steal someones phone.. use it quick and ditch it you’ll probably never get caught that way.. so does restrictions help keep people honest, yes. Criminals will get untraceable phones no matter what.

      nothing is untraceable, only more difficult to trace…. and unless everyone you communicate with doesn’t know your real identity.. misuse it you’ll get caught.

  • RedSyns

    i believe the most infamous untraceable cellphone company is “Boost”. this service is most commonly used by drug dealers.

  • Seraph

    Interesting article

    But I don’t know what the worry is about criminals using pre-paid phones, they are likely to steal cell phones then dump them, when they are done.

    The same goes for lock picking, a criminal is not going to pick the lock on your front door, they are going to find an open windowdoor or as the silly home owner does leave a key under the mat or just break in.

  • Um

    I’m of the ilk that I’d rather have the people – as a collective and/or as individuals – have the RIGHTS to freedom of speech… PERIOD!!! If that means that some evil exists as a result of NOT tracking the world… because of a few rotten apples… oh, well!!! I’d rather have the little bit of evil amongs the people perpetuated rather than having “Big Brother” (or anyone/anything else) know more than they should. The government has gotten more than a little too big for its britches, if you ask me. It is THEY who are to submit to THE PEOPLE… NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!!! Until the People – collectively and individually – come to terms with this we will forever be taken advantage of!!!!!

  • Mr. Bang

    Here in Denmark you can walk into just about any kiosk and buy cash a “setup package” consisting of a SIM card and prepaid minute card. The only thing needed to be done to activate the SIM is calling a service number and entering a number that came with the package, no ID required. The prepaid minutes work the same way, except for the fact that they can also be purchased in just about every supermarket here.
    Of cause the telecommunications companies in Europe are required by law to keep on file information about all calls and numbers for a least 12 months.
    Our government is of cause moving to change this and to make all users of prepaid phones/minutes, internetcafé’s and public hot spots have to register to “prevent crime” (More like outlaw privacy :-/ ). Leaving only the public libraries and Tor for anonymous internet access and the libraries are probably already secretly logged.

  • David Ward

    I know at the company, I affectionately refer to as fail-mart, wal-mart prostitutes and pimps, and probably drug dealers too but i have first hand accounts of the former, buy prepaid cell (Stripper) friends and they like to use them so they can call clients and they can call them, but if they get one that starts creeping or getting possesive the can dump the number and thereby sever contact.

  • first you need to know who you are trying to not be traced by, how long it should take and how many resources you want someone unmasking you to be forced to expend on tracing you, and preferably have a really good reason to do this – because truly living life anonymously is not liberating to most people, it’s a miserable experience done out of necessity. People may be happy in the Witness Protection Program, but probably they’re mostly happy to still be alive.

    And potential and actual abuses of power by Western governments aside, which we should always guard against, many of the people being tracked very, very much should be being tracked.

    not being traced by criminals, non-narcostate-level organized crime groups, or law enforcement with a basic level of technology sophistication is VERY different from taking on groups with more money, resources, talent (within the group or hired guns), and time.

    in more extreme cases, if you piss off some group like the FBI or foreign equivalents, you are in serious crap.

    if you piss off a major power national signals intelligence agency like the NSA, you are pretty much completely screwed. They have effectively unlimited budgets for this task, hire very large amounts of very smart technical and operational people to do this stuff, and have home field advantage if you’re operating in their country.

    the technique you describe will make the first mentioned groups have a hell of a time tracking you down.

    They would likely not even break the stride of the other listed groups.

    Techniques to correlate cell phone IMEI with physical position on Earth via cell tower triangulation/phone GPS and probably other things nobody has thought of (publicly) will likely unmask these techniques very, very quickly. Maybe not fast enough, but you may be surprised.

    even disciplined, smart people screw this stuff up, either by lack of knowledge or by making small mistakes.

    you might be able to get away with that against the groups first mentioned. The FBI or NSA grade people will pounce on that minor mistake and use it to find you.

    even better than having untraceable cell phones is not having a reason or need to use them.

  • Kelly

    I have found this discussion very interesting. I was just wondering if it was possible to have an untraceable cell phone. I only use mine for emergencies and the minutes expire before I use them.

    I am amazed as a culture how dependent people are on cell phones. So many people have them now you can forget looking someone up in the phone book anymore. This helps criminals by keeping their address and number a secret. Now all the poor have cell phones and they get free minutes every month, “Safe link” so they can look for jobs? Like a phone is a necessity like food or electricity! It also takes advantage of the poor who spend the rent just to have the newest cell phone when a 30 dollar magic jack would give them a years worth of local and long distance service. A lousy 2.50 a month will give you phone service but not the cool cell phone kind. I just talked a friend out of an unlimited plan which was expensive and she is on welfare. She has the Safe link phone but uses up the 250 minutes in a week. She is getting a magic jack after I explained to her that this was all she could “afford”. Maybe she could even get cable tv with the savings? I just don’t get it as I rarely use my phone or have a need to be connected to someone 24/7 with a cellular umbilical cord. It seems like every great invention like the television and the telephone starts out promising but within a few short years we have over engineered it and made the content something I find unacceptable to watch or listen to. It’s insulting to anyone with intelligence and “new funny” is not as good as “old funny” was.

    Now the cell phone, How did we ever live without them? They are expensive, need to be upgraded, die if they get wet or dropped. You need to charge them, the buttons are too small to see, many vehicular accidents are attributed to texting and jobs are lost over sexting and marriages are over due to cell records and criminals go to jail because of triangulation and call records. Not to mention brain cancer from holding them to our heads all day long. Being untraceable is the least of their problems.

    • linnie trotter

      Yes ,I agree 100% untraceable is the least concern.

  • linnie trotter

    No they are not dangerous. How could they be???????????? I mean think about when we had no cell phones . No one tracked you 24 hours a day. So why is it such a bad thing now, if we make the chioce to own a nontraceable cell phone? Not everyone wants to have a cell phone for the pupose of being traced. It is a personal chioce, thats all.

  • Oh noes!

    Next thing you know they’ll have phones on the streets that for only a quarter will let you make anonymous phone calls! The horror! Or people might hook up cordless phones in their houses allowing anyone with kindergarten tech knowledge to use anyones phone from outside their house… Don’t get me started on what would happen if someone where to invent Voice over IP…

    • Gregory Jorgensen

      Wise up. You didn’t go to college did you….
      That’s not a question.

  • ryan

    now it even easier and with less information… I work for a major retailer that sells the above phone. Now you can ask an associate to set the phone up for you, the associate only needs a zip code and doesn’t need a name or any personal information to setup the phone. they key the zip code emei and the pin on the card and bam your good to go.

    im pretty sure all their systems are automated now so you could setup a phone the same way and not even have to talk to a operator.

  • saddened tech

    All phones sold in the US are federally required to be able to pinpoint your geo-location to a given carrier to within 100-300 meters. This has always been easy using triangulation (wait for your phone to switch between 3 or more towers, happens faster than you think), but every phone since 2004 or 2005 I think it was now has a GPS chip. Believe it or not, these chips know where you are real-time, send historical geo-location info to carriers where they are stored on servers indefinitely. These records are available on request from government entities, whether its an informal request which in which the service provider happily agrees without asking your consent (yes, this is pretty standard), or upon denial, in a court hearing which doesn’t involve you either (I read that there were about a dozen or so cases in which the courts were involved). No probably cause is needed (showing that access will yield proof of crime), government agencies need only prove that access to a given cell phone’s location would provide relevant aid in an ongoing investigation (aka, if they are looking into what could be a matter of a crime of any level and you happen to be associated with persons, places, or events involved, there goes your right to privacy).

    A GPS chip functions while your phone is off as well. You can take the battery out if it makes you feel better, but all computers have internal batteries to keep certain components running 24/7 (think laptops, but desktops too), and since all phones are computers you can bet they all have an internal power source. This one is a bit of a stretch, but if you don’t believe me please do your own research (somewhere other that wikipedia).

    So, forgetting about that 100-300 meter radius, GPS (created, funded, and maintained by the Department of Defense) is accurate to within a few feet. Think about walking from your living room to your bathroom to take a pee…seriously? Who, besides you, needs to know that? You can always buy a phone overseas that advertises their lack of a GPS monitoring chip, but since your phone’s public IP changes about once every minute, you can bet that youre being routed through another path (think back to towers here), and since it might take a speedy person three minutes to do their business and wash up, in the time you were taking that Freedom Pee with your ‘untraceable phone’, your position has been triangulated.

    Triangulation is accomplished using signal strength, locations of towers, and computations of signal degradation over distance based on what is known about the technologies being implemented in a given situation. Then what you have is basically a big circle around each of the towers you last connected to, leaving a Venn diagram effect with a common area which you most surely occupy. Phone’s usually switch towers when they leave range of a connected tower, come in range of a tower with a stronger signal than the one it is currently connected to, or when you reset your radio/turn your phone off and back on again. But remember that your phone is a computer, and its connections, voice or text, are not analog, it is data being sent directly to your service providers computer, to your friend’s service provider’s computers, and then to his phone (with no encryption or privacy of contents, I might add).

    If it goes through them, they can choose the full path start to finish. If there are three towers that can conceivably connect to your phone and your carrier wants to triangulate you, youd better believe its a only a click away. They might not know who you are, but boy can they find you.

    I know most of this is outside the scope of this post, but I define truth as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and I’m sure glad I learned all of this so I want to make sure as many people know what they’re dealing with as possible. This isn’t a free country, we are still fighting everyday for freedom from our government and it’s a shame that the people of the world can’t see that; they instead refer to America and American’s, lumping innocent people like us with government entities that make decisions out of our control, and then tell us it’s what we wanted and for our own good.

    I’m still working on a solution for fully anonymous cell phone communications. Not that I expect to make much progress, but if I do, I promise to share it with you all.

  • Mykey

    European country here. Not Denmark as the entry further up. We can buy prepaid phones like any other good in supermarkets, electronic shops and phone shops, with cash and without an ID. Sim is activated by calling the phone provider and entering a code. Prepaid accounts are good for one year and can be extended by buying a coupon at a shop, then calling the phone company and entering the coupon code.

    A few years ago I read half of the cell phones here are prepaid. That means millions of these are in use. I have a prepaid phone myself. It helps to keep costs lower than having to pay monthly dues to a phone company.

    I think fears about the danger of unregistered phones are exaggerated. Registered phones that are stolen also make the thief anonymous but become a larger problem for the previous owner, because in case he is the first suspect.

  • Robert

    I use it for whistle blowing. Have been for years. If it wasn’t for these kinds of things, i would be in serious trouble. Lets not be too naive about our govt. With enough money, the police will find you

  • Jack Adams

    I have purchased several prepaid sim cards on eBay. It was common (years ago) to find them loaded with minutes AND associated with a name. The seller sometimes provided that name (and birthdate) in the event it was necessary to change anything associated with the account down the road. Was that a legit name or ficticious? Who cares. These cards can be loaded by calling from any phone. I was pleased ATT was not permitted to acquire Tmobile. All of my prepaid cell phones are with Tmobile and I didn’t relish the thought of an acquisition changing anything. 25 to 30 cents per minute is a bargain for those who use them infrequently. I believe you can also get 1,000 minutes for $100, but I loaded all of my phones in smaller increments (for virtually free) by using ink cartridge recycling rewards to purchase air time. Unfortunately the office supply chains now prohibit those purchase of time cards with ink rewards.

  • Sfsnipe

    What about an ip address from where the phone was activated from? Would the company activating the phone have traceability to whom activated it through the ip address of the cell phone or computer which was used (if in fact one was used to activate it online)?

  • Lola

    I read an article today as a matter of fact that local police are now use cell phone tracking, a convenience once only used by the FBI, to track a SUSPECT, not someone who is know to commit crimes for sure, but a suspect without a court order. This has gone too far, this means that they have the capability to track you for whatever reason they deem necessary without any proof of a crime having been commited. The U.S. Supreme Court this year already spoke on a case AGAINST law enforcement for putting a GPS tracker on a car of a suspected drug dealer. So, eventually, this case will will have further implications for law enforcement and cell tracking.

    I know that we have an enemy of this country that would like nothing better than to drop an atomic bomb on us and because of this, law enforcement has had to reach above and beyond to track people. The problem is, who is watching the police? A disgruntled cop who wants to know where his wife is can simply call the cell phone company and put a trace not only on his wife’s whereabouts but also a log of her phone calls and her text messages. In other words this can be abused and probably already is. I applaud the government in trying to stop terrorism in it’s tracks but if it has to come at the expense of our civil liberties, I am not sure about that. A criminal can always circumvent a way around registering his phone legally. Like a poster above said, it can be done easily with a fake ID. I really don’t understand how you said you were alarmed that you were able to get an anonymous phone. I find it to be a good thing and I am not a criminal. We should be more alarmed on how easy it is for a felon to get a hold of firearms than a cheap Trac Phone from Wal-Mart. People never cease to amaze me that they focus on the wrong stuff all the time. Pshaw!

  • Raul

    I believe that privacy is a cornerstone human right, and in today’s world I believe everyone shoul have an untraceable phone. I usually have one on a bogus name and address just cause big brother is too damm nosy. I’m not a criminal or a threat to no one but those who would be a threat to me, my family or my friends. It is scary when governments eavesdrop on it’s citizens. Besides the real evildoers always have free access to guns and phones being stolen or purchased from ” somebody” so like always its the good citizens being left in a disadvantage.

  • jordan

    I am writing a novel where a guy gets a phone call from his missing wife, but the police tell him the call was untraceable. It’s a text message using terms that only he can decode, so obviously she’s hoping he’ll understand and realize where she’s being held. Could she have sent the message from a stolen phone? A computer using SKYPE? When she was kidnapped, she had her laptop with her. Wouldn’t they still be able to triangulate the call? How broad of a search area would there be in a fairly remote area? This is from someone who never texted in her life. I have a tracphone and a card I bought from Walmart and I thought since I paid cash these were untraceable, except perhaps my location could be triangulated. Have I watched too many crime shows on TV? Any advice would be helpful.

  • Safety First

    Just happened to stumble across this article and thought I’d chime in. If you have a little money to throw at it, it’s very easy to get a full-blown cell CONTRACT anonymously. Currently, Sprint and Verizon both have deposit options if you don’t have ID. Go to just about any third party cell retailer at your local mall and tell them you need to start a contract without ID or SSN and are willing to pay the deposit…$150 for Sprint and $400 for Verizon. Use an alias, which is NOT illegal if you aren’t intentionally using a real persons name with the intent to defraud that person. Also, the contract is not illegal as long as you pay because you are not defrauding the service provider.

    Make sure you remember all the info you use to set up your account and pay them cash with the payment machines. If you aren’t doing something illegal, then no one will ever come looking for you anyway. It’s just a good way to stay “off the grid” to a degree.

    If you really want to make it difficult…I think you could get creative with how and where you use cash to make the payments…

  • Kensi Marie Blye

    Let me put this simply to you. I bought an AT&T Go Phone here a while back. Here’s how things went…. First of all I wore a plain white T-shirt and jeans along with sunglasses and an old baseball hat I was going to trash. The Small national chain store I went to was well out of town from where I live for me. I bought the phone with cash, all the while never looking up at the known cameras above the checkout. I also bought the minutes at the same time. I then went to the parking lot and got into my vehicle which was parked in front of a mom & pop Chinese place that has no cameras at all and is next door and behind the small shopping center where the store is. It is a place I wouldn’t be going back to anytime soon at all since it is that far away from my home. I sat in the vehicle, punched in the code that AT&T told me to use to activate the phone. It consisted of a code, the zip code I would use it in most, and a rate plan code I wanted from the 3 choices. I did that and hit “call.” I was told to shut off the phone for 10 minutes then turn it back on. I did, and then got a text with my new number. I called the number on the prepaid minutes card and added my airtime. All the while, never giving any info whatsoever to anyone as it was all automated. I left, went to a nearby place that had no cameras outside and threw away the hat I had already destroyed. making sure this was a rubbish bin that is frequently used by people throwing away sodas and other liquids. After that I left and drove towards home, but not before stopping by an internet cafe and using the AT&T website to update my account via a VPN and providing a non existent address in a major city not near me. I do know the phone can be tracked by LEOs, FBI, and such if they want it. But out of the millions of phones sold in the US, 90% or more of the people will not be able to track you. Also, to AT&T, I am “Prepaid Customer” whereas my previous provider asked for ID when I bought the phone I did at their store and had it activated. In fact calling AT&T customer service about something with my phone, I called from a GV number and gave them a fake name first name in the idle chatter we had. No trouble all was well.All they wanted was the phone number and the PIN assigned to it. See “Bourne Ultimatum”, that simple. No phone will be 100% untraceable from the cops if they want it, but if one keeps below the radar they can slip by. They may just lift an eyelid and sniff at you and be done. But if you awaken them….. And you set your caller ID to ALWAYS be blocked to anyone you call and you NEVER call 911, any emergency number, or toll free number from it. It’s how you stay safe. Be well 🙂

  • Jim Smith

    People talking on cell phones: That’s creepy.

    Who knows what they are saying about stuff? Could be terroristic drug dealers, criminals, polticians…

    The govenrment should listen to all calls and decide who is good and who is bad and then act on it.

    It’s for our own good.

    Oh! That’s right, they already do.

    • Kensi Marie Blye

      It’s called ECHELON

  • Aziz

    untraceable phone is impossible.not any government on this world will ever allow is just an advertisement to make more mobile phone sales.can you even imagine that real untraceable phones are being sold like a bread and chees in every market?it will completely jeopardise national security directly.this is why even Togolese government will never allow such phone sales.technically it is also impossible.there is not even single phone which can be completely discrete in front of US NSA and such organisations.

  • Titan

    A phone that is not in your name that you can call from??? next thing you know there will be a generic phone on every corner that anybody can call from by prepaying!!! wait, that was the LAST 60 YEARS!!!!!!!! insert generic trading liberty for security saying here. Idiots do not learn from the past. What amuses me the most is that the vocal republicans, a party which i am a member and waiting for the real republicans to return to, want the most invasive intrusion into our private lives in the name of personal safety, (btw, before i get flamed, look up the statistics of Getting killed by a terrorist vs getting killed by an alligator or bee) are the same that cry to keep the government out of our business lives, ban the federal government and give the power to corporations. Just saying knee jerk reactive short sightedness causes more problems than they will ever solve.

  • Kensi Marie Blye

    Local Gas station here (mom and pop place) sells new cell phones (Verizon agent) as well as used cell phones of any brand or type (CDMA or GSM) as they buy used ones. It is too easy to walk in and buy one, buy a SIM card off ebay or elsewhere, and then activate the phone via the internet as I have described above. And with cell phones costing as low as $10, it is easy for a paranoid person or someone who really doesn’t want to be tracked to buy a new one every month and buy a $10 phone card each month (or when one runs out of minutes) and just toss the SIM card, give away the old phone or sell it, and activate and use the new one. And with a whole country of zip codes to choose from, they can get a new number in a new area code monthly if they want. The cost? $20 to $25 a month (more if they add another $10 card because of needed minutes.) If the government wants you, they can track you. Make no doubt about it. CIA, NSA, FBI, Homeland, State Police, or even Sheriff, etc. can track you if they need to. It’s Joe Public and a lot of PI’s and the other 98% that cannot that ones are getting away from. A show of Discovery Channel a year or two ago had a survival expert showing how to “disappear” and live off the grid so that no one really save the government would be able to find you. But yes, it can be done. Be well 🙂

  • atfsux

    I’ve been using a prepaid Tracfone from Walmart for years, and love it. But as much as I have resisted, I find myself actually NEEDING a smartphone now. That is a whole nuther story. How the hell does one get anonymous smartphone service? Everywhere I have looked into it, even if you buy an unlocked phone for cash and try to get carrier service prepaid for cash,…somewhere along the line someone demands to see ID. I suppose I may have to set about getting a fake ID, since I absolutely REFUSE to have any phone connected to me. But at 44, I’m not hooked up with the high school crowd, so I have no idea where to get quality IDs.

  • Erik

    The article is imbalanced, granting undo weight to the dangers of anonymous phones while overlooking civil rights. While a crime could be committed with an anonymous phone, there are several questions we have to ask. Do we remove rights of privacy from millions of consumers just to stop the occasional crime? And would doing so actually stop those crimes, or just make criminals look for other ways to accomplish communication anonymously? Knives are used in criminal acts more than guns, do we register knife owners? And cell tracing only helps expedite the investigation of a crime. Should we tap all phones and run them through AI algorithms in order to try to prevent the crimes? The article treats phones as though they are weapons. They’re not, they’re tools. We can regulate and restrict weapons, but violating privacy rights in order to regulate and restrict tools is nonsensical. We have to ask – how many major crimes have been accomplished or gotten away with due to anonymous phones? The figure is probably close to almost none.

    • Thomas Tucker

      *the right to a false sense of privacy.

      It’s easier for the Gov’t just to let people think they have privacy and not even try to pretend to regulate it.

  • Cindy

    I get a new prepaid every month just because hackers piss me off.There is no phone. that is untraceable

  • scott

    imagine if you will a parent so obsessed with spying on there children, EX husband and there family to the point it causes the child to wake up in the middle of the night screaming from nightmares that someone is out to get them. having some one parked on your block or in your backyard camped out trying to eavesdrop on your conversation and using family members working for at&t to help them track you turn features on without your permission….don’t be so quick to knock anonymous devices…..there just what i’m looking for

  • In light of today’s news of Obama’s NSA secretly acquiring all of our bulk call records (who we call, where we are, what time, etc.) from Verizon to create a map of all available US citizen’s private conversations… an untrackable anonymous phone might be a good idea.

  • Use it or lose it

    I went without any phone whatsoever for almost four years during a time of financial dire straits about ten years ago. During that time, I still had to communicate with my wife, kids, boss, etc. I seemed to gain a ‘sense’ of when someone was trying to contact me almost like a ringing in my ears, at which time I would find a pay phone and call whomever. Many times I was right on the money and they WERE trying to get ahold of me. I believe most everyone could have this kind of sense if necissity demanded it. I’m just an average guy but mainly I’m a survivor, so undoubtably I survived not having a cell phone – – BECAUSE I HAD TO in order to survive, keep my job, etc. Now I’m glued to my smartphone and people have to yell real loud to get my attention. So have I lost the intuitive senses I had a decade ago? It may be wise to get off any phone device for awhile so I don’t lose the sense altogether. USE IT OR LOSE IT holds true and applies to numerous things. My own mother can’t find her way down the block without her gps – so has she now lost her memory of the city grid she has known for years? She says her mind is on other things with the gps on, but when gps goes out she panics as if though she were totally lost and won’t drive until its back up and functioning. USE IT OR LOSE IT PEOPLE ! ! Never trust your life to any dubious device. Whoever controls it could do a ‘wylie coyote’ on you and paint what looks like a tunnel onto the side of a brick wall.

  • DesMalone

    @scott toss in a dictionary and you’re good to go

    • tm0282

      DesMalone wow thats all you got from that? i guess calling you puerile, truculent, or obnoxious might be a little much but i have the sense you were as happy as the village idiot to point out a misplaced “e”. congrats youve have truley found sume meaning in youre life. work on that for awhile. 
      And to the GI JOE author pointing out that your oppressive and invasive government can not track your every move using an anonymous cell does not seem like something i thought this site would oppose… but at least it is nice to know where men like this stand on freedom and privacy (just for clarity he is against it). i just hope you keep in mind that you are just a human like the rest of us, nothing more.

    • JessicaStaver

      DesMalone Bwahahaha, you are so wrong. The correct spelling should have been THEY’RE just what I’m looking for. There are a few ways to spell out the word that sounds the same but has different meanings. He meant THEY ARE just what I’m looking for. So maybe you could look through the dictionary a bit, eh?

    • JessicaStaver

      DesMalone Apologies, you were right on the first part of Scotts sentence, but you should have noticed at the last sentence the spelling mistake he made as well. If you are to act like the spelling police, then play the part right buddy.

  • DesMalone

    @No Name After reading though these posts and observations, it occurs to me that in the event anyone I know is ever gone missing, or vanishes, instead of calling the local cops who really have a modicum of experience or inclination to do real investigation, I think I’ll just call the FBI and tell them that the missing person mumbled something about committing a political assassination on a leader/president/etc and disappeared with something that looked poisonous. 
    That way we can find out for sure just what kind of reach they have in finding someone they’d definitely want to find. And they’d have incentive to actually do it…using all their high tech equipment to find someone actually missing.

  • Jt

    I’m Sorry that you are so fearful of untraceable phones.  If your interest is personal freedom and liberty, you’d have a different opinion.

  • richardc3511

    All I wanted to do is have a cell phone w/ no contract, and prepaid minutes that would allow me to make occasional anonymous tests for primary use( nothing malicous) something like a tracfone ,walmart special, paid all in cash. Will this do the job, if your willing to toss it if you make more than sarcastic comments. I’m no a drug dealer ,thief , or even a little bit crooked !   Will it work ?

    • 0321

      0321 Here, just in case your question was not answered properly this is the only way to have a truly untraceable phone. In fact, this company holds there encryption so near and dear to their heart that not even the U.S. can crack it. There is a hefty price to pay for privacy. $10,000 minimum. In addition you’ll need more than one crypto phone for an encryption circuit to work. In comparison the phone it’s self is encrypted so you wouldn’t have to worry about it getting hacked, however, your calls could be intercepted via line of sight through static VHF or ionosphere HF frequency bands. Standard for that type of oeration. Lastly, this is a little tid bit from the retailer themselves copied and pasted from there website at god speed and following seas!
      GSMK is a leader in mobile voice and message security. Located in Berlin, Germany, the company develops, produces and markets the first mobile, satellite and desktop phones that provide strong end-to-end voice encryption with full source code published for review.
      GSMK CryptoPhones were the first products to take advantage of the fact that the CPU performance of portable consumer devices, like mobile phones and PDAs, is now sufficient for strong real-time voice encryption. The processing power that is available today in every pocket now makes it possible to effectively counter rampant telecommunications surveillance and targeted attacks on your sensitive information.
      We envision a day when strong, verifiable and trustworthy voice encryption in all mobile devices will be commonplace, just like strong encryption is in Internet routers today. Recent technological advances now finally allow every one of us to regain some of the privacy we lost. Widespread, uncontrolled wiretapping and privacy violations are currently threatening the business environment, civil liberties, and the very future of democratic societies.
      There seems to be no realistic way to stem by political process alone the current flood of intrusive communication surveillance, industrial espionage, and the risk for democratic institutions that comes with it. With the advent of GSMK CryptoPhones, strong cryptographic protection of confidential voice calls and messages has finally become available to a wide range of individuals, corporations, and institutions.

    • i dont give a fuck


  • tm0282

    DesMalone wow thats all you got from that? i guess calling you puerile, truculent, or obnoxious might be a little much but i have the sense you were as happy as the village idiot to point out a misplaced “e”. congrats youve have truley found sume meaning in youre life. work on that for awhile. 
    And to the GI JOE author pointing out that your oppressive and invasive government can not track your every move using an anonymous cell does not seem like something i thought this site would oppose… but at least it is nice to know where men like this stand on freedom and privacy (just for clarity he is against it). i just hope you keep in mind that you are just a human like the rest of us, nothing more.

  • tm0282

    @Cindy must be work’n for the taliban.

  • tm0282

    @Jim Smith have you seen the latest from the good ol NSA? they now listen in on phone sex conversations by tagging words which one would use in said conversations. lol no joke

  • ATT Go Phone Terroists

    We have ATT go phones for a long time (5-6 years)  Today we both got a billing message within 3-5 minutes of each other stating that a certain amount has been charged to the acct for a transaction.  However we have the really stupid flip phones, we don’t use texting (we’re old, retired and don’t care to learn) and don’t have a ‘data plan’… I was concerned that the ATT network had been hacked, and we went to an ATT store.  Once they checked to see if we had been charged (we hadn’t) I asked if the was a record of the transaction in THEIR database (our phones didn’t have a record).  They said NO!!  I said I was concerned that a TERRORIST organization could hijack the ATT network, use the burner phones, send messages, and have NO RECORD of said message in the ATT database… The ATT saleswoman, who looked either middle eastern or Indian/Pakistan just gave me a vacant stare and fake smile and said we hadn’t been charged.  When I left the store, a man walked in, wearing a terbin (India, Pakistan or ???)  I told my husband something about if we get bombed or another Terroist attack. his head turned back toward our direction with a kinda shook up look on his face… What to do???

  • lwordnc

    You can make any iPod Touch an encrypted, untraceable wi-fi iphone.  You need an encrypted VoIP App ( and the MorphCase (  Silent Phone has been around for a while and just saw the MorphCase launch on Kickstarter.

  • Untraceable Me

    Tell me how a phone is untraceable if you have to register with name and address to get it activated?
    And you won’t want to use a credit card when you buy it.  Cash only.
    The only way I see is to give them a false name and address when activating.

  • sarah bb

    My name is sarah and my ex-boyfriend dumped me 8 months ago after I caught him of having an affair with someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don’t know what to do, so I visited the INTERNET for help and I saw a testimony on how a spell caster help them to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problems to him….. he cast a spell for me and assure me of 3 days that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my peter came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Moko spell caster, you are truly talented and gifted contact his email:[email protected]

  • NietzscheTzu

    Yeah it’s real dangerous for people to have any sort of privacy. what the fucks wrong with you, you brainwashed idiot moron?

  • AnonymousPerson123

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both”. – Ben Franklin (a founding father of the USA)

  • NoRemorse

    “In my opinion, it’s a dangerous thing for literally anyone to have the ability to gain access to one.”

    If we aren’t doing anything illegal, Privacy and Anonymity are OUR RIGHT! It’s NONE of the government’s business what I do with my phone, or what I say in my correspondence!! They can F____ off!

    To answer the question “Should anyone be able to anonymously purchase and use a cell phone?” : ABSOLUTELY AND WITHOUT EXCEPTION!!!

    One more thing: even if a person is able to anonymously purchase and activate the phone, it’s still possible for the government to bug/wiretap the people it knows you’re in contact with to get at you, and they could possibly also use a voice-print of yours to identify you. I speculate they could also possibly find out out what phone you are using by having some supercomputer look for a voice-print that matches yours, without recording the conversation, meaning that they would not be breaking any wiretapping laws.

    So if you really wanted to be anonymous, I think you and your contact would need to both purchase and activate a phone anonymously, then share the phone numbers with each other in a non-electronically record-able low-tech. method (ie. word of mouth, paper, etc.), both use voice changers, and only pay for the prepaid cards in cash – and maybe also buy the cards in a store that doesn’t record video of the transaction, or have an anonymous 3rd party buy them.


  • JadaDewey

    Look up Navarette v. California.  They just ruled that cops can make an exception to our 4th amendment rights that protect us from an unreasonable and warrantless searches and seizures based on an anonymous tip from an anonymous caller.  These prepaid phones make it possible for anyone with them, be it they are a prankster, an ex seeking revenge, or even a corrupt cop or his buddy who is helping him use this new loophole that prevents the cop from having to issue a warrant or have reasonable suspicion–– to justify pulling over anyone they want, searching their car, and seizing anything in their car. If anything illegal is found in that car, the full extent of the law can and will be used against the individual, and the seized evidence can be used against them in a court of law, state level and federal.  Pretty crazy huh?  So uh, if you have an ex that really did you dirrrrty, and you happen to know that he grows weed or sells drugs, then uh, there’s your perfect revenge.

  • boss390gt

    Having the opportunity to get a burner phone is absolutely all-right under the First Amendment and or Ninth Amendment….everyone including the criminal element…….free speech is protected by the U.S. Constitution for everyone……!

  • EMC2

    No problem to buy a prepaid cell with bitcoin and if you’re careful, it’s easily made untraceable to you (or any real person). Just figure out an anonymous postal drop address.
    See here for example:

  • Donnie Hays

    I personally am not worried about it l sure hope they don’t make another law l am so sick of people running scared here in America we have gave up too manto freedoms now as it is a nation of Cowards l had rather see 100,1000 ,10,000 die than Gibe up one more freedom and that includes me toó

  • spiritusinapparatus

    the telecommunications act of 1996 read it pay attention to the details in it.every phone made from 1996 on can be tracked within three meters (now its within inches)wether on or off (so many phones without removable batteries now make this easy) every phone can be listened into.The government puts up dummy cell towers to intercept all calls in an area for designation at later times…ie stored until they need a reason to make you disappear .This information has been used in courts by officials for both civil and criminal.
    find  you a pre 95 flip phone to keep just in case you ever need to run never use your name or location while talking.Use air time cards and use public numbers or distant friends to activate cards for your phone.Voice recognition is iffy in phone surveilance but getting better so use your phone in hit and run tactics give 20-30 minutes between 2-3 minute calls.put 12 miles or more between calls. If you cant do without modern phones then find one that will fit into a  candy ,cracker or cookie tin (with tight fitting lid) to block tracking if you have to run the last word to friends should be a contact hour and again the calls will be short.Encryption is nice but it will not keep the bad guys(NSA,CIA,Intelligence,DHS etc) from getting your location.And just so you can call me a conspiracy nut the U.N. enticed our government to write the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    • robertz1z


    • robertz1z

      spiritusinapparatus  spiritusinapparatus  First off you’re giving wrong information. GPS phones known as smart phones can be traced within 3 meters not less. Disposable phones can only be traced by triangular, which covers a broad area, it is not pin point. That’s is how a lot of criminals are 1 step ahead of law enforcement. Phones generally do not work if the battery is removed. it is common sense no power so signal. Also disposable phones do not have any personal information.. There is an article about this I believe with Cnet or PCmag. The article in summary says if you have a smart phone your giving up a lot of your privacy. Disposable phones you have more freedom but are limited.

  • KBS_8

    I live in Belgium and a lot of people use prepaid sim  card. You can go in any store and get a card sometime for free. Then you just have to buy credit for it. In almost every store they have a terminal printing a ticket with a code the you call a special number and input the code and that’s it. 

    When I was yonger I actually bought a lot of sim card simply because it was sometimes cheaper than recharging it and it was very easy even if I had to change my number.

    Today it’s the same, I just recently bought a new sim card to use in my dual sim phone so I can call with my business phone and my friends and family can call me on my other card since it’s cheaper for them.

    Some of the network do ask you to activate the card of sometime they ask for your name even a copy of your id but you can always find others who won’t

    I guess the only issue in the US is that phones are linked to the sim card but I don’t know. Anyway here you can get a burner with any phone you want that why for me the notion of burner phone always seemd strange.

  • Just trying to be free

    Okay my main cell phone was hacked,an I 6+,brand newNew 6+ and all my emails were checked into some now so I just got a TracFone not the trifold and come with some cards this thing out some corn in it so is that secure or how do I go about making that secure

  • Just trying to be free

    Tried to talk/text 6+ sux,is a tracfone traceable with a SIM card? Can I Operate the fone w/o a sim

  • Just trying to be free

    I purchased pay pal,and know how to be secure in tha aspect

  • Tom

    En Europe it is different. You can buy a phone at any given time without a number. You can also buy a prepaid number, which is basicly a card where you scratch the number of and you’ll have your first minutes.
    Your number expires mostly only if you do not reload your minutes within 1 year.

  • observiate

    privacy is sacred. the right to anonymity is sacred. we live in society where the right to law abiding privacy and anonymity are increasingly being encroached on, under the guise of rooting out all the other bad guys. this is unacceptable, and wholly unconstitutional. hashtag, libertarian solidarity. hashtag, constitutional solidarity.

    • jakec9891

      observiate you do know that saying ‘hashtag’ is not the same as using a hashtag # right?

  • MJDarling

    We had no universal caller id until the 1990s I believe.  There were some local areas where you could pay for caller id, mostly test markets in the 1980s.  Was it dangerous then?…all those decades of getting calls from people and not knowing who it was until you answered.  There were no answering machines for most of that time either.  And certainly no portable phones.  You had to be home to get a call.  If you were traveling and got lost, you could call from a phone booth or get directions at a gas station.  No danger, just way less convenient than today.

  • XCell Technologies

    Yes, an untraceable phone does exist if we are talking in terms of GSM location tracking and GSM triangulation 
    Two out of seven XCell devices can spoof the GSM location: it allows you connecting the phone to the farthest cell tower which the phone can see. By doing that, any triangulation procedures will give out a fake GSM location, usually 1Km away from the real location, in urban areas. Please check out our products:–LX2rgopqIsCk-X9rnJ&s=1

  • Merica F Yeah

    @JessicaStaver police suck at their jobs universally, so… it makey more sent if they mispelled someting

  • Dthsmsstrss

    Anyone who would trade their freedom for security, deserves neither.
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    • robertz1z

      @Dthsmsstrss  Well Said.. Unfortunately there are people stupid enough to believe they are safer from terrorists when they forfeit their privacy.

  • Justinin case

    Lol there are SOOO many things to consider if u want total privacy,much more than just walking in and buying a prepay phone under no name. You should always buy the cheapest TRACFONE possible (no net,no Bluetooth, no GPS,no camera) they’re bout $10 Always buy the phone at least 30 miles away from the place where it will be used primarily. If you must use your “burner” eiether take the battery out of your regular phone or better yet,leave the house and leave your main phone home. Lastly, after 2-4 weeks,remove battery and sim card from your burner (dispose) destroy the handset and start the process all over.
    P.s. consider this info a gift bc the game is to be SOLD not TOLD. I would just hate for someone to get in trouble bc this guy left out alot of key points.

    • XCell Technologies

      Justinin case Think about this: it’s not better to know when and for how long your phone is being tapped, than trying to fight the system? Big Brother will always find a way to find the information that need, despite any protection method you use.
      Is not it better to know and prevent through your actions, than trying to hide?

    • robertz1z

      XCell Technologies Justinin case  You are missing the point. The reason cheap phones are discreet and more private to use, because they lack the technology for tracking, otherwise they would be called smart phones.

    • XCell Technologies

      Well, things are slightly different from the point of view of law enforcement agencies. Doesn’t matter if you are a smartphone user or a feature phone user (dumb phone). They can locate your cheap phone by two main methods:
      1. By using a special device (Locator) in conjunction with a Stingray (IMSI Catcher or GSM Interceptor, in Europe). A location device will force ANY cell phone to transmit at maximum power on paging channel, for location tracking purposes. No matter if you use a smartphone or a cheap phone.
      2. By sending so called SilentSMS or PingSMS (trough the GSM network), which will reveal the phone location when the confirmation SMS get back to the sender with all necessary location info. The best example is SkyLock, a system developed by a company called Verint, which can find ANY cell phone around the world, only by inserting the phone number on a client app. No matter of the phone is a smartphone or a dumb one. The only requirement is that the phone need to be connected to any GSM network. More info on private, if you insist.
      So, you are wrong: cheap phones can be (and actually are) easily tracked as any other smartphone. Just because the users can not install even simple GPS apps on cheap phones it doesn’t mean that cheap phones can not be traced.  As long as a mobile phone is connected to a mobile network, that phone can be traced in real time. Also, law enforcement agencies are using what they call “tower dump”, having this way access to phone location history.
      We hope that make sense to you.

    • robertz1z

      XCell Technologies robertz1z  I had just my phone recently missing. It felt out of my pocket in a car of this woman I met. The woman denied she had my phone and she never wanted to give it back. It was a semi-cheap phone. I went to the police, the police said their is nothing they can do without intel on the phone.. The police need more than just a phone number of the phone to track it. I don’t care what tech websites say. In real life the less information you give the police the less they can do for you.The thing about “cheap phones” they have no identity.  There are no contracts so they are no names attached to the device. They use a triangular feature to trace a phone and that will not tell you the exact location.  I eventually got my phone back by lieing to the woman by telling her I gave the police the tracking information. Buy a cheap phone lose it and I guarantee it you will never see it again.

    • XCell Technologies

      You are right regarding lost phones.
      But you probably know that loosing your phone does not necessary mean that is a crime committed by the person who find the phone. Moreover, please imagine what will happen if the police, FBI, NSA and other law enforcement agencies will start searching for people lost cell phones. As you can guess (and we really mean that), cell phone location is being used in drug related crimes, terrorist activities, human traffic and other serious crimes.
      Regarding the phone number: be sure that law enforcement agencies will find and know  any phone number used by the people that are targeted by them (criminals, terrorists etc.) within US borders. How comes that? Pretty easy: you can buy and use any burner phone you want, and any prepay SIM card. It is enough to insert the SIM card into that phone and bum! You are connected (and registered) into the mobile network with two parameters: IMEI (which is phone identity that cannot be changed) and IMSI (SIM card identity which cannot be changed either). How they will get the name and other personal details connected to the phone and SIM card? Pretty easy: by following you about 24 hours and using a Stingray. Every time when you will use the burner phone (they will be somewhere close in a van, in line of sight and will see you every time when using your burner phone), the phone IMEI and SIM card IMSI parameters will be read and stored by the Stingray. In the end, by doing simple comparison, they will get: your phone IMEI, IMSI, and phone number. This is called IMEI/IMSI correlation. When a Stingray will get this two identities, will get the phone number used by the burner phone by performing simple operations. Moreover, by performing a “classmark query” almost any decent Stingray can find even the phone brand name. Then will start tapping your calls. Then will get your name etc. Pretty simple for FBI and NSA, huh?
      Regarding location tracking: you are right, one of the methods used is called triangulation. But the accuracy (especially in urban area where are used sector antennas) of the location is about 10 meters. This type of location tracing can be performed by the carrier itself or by the law enforcement with the carrier help.
      The other location tracking method (described in previous reply) involves using a special device generally called Locator, in conjunction with a Stingray. This device can locate and find any cell phone (including cheap ones) without carrier help. Will force the phone to transmit to the maximum power and will locate it accurately by simply measuring the power when the device operator will get closer and closer to the target phone.
      One more thing: modern Stingrays can perform what is called voice fingerprint identification. They literally listen the network and when you will have the first phone conversation for at least 10 seconds (time needed to identify your voice), bang! Your burner phone has been tracked down and your phone calls are tapped.
      So, the real life have some dark sides that are unknown for you. And this is not your fault: US authorities (especially Police Departments) are struggling to keep secret all the Stingray capabilities for obvious reasons.

    • Jane Doe

      robertz1z XCell Technologies it’s not that they can’t, its that they arent willing to waste resources, or expose trade secrets, for your crappy cell phone.

  • XCell Technologies

    Burner phones are really anonymous? The short answer: are not at all anonymous.
    Extended answer: a burner phone is anonymous only to the common people who can not find easy the SIM user details. A simple phone number will not lead to user identification unless he will make serious mistakes or if it does not intend to protect his identity. If the SIM card is used for a sufficiently long period (months or years), there is a possibility that the user identity to be determined by using simple investigative techniques, which are readily available to every detective or skilled people.
    But when it comes to the law enforcement agencies that will want to find a burner phone user’s identity, the situation changes radically: no chance to hide your identity. Whether using the network operator or through lawful interception systems, finding the identity of any burner phone user is a matter of a few days or even hours.
    What exactly can not hide a burner phone?
    – Can not hide the phone location and default user. The explanation is simple: to be used (to make any calls), any burner phone have to register on the local GSM network, no matter the country and carrier that issued the SIM. This means that the SIM card will be permanently connected to the GSM network. The operator can quickly perform localization procedures (GSM triangulation), at the law enforcement request. In urban areas the location tracking accuracy is 50 meters or less. Moreover, there are plenty of GSM interceptors (aka Stingray in the US) that are having location tracking capabilities.
    If the situation requires, the suspect can be identified, located and arrested based on location tracking.
    – Voice calls, SMS and data traffic cannot be hidden. When a burner phone user will attract the law enforcement agencies attention, that particular user will not be anonymous anymore: they will know the call list, voice calls content, text content of SMS, persons with whom he communicated, will would make a profile of the target user based on its habits an communications pattern, etc. And all this after a few days of using the burner phone.
    Depending on performance of GSM interception systems  and network equipment, law enforcement agencies and  the carrier will have access to various data: target GPS location (more accurate than GSM location), phone book, data traffic etc.
    At this point you can draw a conclusion: a burner phone is not at all anonymous. The fact that the average person can not find information about the phone user, does not make that phone to be anonymous. Without hiding around the bush any user of such a phone is hoping not only to remain anonymous to the average Joe, but also to stay anonymous to the law enforcement agencies. Is that possible? Not at all.

  • john paul junior

    these phones should be outselling all cell phones. If the government was not corrupt to be be looking at every ones privacy they would not be needed. Your life is yours and your privacy is essential and no one else’s business but yours. If you follow creators law then you do know harm to anyone else and do not allow anyone to harm you. The wrong users eventually do get their just dues. the people who do not abuse their rights very seldom ever get into trouble unless an unscrupuless authority makes things tough on him/her. Privacy in this day and age is utmost important. i am asked frequently what do you have to hide / My response is my personal private life which is no business of anyone else provided I am not harming anyone else and if I am it will soon be made known to others then you pay the price it is a naturl law at work

  • I have been monitored

    U Bunghole dangling people dont give a shit about people who know they have been monitored is very easy to know when your phone is being monitored when it is actually being done and none of the listing of symptoms of it on the net are correct. Anyone whos cell is being monitored can tell by their cell phone not hanging up automatically for an unlimited time after another cell phone unanswered hangs up automatically due to full voicemail or voicemail not set up.

  • “For less than 14¢ a day”


  • i dont give a fuck


  • i dont give a fuck


  • i dont give a fuck


  • i dont give a fuck


  • Mitt Romney

    Dangerous? How? To whom?
    The fact is, the government, specifically the NSA, has a demonstrated ability to track “burner phones”. Through use tracking, triangulation, smart phone digital registration, etc. the only people you can hide from with a burner phone, are non-government people.
    And, seeing as how you wrote this article, apparently, without googling “are burner phones traceable”, I bet there is a bunch of research on this topic you didn’t do. I recommend your readers further their understanding by reading ANY other article on the topic, as I feel no other writer could do less to inform.
    You say you don’t like regulations? Your article is about regulating! Why lie? Is it because ignorant, liberal, bureaucrats are for regulating? And that’s what’s ruining this country? I see. You just want the things regulated that scare you. I bet the list is predictable.
    And what is your problem with a tech service call being taken in India? Here is an example of how stupid your racism is: The shareholders who benefit most, when a tech service call from America is taken in India, are Americans! Companies like IBM. HP, Apple, all outsource some of their tech service needs to other countries to preserve profits. Are you suggesting these companies should be motivated in some way other than profitability? How might businesses be induced to make less money? That’s right, regulation.
    I bet you’re the same guy who is opposed to any more restrictions on guns even though we are all more likely to die from guns on our own streets then from imported terrorism.
    If terrorists only used phones, and never used unregistered guns, this article would be right on the money. At least I can avoid mistaking you for someone with something relevant to say in the future.
    Sadly though, you may have or plan on one day having children of your own to badly influence with unnecessary fear.
    Back up carrier just in case.

    • Anonymous

      How in anyway is this person racist, e.t.c? You must have no life and just sit your 300lb ass on a fucking broken down bed and read articles and make negative remarks on their articles.

      @Mitt Romney

    • AmericanWorker

      @Mitt Romney You know who’s getting screwed by their outsourcing jobs?  Americans that’s who.  Or do you only consider wealthy investors as Americans?  Asshole.

    • Sandra Clark

      I think the reason he mentioned the customer service component in INDIA is bc, like so many of us, he has had the frustrating experience of trying to communicate with a person who barely speaks the English language!!!

  • Phoneguy

    Easy. For $10-15 you can buy a cheap phone at a dollar store. Get one w no web,camera,GPS features.Buy it in another part of your area. Use a public phone or computer or phone you’ve never used and make sure your far away from the primary area phone will be used. These days most companies don’t ask for a name, (maybe a 4 digit pin) activate the phone in a different city or state even where primary use of the phone will take place.. You sometimes can pick an area code) buy minutes that expire in 30 days and once its activated your good. Then after 30 days throw the whole thing away and start over . This is for personal privacy and not for illegal activity. Privacy is paramount in my opinion

  • What if I had an ex wife stalking me but had to call her once in awhile?  I’m sure there are many scenarios that law abiding people could use an untraceable phone.  On the other hand, when I think of criminals being able to use untraceable phones for nefarious purposes it gives me pause.  Freedom always has been a double edged sword

    • AnitaLind

      Lol you may be Self lucky as I was when my ex turned a bit stalkerish but didn’t hang the phone up properly after one of his many silent breather call ups. He was at work and was loudly sharing every little detail with his mate about his hot new date,where they’d be what they’d be doing and the full month. By the time he discovered team line was still open from his end he swore and hung up never realising I’d been listening in the whole time. Two just deserts came from this: 1. He got an enormous phone bill. And 2. I sent a text containing a brief summary if his advertised plans to his mobile the day after his big date and suddenly the tables were turned. I made sure not to express myself in any way threatening,stuck to few basic facts,public knowledge but the timing was enough to send home cowering behind closed doors and his date??? Nobody ever saw ha ha
      I’m not advertising vigilantism or stalking stalkers as a solution!! I knew my ex and what buttons to push but I also knew never to step too close to the line. Nothing [email protected] better than the villain choking on his own revenge .But that’s the only time revenge feels satisfaction because you remained blameless in it.
      So stalkers or stalkees;you can. Fight fire with fire but sooner or later you will both get burnt. Try bucket of water and put mobile in it and voila: no spyware,hackers stalkers or spam- just good old fashioned face to face conversationion and social networking old school!

  • AmalienhofRiga

    Nokia 5000-D2

    Untraceable gsm mobile phone with sms encryption It warns you about any intrusion attempt.
    For the security of your phone conversations, the Stealth Phone allows you to achieve a high level of protection against the risks of interceptions, now more and more common when you use an unprotected mobile phone. Unlike a cell phone that operates on the encrypted data item, codifying and making them unintelligible to any outside listener, the Stealth Phone protects the call itself, making the phone untraceable, and impossible life for those who want to listen to it.

    • AnitaLind

      Where can I buy one of those ?

  • AnitaLind

    I totally understand what you mean about how easy it is for a criminal to buy a burner phone that is pretty hard to trace in a law related scenario.
    But there is also another side to this I find far more chilling personally:
    How difficult it is for a normal law abiding person to feel safe from the unseen criminals who are sometimes disguised as the good guys (government,banks,security services etc) who can easily monitor your every move and secretly violate your privacy using your own device to spy on you even at home.
    I have come to the conclusion from personal experience that I trust nobody,and nothing connected to the Internet least of all those who impose these ridiculous “safety measures” alleged to be there for “your own security “. OK,but what am I now needing added security from that was safe so many years before? And if it’s my safety they’re worried about,how come I am the only person who can’t access my own information without this security process that resembles more a Gestapo interrogation set on asking you every random irrelevant questing you can’t possibly know the answer to and when you forget or get one wrong the response is so chipper and smug with glee you’d think they’d just beat you in a quizz! “sorry,madam,I’m afraid you have failed security and therefore we cannot allow you to access this account at present. We are unable to disclose the exact details for not passing security, for security reasons .if you want to change any of your security questions,you can apply online for a secure password to be posted to your home address within 5-10 working days!!!
    What??? #@$## ok i get the idea behind the making access harder to prevent just anyone claiming to be you to get in. But there is a point where security crosses over into ridiculous! And I don’t remember ever choosing a security question asking what my interest rate was on my second mortgage in 1999?
    And let’s get real here ,do you think the real criminals who are good enough to hack a bank account wouldn’t know a way to bypass answering questions by the Gestapo security? Heck they are far more likely to be able to answer those questions correctly me as they can probably access my info far quicker than my brain can.
    And you want to hear the best part?? All this was me trying to get access to see what was on my own credit report which anyone can add and write on and the only person protected from seeing it is me! When I finally after 3 weeks of red tape did see it,would it shock you to hear i was allegedly living in the Falklands for 3 years wch at the time would have made me 15! My parents who have lived their entire lives in Norway and still do ,we’re as surprised to learn this as I was especially as I was going to school in Norway whilst living know the Falklands by myself .Hell of a commute on a pushbike across the Atlantic at 15!!!
    And even worked up some debt from a loan I took out over there …guess they have lower age restrictions over there !
    It’s funny but it really isn’t when you think how easy a stranger can edit your life without your knowledge and how hard it is to get through the door to keep an eye on your own life.
    Call me old fashioned but I was never safer than back when I was my own security and in charge if who I allowed into my life.

    • jenshadus

      This is the reason I would want an untraceable phone, especially with gmail an yahoo insisting on a mobile number…and there are people out there who don’t have a mobile phone. It’s just another vector for phishing (gotten a few phishing text messages..where did they get my number?)

  • Amy Van Blaricum

    you’re a moron

    • TopHatProductions115

      That’s rude. Mind giving a reason for the acidic response?

  • jenshadus

    You said you had to buy minutes. Didn’t you use a credit card for that?

    • _homewardbound_

      No, you can purchase them in store with cash.

  • Pick Diggington

    Dangerous? Jesus, are you serious? I’d consider it dangerously Orwellian if we WEREN’T able to get one without showing ID!
    I have one that I bought with cash, a fake name and even wore a hat to do it, to thwart possible camera ID. Am I a criminal? No, but I don’t feel like I want to give these creepy technocrats all my info willingly. They can work for it as far as I’m concerned!

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