Can A Burner Phone Be Traced?

Can A Burner Phone Be Traced?
Table Of Contents

The most recent polls show that 70% of Americans believe that the government uses surveillance data for purposes beyond anti-terror efforts. It’s clear that it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remain anonymous in our digital world, but what about if you just want to hide a phone call or two on your phone bill?

With Burner, you can do that! And it’s pretty easy. In our guide on how to use Burner with your phone data, we’ve gone over how Burner works with your phone data, WiFi, and your data. But, can a Burner phone be traced if you’re using our app? Not easily. Here’s why:

What Is a Burner Phone?

Think about your primary phone — that shiny Apple iPhone or sleek Android you've been taking with you everywhere you go. Now imagine a phone on the other end of the spectrum. Less glitz, less glamor, but definitely more secrecy. Welcome to the world of burner phones, sometimes known as "disposable phones" or "dumb phones."

A burner phone is simply a prepaid mobile phone — a no-strings-attached relationship between you and your service provider. Imagine buying a SIM card at a convenience store, popping it into a new phone, and voila! 

You're the proud owner of a burner phone. This isn't a long-term relationship, so you don't need to worry about a phone plan.

But here's the kicker, these aren't your Apple or high-end Android phones. They are simpler with basic functionality — ideal for sending covert text messages or making secret calls. They're designed for minimal data usage and have a battery life that won't win any marathons. They don't have all the smart features, but that's kind of the point.

Burner phones are the perfect hideout for your personal data. They've got just enough tech to keep you connected but not enough to spill your secrets. You might not be posting on social media or conducting searches on these phones, but that's the beauty of them. A burner phone values your privacy more than a nosy search engine.

Are Burner Phones Legal?

Oh, the million-dollar question! Can you use a burner phone without getting a visit from law enforcement? Well, the answer is a resounding yes — they are totally legal

The average citizen can stroll into a convenience store and pick up a prepaid phone and SIM card. They walk out with a perfectly legal burner phone. No alarms and no flags — just a new phone and your peace of mind.

Like all good things, burner phones have their flip side too. Yes, you've heard the stories. Drug dealers or crime bosses in movies use burner phones for their illegal activities. Then, they throw them away after one use to avoid triangulation from cell towers. It sounds like something out of a crime show, doesn't it? 

Well, despite the stereotypes, burner phones are a legitimate tool for privacy. They're a way to keep your number operator from logging your call logs or knowing your exact location. And with the Burner App, you can get a temporary number without buying a new device.

Whether you're an iOS fan or an Android user, you can use a VPN or VOIP to keep your burner phone activities even more incognito. The goal here is to avoid unnecessary attention while maintaining your privacy.

While law enforcement might have a more challenging time tracking burner phones, it's not because having one is illegal. It's because these phones are designed for anonymity and privacy — something we all could use a bit more of these days.

To sum it up, burner phones are like superheroes. They have their day jobs as prepaid, functional phones for the average citizen. When needed, they don their cloaks of invisibility, protecting identities one call at a time.

How Do You Use a Burner Phone?

You've got your hands on a shiny new burner phone from your friendly neighborhood convenience store. Congratulations, you're officially a part of the secret society of burner phone users! But how do you actually use this thing? Well, sit back and get comfortable because you're about to learn the tricks of the trade.

First things first. You need a SIM card. Not any SIM card but a prepaid SIM card. Burner phones are not about long-term commitments: They’re about freedom and flexibility. So pop in that prepaid SIM, and let's get this show on the road.

Next, load up your phone with the necessary credit. You can do this using a credit card, or if you're an avid (and cautious) fan of the cryptocurrency wave, some service providers accept those too.

Now comes the fun part — making calls and sending text messages. These operations work like any other cell phone. Dial the number or type in your text, and off it goes into the ether. Recall that you're not doing this to chit-chat about the weather or upload pictures of your dog to your Instagram. You're here for privacy and functionality, not the latest social media trend.

And what about the internet, you ask? Well, burner phones usually don't have the best data plans. So if you plan to use data, connect to a Wi-Fi network or use a VPN for secure browsing.

Oh, and when you're done with your secret operations? You can easily dispose of the phone by throwing it away. No fuss, no muss, no problem.

Burner Phones in Pop Culture

Now, let's switch gears and talk about the fun stuff — pop culture.

Burner phones, with all their secrecy and intrigue, have quite the reputation in the world of movies and TV. You know what we're talking about: That scene in your favorite crime drama where the shady character snaps a phone in half and tosses it in the trash after a mysterious call. That's the burner phone trope in all its glory.

Take The Wire, for instance. This series gave the humble burner phone a legendary status, with drug dealers using them to evade law enforcement. These phones became the symbol of underworld communication — fleeting, elusive, and untraceable.

Or how about in Breaking Bad, where the notorious Walter White uses burner phones to run his ... ahem, “enterprise.” This depiction again paints the burner phone as a tool for the characters’ illegal activities, helping them stay a step ahead of the law.

Let's not forget burner phones are not only about crime dramas and illegal activities. They also play an essential role in movies and shows about espionage and political thrillers, where characters use them to protect their identities and keep their actions off the record.

Despite their notorious portrayal in pop culture, let's remember that burner phones are tools, and like any tool, it's the hand that wields them that decides their use. Whether you're an international spy or an average citizen looking for extra privacy, burner phones are here to serve your needs.

Can a Burner phone be traced?.jpg

Can a Burner phone be traced?

The whole idea of burner phones back when they were actual throwaway phones was that they couldn’t be traced back to the user. You’d buy a temporary phone, use a temporary phone number, and get rid of it when it no longer served you.

This same idea loosely applies to the way Burner works. Burner never shows your real number when you place a call or text someone. You could live in the 214 area code but make calls with a 917 area code number and nobody would know that you’re not physically in New York City.

Why can’t Burner be traced?.jpg

Why can’t Burner be traced?

When you receive a call, Burner forwards calls from your burner numbers to your phone to stay anonymous. Whenever you place a call, it’ll show up on someone else’s phone bill as a call from your Burner number, nothing else.

So, you could call someone using your iPhone in Houston, and on someone else’s phone bill, all it will show is your Burner phone number, which could be from anywhere in the United States or Canada. The same applies to incoming calls; your phone bill will show that you’ve received a call from your own Burner number.

What happens if someone finds out you’re using a temporary or Burner phone number? You simply burn the number.

How to burn a Burner.jpg

How to burn a Burner

Thanks to advancements in digital technology, you don’t have to burn your phone anymore to get rid of all traces of a number. Whew. That’s good news for that new Samsung Galaxy S20 you just bought.

If you’re using a second phone number through the Burner app, you can simply use the Burn button. While it sounds a lot cooler than it is, it’s a feature that’s extremely easy to use.

If someone’s found out about your Burner line or you simply don’t need it anymore, you can easily dispose of the number. The Burn feature allows you to burn any number at any time virtually.

At the bottom of the main Burner screen, you’ll see a flame icon. Click on that and then hold down on the “Delete” button until a message appears. You’ll have one last chance to change your mind before permanently deleting all data associated with that Burner number.

As the message says, once you burn that number, everything will be completely wiped. Everything.

After burning a number, there’s no way that anybody will be able to trace your burner phone. All data will be wiped, including messages, voicemails, and photos. You won’t be able to undo it once it’s done, so make sure you pull out everything you need before burning. Then, enjoy watching it burn (figuratively speaking, of course).

Enjoy being untraceable1.jpg

Enjoy being untraceable

Listen, we’re not in the business of getting into your business. We’re simply here to provide you with easy ways to protect your privacy. So, when you ask us, “Can a burner phone be traced?” our answer is no. At least not easily.

Whether you’re using a Burner phone number because you don’t want work contacts having direct access to your mainline or because you’re an international spy currently undercover and on the run, we’re here to help.

Getting a Burner number allows you to maintain the integrity of your identity while enjoying lots of other perks such as custom voicemail greetings, auto-reply text bots, and more.

Ready to go undercover? Create your second number today to enjoy being untraceable.


How Americans Have Viewed Government Surveillance and Privacy Since Snowden Leaks | Pew Research

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) | Federal Communications Commission

What Is Prepaid SIM? | Easy Tech Junkie

Why 'Burner Phones' Are The Talk of Washington | BBC News

What is a VPN? Definition from SearchNetworking | TechTarget

Ready to start calling & texting with a shiny new number?

Get Burner

Scan to download Burner