What is Disposable Phone Number?

What is Disposable Phone Number

A disposable phone number, also known as a temporary virtual phone number, is an online service that allows users to receive SMS messages without revealing their real phone number. It is a convenient option for people who need to receive account verification OTPs for registration or temporary access codes without disclosing their personal information.

It is important to understand that the disposable or temporary phone number is shared among all users, regardless whether it’s a free public number or a private number from a paid service. This means that multiple people can use the same number, and it is often used by individuals who wish to remain anonymous. While this may seem like an innocuous practice, using a disposable phone number can have serious consequences for both businesses and individuals.

One major concern is that using a fake identity can cause significant harm to merchant services. When users sign up for a service that requires phone verification, they are typically sent an OTP to their phone number to confirm their identity. However, if they use a disposable phone number, the verification process can be bypassed, allowing perpetrators to create multiple accounts and exploit services. This can lead to substantial financial losses for businesses and can also damage their reputation if their services are used for fraudulent activities.

In addition, disposable phone numbers have become a popular tool for scammers, who use them to create fake profiles on social media, dating apps, and other online platforms. They can also be used to scam people out of money or to engage in other illegal activities. This can lead to reputational damage for businesses and can also cause personal harm to individuals who fall victim to these scams. Therefore, it is essential to be cautious when encountering the disposable phone number in the order transaction.

How FraudLabs Pro Could Help You to Detect and Block Disposable Phone Number

In FraudLabs Pro, we cover this for you. Our algorithm will regularly scout the web and glean the active disposable phone numbers from various sources for fraud verification. And, at present, we have a list of thousands of disposable phone numbers currently being used worldwide. If you are currently a Medium Plan (or higher plan) subscriber, your orders had already been protected from the disposable phone number exploitation. You may now view the disposable phone number status of your order in our merchant area. Below is the screenshot of the transaction:

Fraud details including disposable phone number information

You can also create your own validation rule to reject the order if the disposable phone number was detected. Below is the screenshot of the disposable phone number rule:

Fraud validation rule to reject a transaction if it's from disposable phone number

If you are using our REST API for fraud screening, you may check for is_disposable_phone_number field in the response message to determine if the user phone is a disposable phone number. Below please find an example of the response message:

	"is_country_match": "Y",
	"is_high_risk_country": "N",
	"distance_in_km": "-",
	"distance_in_mile": "-",
	"ip_country": "NL",
	"ip_continent": "Europe",
	"ip_region": "Zuid-Holland",
	"ip_city": "Hoek van Holland",
	"ip_latitude": "51.9775",
	"ip_longitude": "4.13333",
	"ip_timezone": "+01:00",
	"ip_elevation": "3",
	"ip_domain": "kpn.com",
	"ip_mobile_mnc": "08\/10\/12\/69",
	"ip_mobile_mcc": "204",
	"ip_mobile_brand": "KPN",
	"ip_netspeed": "DSL",
	"ip_isp_name": "KPN B.V.",
	"ip_usage_type": "Fixed Line ISP\/Mobile ISP",
	"is_free_email": "Y",
	"is_new_domain_name": "N",
	"is_domain_exists": "Y",
	"is_disposable_email": "N",
	"is_proxy_ip_address": "N",
	"is_bin_found": "NA",
	"is_bin_country_match": "NA",
	"is_bin_name_match": "NA",
	"is_bin_phone_match": "NA",
	"is_bin_prepaid": "NA",
	"is_address_ship_forward": "NA",
	"is_bill_ship_city_match": "NA",
	"is_bill_ship_state_match": "NA",
	"is_bill_ship_country_match": "Y",
	"is_bill_ship_postal_match": "NA",
	"is_ship_address_blacklist": "NA",
	"is_phone_blacklist": "N",
	"is_ip_blacklist": "N",
	"is_email_blacklist": "N",
	"is_credit_card_blacklist": "NA",
	"is_device_blacklist": "NA",
	"is_user_blacklist": "NA",
	"is_high_risk_username": "NA",
	"is_export_controlled_country": "N",
	"is_malware_exploit": "NA",
	"is_disposable_phone_number": "Y",
	"user_order_id": "37695",
	"user_order_memo": "",
	"card_brand": "NA",
	"card_type": "NA",
	"card_subtype": "NA",
	"card_issuing_bank": "NA",
	"card_issuing_country": "-",
	"fraudlabspro_score": 65,
	"fraudlabspro_distribution": "90",
	"fraudlabspro_status": "APPROVE",
	"fraudlabspro_id": "20220103-UTDCDJ",
	"fraudlabspro_rules": "",
	"fraudlabspro_version": "1.5.1",
	"fraudlabspro_error_code": "",
	"fraudlabspro_message": "",
	"fraudlabspro_credits": 4998,
	"device_id": "NA"

We have observed an increased use of disposable phone numbers to circumvent the verification process for account registration, checkout and so on. Hence, it’s important for you as the merchant to be able to detect and block them. If you are not a Medium plan user, you may upgrade your plan at your merchant area to enable this feature.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles