Putting your real information online is always a risk, and your phone number is no exception. It's extremely valuable to the telephone marketing industry. If you aren't careful, you could end up answering endless telemarketing calls.
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Even scarier is selling an item - or buying an item - online through a classified ad or auction site. You might need to give a stranger your phone number to set up the deal, but if you give it to the wrong person, you could end up with harassing phone calls.
Fortunately, you don't have to give out your real number online or offline. It's easy enough to pick up a private number or two that you can ditch as soon as the wrong person gets a hold of it. In most cases, you can even do it for free. Here's how.