Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Does Your Phone Number Say About You?

I had a crank call this week. You know, the kind where the person sits on the other end breathing a little heavily.

And since we are having a few interesting family adventures that have resulted in a person out there that might possibly think they have a reason to hold a grudge and are known to play silly buggers with crank calls I thought it was worth checking out.

Who makes a crank call from a public number to a mobile? Seriously? Long story short, I actually think this was a case of wrong number, with the other person too rude to say so, but the reason for this post is not actually the crank call, but availability of information out there.

I took the mobile phone number that had rung me and Googled it. One of my top matches was a reverse lookup company (and here I thought they weren't allowed in Australia anymore) that provided a name, and an address.

I then Googled the street name and suburb combined with the name and suddenly everything I might want to know was on my screen. Including the fact that my crank caller has fronted court twice on alcohol and violence related offences in the last 18 months. And no mistaking the person with a reasonably common name either. The articles I found read along these lines:

"Mr XX of XX Street, Mudgee, age 22, appeared in court today on charges of violence and alcohol related offenses".

Pretty specific. I didn't even bother to check the Facebook link but can you imagine how much more information I could have gotten there? Scary.

Needless to say I have not called this person back. Isn't it scary how much information can be found about a person using their mobile number? Full name, (including middle name!) age, address, and various personal life details. Ones you definitely don't put on your resume.

This little exercise reinforced to me how important it is to keep the details about my children on this blog surface level only. Much as it would be nice sometimes to spit out some of the personal things that are happening, I stop and think about whether they will want their employer's reading certain things.

So if I sometimes present only the funnier or happier side of life, please remember this is not the case. I don't want anyone getting any kind of false life envy.

Have you tried Googling your phone number? Were the results a worry or have you got your privacy settings everywhere all stitched up?


  1. I just Googled our phone number and got "Drunk Men Work Here". Freaky accurate :)

    1. Lol thats funny. Mine didn't come up for which I am HUGELY thankful. We have a new home phone number and now I've made the effort to have it made private. It never bothered me before but I hate the idea that someone can find out so much about me from a phone number!

  2. I'm going to google my mobile number right now.....I got lots of web pages in languages that required translation, but no information about me.
    Guess that means I am safe, but possibly boring?
    Scary to know what can be found out about someone from their phone number!


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