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Make your phone number more private

There are ways to make your phone number more private.

Telcos are responsible for keeping your phone number private.

If you think your telco has broken the privacy rules, complain to them first. If they do not resolve your issue, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Silent (unlisted) number

A silent phone number (also known as an unlisted number) does not show up:

  • in print or electronic phone directories
  • in operator-assisted directory services, such as 1223
  • on the phone you call (except for the emergency call service)

When you sign up to a telco, you can ask for a silent number.

Some telcos may charge an ongoing fee for a silent number, so shop around to choose a telco.

Show your silent number

If you have a silent phone number, it will not show up on the phone you call (except for the emergency call service).

You telco automatically bars your silent number from showing up on a phone you call.

Sometimes you may want to have your silent number show on a phone you call. To make your number show up when you call another number, dial 1832 first and then the number you want to call.

If you make a call to the Triple Zero (000) emergency call service, your number will always show, even if it is silent. This helps the operator:

  • confirm where the emergency is
  • contact the nearest emergency service
  • ring you back if the call drops out

Stop calls or texts you don't want

Telemarketing calls

You might get telemarketing calls even if you have a silent phone number.

Some telemarketers dial at random or in a pattern to make calls, which means they might get your number.

If you make your number public (for example, by if you put your number up on a flyer or anywhere online), telemarketers might get your number.

To stop telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call Register

Telemarketers must follow the rules of the register.

Spam or marketing texts

There are steps you can take to stop advertising messages (spam)

SMS marketers must follow the spam rules.

Threatening texts or calls

If you get a threatening text or call, first contact the police. Then tell your telco.

When you tell your telco, they must:

  • run a trace to find out who threatened you and report that to the police
  • help you to stop the person from contacting you

You can find out more information from your telco. For example, Telstra has information on unwelcome calls.

Calling number display (caller ID)

Calling number display (CND), also known as caller identification (ID), shows the calls coming into your mobile or landline phone if it has a calling number display.

Public numbers that will show include:

  • geographic numbers (starting with 02, 03, 07 or 08)
  • freephone numbers (starting with 180 and 1800)
  • local-rate numbers (starting with 13 and 1300)
  • mobile numbers (starting with 04)
  • international numbers

You can check whether your number shows when you call other people. Dial:

  • 127220 for your landline
  • *#31 for your mobile

The Communications Alliance has a fact sheet on CND.

Stop your number showing

There are ways to stop your number showing as caller ID. This is known as CND blocking.

To block caller ID on all calls from your phone (known as permanent CND blocking), contact your telco.

To block caller ID for a call, dial 1831 then the number you are calling. Generally, this will make sure the person you are calling will not see your number.

If you have problems with caller ID, complain to your telco.

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