You may have heard the phrase ‘burner phone’ and wondered what it is, this guide is designed to tell you everything you need to know about the device.
A burner phone is basically a disposable mobile phone that cannot be traced, these devices have been used widely by criminals and have featured in TV shows like The Wire and many other shows.
The type of phone that is used for a burner is basically a cheap feature phone which is designed to make calls and send text messages. The normal features of a fully functional smartphone are not needed for this type of device, the fewer features the device has the better.
What is a Burner Phone?
A burner is basically a cheap prepaid smartphone that is usually purchased for cash, this is done so that the handset cannot be traced to any individual. The phone is then usually topped up with prepaid credit that it is used for making calls and sending messages. These prepaid cards are also usually purchased in cash.
The device is mainly used to avoid detection from law enforcement, the term burner means that it is easily disposable, when the number is ‘burnt’ or when law enforcement knows about it or it is no longer safe for the criminal to use
The device is then thrown away by the criminal, this is where the term ‘burner’ comes from as it is then discarded and cannot easily be traced back to the person who used it.
Are there any legitimate uses for a burner?
There can be legitimate uses for a burner, you may want to have a second phone that you can use anonymously without giving out your main telephone number.
This could be a device you may use for work, or for contacting companies that you do not want to give your telephone number to.
The only difference between using your own phone anonymously and a burner phone anonymously is that the burner device cannot easily be traced back to you. This is why the device is the choice of criminals as it can be used and then just thrown away and easily replaced with another burner.
Many of these types of phones can be purchased from convenience stores and other stores without having to give your details, unlike when you purchase a new smartphone.
Image Credit: Isaac Smith