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Last Updated on March 30, 2023

How to Call with a Private Number in South Africa

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black text with shadow asking How to Call with a Private Number in South Africa below the south african flag and the logo of african launch pad

Technological innovation in the form of smartphones and numerous social networking apps has made privacy a new luxury. Unsurprisingly, this generation has adapted to the constant bombardment of communication from all corners. One way is through the use of private numbers. This article explains how to call with a private number in South Africa.

The words ‘private number’ show when a caller deliberately blocks their number from showing on caller ID. Callers use this to hide their identity and can therefore appear on a phone screen as ‘Private Caller,’ ‘Blocked,’ ‘Restricted,’ or ‘No caller ID.’

The private caller, also known as the caller ID blocking function, was first invented in the early 1980s. Initially, the technology was merely as an add-on feature to the telephone network. Using this technology, individuals and organizations could make calls without revealing their phone numbers. At the time, it was a revolutionary feature and applied to a wide range of good and nefarious uses. The widespread accessibility of this feature varied from one country to the next, but by the late 90s, it had become commonplace.

Cases

People found ingenious ways to use the feature. Some were good and noteworthy, while others displayed the true ingenuity of a criminal mind. Here are a few historical examples of how people were using private caller IDs.

2008: a group of individuals was charged with using caller ID spoofing to commit fraud. The individuals pretended to be representatives of the Federal Trade Commission and obtained personal information from unsuspecting customers.

2011: a man was sent to prison for using caller ID spoofing to threaten his ex-girlfriend. In this incident, the man pretended to be a police officer and used this cover to harass his ex until he was eventually discovered.

2013: the police arrested a man for using caller ID spoofing to threaten a school in Florida. As in the previous case, the man pretended to be a police officer and harassed school authorities until he was caught.

In 2016, caller ID spoofing was once again used to make fraudulent calls to wealthy individuals and businesses. The goal was to obtain personal information and steal confidential information.

Similarly, in South Africa, there have been several notable cases featuring the caller ID feature, as seen below.

South Africa

One of the South African cases involved caller ID spoofing. This is when the number shown on the screen doesn’t correspond to the number used to call. This technique has been used numerous times in the country to conduct illegal activities such as phishing, scamming, and impersonation. Consequently, the South African Police Service (SAPS) warned about this practice and urged citizens to stay alert.

Another example of this is telemarketers who use private numbers. Due to the prevalence of this practice, the National Consumer Commission of South Africa issued guidelines for telemarketing companies. The NCC stated that telemarketing companies must provide their name, business name, and a valid telephone number when making the calls.

In addition, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has also issued guidelines to be followed when using caller ID services in the country. With these guidelines in place, people or businesses misusing the feature for illegal activity can face penalties.

How to call with a private number in South Africa

In South Africa, there are many ways you can call using a private number, as shown below.

*67#

Dialling *67# is another way to block your caller ID in South Africa. With this feature, any call you make will make your number appear as if it’s private or blocked. After dialling *67# before making the call, the recipient will not be able to see the identity of the person calling. This is because the feature blocks caller ID information from reaching to the recipient’s phone.

However, you should remember that this feature is not permanent. Consequently, you will have to use the USSD code whenever you want to hide your caller identity. For a more permanent solution, you can contact your service provider and ask that they permanently enable this feature on your phone.

Additionally, you should be aware that not all service providers in South Africa support this feature. Consequently, some people can still see your number through their call history, voicemail, or even through the use of apps like Trucaller.

Change phone settings

The other way to make your called ID private is to change your phone settings. If you are using a smartphone, changing the caller ID settings is possible to permanently hide your identity. This is a good option as it eliminates the necessity of repeating the process after each call. However, it is important to remember that other phones or service providers can be set up to bypass caller ID blocking. Therefore you can’t be 100% sure that your identity has remained hidden when you place a call.

Third-party apps

There are many third-party apps that you can use to block your caller ID in South Africa. Examples include apps like Burner, Hushed, CoverMe, SpoofCard, PrivateMe, and many others. The main disadvantage with these apps is the fact that they require a stable internet connection to function. Some might also have additional fees charged depending on usage of the app. Therefore, it’s important to read and understand the privacy policy and terms of service before downloading them.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, you can place calls using a private number in South Africa by either using *67# before inputting the phone number or changing the settings on your phone. Both features allow you to hide your identity when making calls. However, these methods don’t work 100% – Some people can still see your number through various means. Additionally, you should remember that it is illegal to use this feature when making emergency calls to the local authorities and for prank or harassment phone calls. Both instances could earn you a one-way ticket to jail.

How can I call with a private number in South Africa?

South Africa has many ways of making a call with a private number. These include dialling *67#, changing phone settings, and using third-party apps. It is important to remember that not all service providers support this feature, and some phones or service providers can bypass caller ID blocking.

Are there any regulations in South Africa concerning the use of private numbers?

There are regulations in place concerning the use of private numbers. The National Consumer Commission of South Africa, the South African Police Service and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa have all issued guidelines for telemarketing companies, citizens and businesses that use caller ID services.

Are there any fees associated with using private numbers in South Africa?

In South Africa, there may be some fees associated with using private numbers, depending on the service provider and the method used to make the call. For example, using a third-party app may incur additional fees. Additionally, some service providers may charge a fee for permanently blocking caller ID. It is important to check with the service provider for more information.

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