Can Anonymous Text Apps be Traced?
Can Text Free numbers be traced?
Anonymous texting apps such as TextFree, and TextNow, give users a certain degree of anonymity. But can anonymous text apps be traced back to an individual when used for harassment, or other malicious purposes? While the average person won’t be able to trace a number from a texting app, anonymous text apps and Text Free numbers can be traced through law enforcement or our investigators who specialize in identifying anonymous users through spoofed phone numbers, fake apps, ProtonMail, and more.
So, can Text Free numbers be traced? Yes, Text Free numbers can be traced.
How Texting Apps work
Most texting apps assign users with a new random phone number. When you communicate through a texting app like the Phoner app, your phone calls and text messages are anonymous because it hides your identity by routing messages via other phone numbers. Texting apps offer tight security for confidentiality to ensure users of privacy.
But this privacy comes with a limit. When the services of texting apps are used for harassment by text for example, authorities can request texing apps like Text Free, and TextNow, to hand over the user information that belongs to a specific phone number.
This user information helps identify who used the phone number. Other texting apps like Signal, Skype, Telegram, Whatsapp, and Viber can also be traced back to an individual.
Can Texting Apps Be Traced By Police?
Yes, police can trace phone numbers from anonymous texting apps like TextFree, and TextNow, back to an individual through a valid court order. Unfortunately most police departments do not understand the technology, or even where to begin investigation.
In mid-2023, our Founder Michael Roberts secured the release of two women from unrelated cases. They had been jailed after being falsely accused of sending violent threats to other people. Neither the police, the prosecutor nor even the defense attorneys knew how to investigate. The women were assumed to be guilty and paid the price for government incompetence. Michael not only got the women released but also proved that their accusers sent the messages to themselves to frame them (Read the case study).
If a victim convinces the police to investigate, the Spoofing Apps must provide user information, which helps the police trace a number back to a person.
If you use texting apps for unethical or illegal purposes, they won’t keep you safe. Law enforcement or our team can identify the user.
Apps like TextNow keep permanent logs of each number’s usage, as described in the TextNow policy.
TextNow may retain certain portions of your personal information in order to a) detect or resolve certain issues, including but not limited to issues related to security, fraud, and spam; b) comply with applicable laws, and in particular telecommunications laws; c) carry out any actions for internal purposes only, such as for archival backups, and for improving TextNow’s products and services, and d) as otherwise permitted or required by applicable law.
Some of this information includes:
- When the phone number was registered
- The account information that signed up for the app and belongs to the phone number
- The IP address of the device when the app was used
- The device’s unique identifier
Even when a user signs up with a fake email and used a VPN when using the app, the information obtained from the company still gives you unique information such as the device details and more. Even when VPNs and other proxies are used, it is very difficult to stay completely anonymous while using these services.
How can you track a TextFree number
You can track a TextFree number through the police, who can subpoena the texting app to obtain the account information. This can also be done through a lawyer and a court order.
However, police resources are spread thin and often won’t be able to help in retrieving TextNow or TextFree data, unless there are serious threats or crimes involved. Most of the people who contact us have contacted law enforcement first, but were unable to help.
Our investigators, who specialize in identifying anonymous users through emails, such as ProtonMail, social media, and texting apps, can help you identify the person behind the harassment through anonymous and fake phone numbers.
In most cases, we can do this out-of-court. We do this by bypassing archaic evidence discovery procedures through the subpoena process. Our cyber investigators use social and digital forensics to positively identify the individuals responsible for civil and criminal wrongdoing using the internet and texting apps. There have been cases for which we saved our clients many tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, as well as shortening the case duration.