How To Hide Numbers On Your Phone Bill (Fix Call & Text Logs)


Everyone deserves a little privacy in their lives. So it’s not wrong if you want to keep your calls and messages away from prying eyes. But sometimes, it’s hard. Your monthly mobile bill openly lists calls and texts you sent during the month. Many users wonder how to hide numbers on your phone bill.

Generally, it is not possible to hide numbers on your phone bill for previously-placed calls and SMS text messages. Switching to a secure, encrypted messaging and calling app is the best way to keep future communication private. Several apps provide better control of your call logs and text history.

With these apps, your calls and text messages will remain hidden without appearing on your phone bills. Apart from using a secure messenger, we have other tips for hiding your calls or message logs. We’ll also provide a step-wise guide on how to get a secure messaging app on your phone.

Man calling mobile company worried how to hide numbers on your phone bill

Can you delete calls from your phone bill?

It’s not possible to delete calls from your phone bill. Even if you delete your call history or text messages from your mobile device, it doesn’t affect your mobile provider’s records. Your mobile carrier keeps call logs, which are outside of your control.

You can try discussing your situation with your mobile provider. They may have a solution. They may be able to exclude detailed billing where Call Detail Records (CDR) are not included on bill.

It’s standard practice for legacy communication providers to comply with laws or regulations to keep a completely accurate CDR. The carrier may not be able to remove individual calls or texts from your phone bill.

This means, there is no way for you to delete your call history permanently from your service provider. Telecom companies are required to keep records of calls for a certain period, so they can’t delete them UNTIL that period lapses. A breach of this is sufficient to give a cause for a cancellation of their license.

The question then should be, how long can your service provider keep your phone records on their server before they delete them; the answer to this will depend on the License Agreement each service provider has been issued by the government.

Warning:

We’ve read that some people try to edit the electronic version of their bill. Don’t do this. Remember that your bill’s PDF or website version is not connected to the phone company’s logs. Faking your account records can only worsen an existing problem.

How to hide incoming/outgoing numbers on the bill?

The vertical service code *67 hides your number from your recipient’s phone bill for your outgoing calls on a call-by-call basis. Removing incoming phone numbers from your bill requires coordination with people calling you. They must add *67 each time they dial your number to block caller ID.

Even though, *67 makes your phone number private to the person you are calling, it will still show up on the bill for the phone making the call (Unfortunately, when you make *67 code calls, your phone company will show the call on your bill.)

Moreover, activating caller id blocking each time can get painful. You may change your phone setting to make all your outbound calls private. Everyone will see “private number” instead of your telephone number.

Your mobile provider’s customer service center may be able to add a caller ID block for the calls you make. But remember, they can’t do it for incoming calls. You can only ask the other party to take the same measures.

Remember:

Disabling caller ID does not hide the number from your phone company.

Another option is to use a burner phone to make calls that you don’t need on your phone bills. Some people buy a disposable phone with a second phone number and use them for private calls. The line is usually prepaid and can’t be linked with your primary phone bill. You can buy a mobile device with cash and use prepaid minutes before discarding the SIM card.

A third way to hide incoming/outgoing phone numbers on the bill is to use calling apps that serve as intermediaries for calls. But bear in mind that most calling apps including a burner app are not always secure. Before choosing, do your research. Find out if the service keeps its own call and message logs.

Most VoIP services like Skype, RingCentral, Dialpad, etc., keep their own CDRs. While they’re not on your primary phone bill, these logs are once again out of your control.

Calls aren’t the only thing to worry about on a cell phone bill.

Man taking smartphone picture watching out and wondering how to hide numbers on your phone bill

How do I hide text messages on my phone bill?

To hide standard SMS text messages on your phone bill, discontinue using them immediately. Like call logs, mobile service providers are required by FCC document Title 47 Section 42.6 to keep accurate records. It’s not possible to hide short message service texts.

You may have heard that using messenger app is the safest way to hide your messages. Unfortunately, these apps have a hidden agenda. They sell or leak your metadata (e.g., location, time of messages, count of messages, sending and receiving numbers, etc.) to advertisers.

Big names like Facebook, iMessage, WeChat, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc., continually harvest metadata from every conversation. Moreover, the cell providers Verizon, T-mobile, AT&T, Google, and the like, access your standard SMS & MMS messages without your knowledge.

I wrote a whole article about the dangers of using MMS. Please for the love of all things sacred: Stop using messaging designed decades ago!

So, the first thing to do is to stop using these standard messaging apps for your communications. Instead, use secured messengers designed for private text, especially those with open source licenses that are publicly audited.

There are plenty of end-to-end encrypted, open-source messaging platforms. Take a look at:

Use any of these apps as a way to keep your messages private, secured, and away from your phone bill.

Does a texting app show up on the phone bill?

Sending text messages with an app on your phone means that you’re using your phone company’s data services. Message and calls within the app won’t appear on your bill. Instead, you’ll see the device that used the mobile service data and the amount of data consumed.

The record of the messages won’t show unless the apps have an SMS fallback.

If your chosen messenger has this feature, it will send your texts through old 1990s SMS or MMS channels if both the sender and receiver are not using the same app. Instead of using the internet to transport your message privately, you’re sending through the unencrypted and logged service from your mobile provider.

The earlier messengers list above do not have or can be set not to use SMS fallback.

Our favorite amongst these apps is Signal. Aside from being the easiest to switch to, Signal’s philosophy centers around knowing as little about its users as possible.

Bear in mind that Signal can also send SMS to a recipient who doesn’t have a Signal account yet. While the app makes it very evident that your text message is insecure in this scenario, disregarding the status will allow texts to show on your phone bill.

It’s best to encourage all your contacts to switch to Signal or use a separate app to handle insecure SMS messages.

Does the Signal app show up on your phone bill?

The Signal app does not show up on your phone bill. This safe and secure messenger is end-to-end encrypted, hiding your calls and text messages. Law enforcement, the phone company, and the Signal company cannot see your content. Only a small amount of metadata is available.

Signal focuses on user privacy, ensuring the only person who can get your messages is the recipient.

Remember:

  • You and your recipient must both communicate through the app for your messages and calls to be private. We recommend that you invite the recipient to download the app.
  • Do not use Signal as your smartphone’s default SMS handler.
Woman holding smartphone with finger on lips since she knows how to hide numbers on your phone bill

How to get Signal Messenger and set it up?

One of the things we love about Signal is that it is easy to install and use. If you’re ready, do the following:

Setting Up Signal on iOS

  1. Download Signal from the App Store on your device.
  2. Sign up on the app with your phone number. If you’re using iOS, you’ll find a screen showing the “Privacy policies.” Tap “Continue.” You’ll also get a request to “Enable Permissions” to access your contacts & notifications.
  3. Click “Allow” to enable the permissions.
  4. Afterward, a signup screen will appear where you’ll enter your “Country,” “Phone number,” and then tap “Next.”
  5. It’s possible to use a burner phone number. But if you want your contacts to locate you on the app, use the actual number.
  6. Signal will then send a code to your number. Once you get the code, enter it into the space provided. Then choose your username and add your profile image.
  7. Tap “Save,” and that’s it.

Setting up Signal for Android

  1. Download Signal from the Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Launch Signal.
  3. A pop-up message asking for access to your phone calls, contacts, storage, etc., will appear. Once it does, tap “Continue.”
  4. Then accept the permission prompts as they appear to move over to the “signup screen.”
  5. Enter your phone number on the signup screen
  6. Then select “Register” to receive the verification code.
  7. Input the code as it appeared to go over to the next page.
  8. Choose a username and add a profile image.
  9. Then choose “Save,” and that’s it.

Do Messenger Calls Show On Your Phone Bill?

No, Messenger and other texting apps don’t show up on your phone bill. The cost of using any app that uses data or sends messages is built into the monthly plan for your wireless carrier. This includes Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, TextNow, and iMessage.

If you use one of the messenger or texting applications, the call is made over the internet, and not over your phone’s cellular network. This means that it won’t show up on your phone bill. Instead, they appear as regular data usage. So if you’re worried about someone seeing your call history, don’t be.

You see, not all phone calls show up on the phone bill, only the ones that you make over the cellular network. Simply put, calling people using texting apps is another way to call someone without it showing up on the phone bill. How is this possible?

Well, I am glad that you asked.

The answer is because messenger calls( calls made via texting apps) are made using voice over IP, or VoIP. This is a term for any technology that sends sound information online, rather than through your regular phone line. Your calls are sent directly between two computers, not to your cell tower and then to another computer. So there’s no way for them to show up on your phone bill.

If you need more reasons, here’s another one. Since messenger calls are carried over your internet connection, they use data instead of minutes. So, again, there’s no way for them to show up on your phone bill.

Another privacy question may be “Do WhatsApp Numbers Appear On Your Phone Bill?” The answer is the same, no. Your phone bill won’t show WhatsApp calls or any other VoIP calls.

A cell phone with instagram, facebook messenger, and whatsapp tabs open.

Do Instagram Calls Show On Your Phone Bill?

Just like calls made over Messenger and other texting apps, calls made over Instagram don’t show up on your phone bill.

What happens when you place an Instagram call? The app makes a direct connection between the two phones without the cell tower’s involvement. Instagram calls are sent through an internet connection, not over your phone company’s network. It’s just like a video or voice message that you send, except for live calls.

Because of VoIP and peer-to-peer technology and not cellular networks, it’s impossible for Instagram calls to show up on your phone bill.

One might also ask, “What about google voice call?” Do google voice calls show on phone bill? No, they will not show on your phone records.

Here’s how it works: When somebody calls your Google Voice number, Google Voice will intelligently try to reach you by calling your Google number via VoIP, using whatever data service is connected (WiFi preferred then LTE). If it isn’t able to connect over these services or if there’s no signal at all – phone cellular carriers are used instead!

So, as long as you have a WiFi signal, or mobile data it won’t eat up your calling minutes, and therefore won’t be listed on your phone bill.

At the end of the day, people are more concerned about the privacy of their calls, rather than how much data it costs. This is why carriers have built texting apps that allow you to make phone calls over the internet. It’s cheaper for them (and maybe for you, too), and it allows people to make voice calls without worrying about them appearing on their phone bills.

Mike Chu

Mike is a web developer and content writer living as a digital nomad. With more than 20 years of devops experience, he brings his "programmer with people skills" approach to help explain technology to the average user. Check out his full author bio by clicking here.

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