I was wondering, since people give their phone numbers to strangers, for whatever reason, could it be possible if that person, who has only your phone number and maybe a first name to somehow do some sort of idenity theft? Or what could actually happen if they know only your phone number and first name, other than prank calling?

  • 1
    Depends is your phone vulnerable to stage fright exploit? Hack your phone and get more data from you. There are probably dozens of other 0 day attacks they might be able to leverage. Also social engineering. Call you up husband/wife/so, etc is in mugged,in the hospital, or other danger. They need money, please give me CC to help them.
    – cybernard
    Oct 4, 2016 at 3:53

3 Answers 3


If you gave Facebook that number, someone could use it to find your Facebook user name. People tend to use their full name as a Facebook user name - also because Facebook wants so:

The name you use should be the name your friends call you in everyday life and that our acceptable identification forms would show.

As such, a phone number may be enough to get your full name, which could be partially confirmed by an attacker who also knows your name.

At that point, the attacker would know your full name and phone number.

What can the attacker do? It depends.

If you're worried about online fraud - setting up a fake account with your name - it's a real threat.

Financial frauds - those involving money - are usually more difficult, since they often require additional data (SSN, credit card number,...) and resources (forged documents, cloned credit cards, and so on).

As usual, you should think about what you're dealing with.

  • How many people know your phone number and first name?
  • Do you think you can trust them? I'm not talking about "saving-your-life" trust. A plain "not-doing-evil" trust is enough.
  • Does any website, including social networks, know your phone number and first name?
  • Do you think you can trust them, at least to not directly sell your data to scammers and criminals?
  • Did something happen that could make you the target of an attack by resourceful people (say, criminals)? Consider revenge and other factors.
  • Consider how would a fake account affect your digital presence, both from a personal and a professional standpoint. If you are a representative of a well-known company, for example, a fake account could be more dangerous than if you were, say, a waiter.
  • Do your bank and credit card companies have well-defined policies, requiring identification, for using your bank and credit card accounts?
  • well my facebook have my old number, so I guess they cant find my name, so I might be safe? (More or less)
    – Poyr23
    Sep 30, 2016 at 10:30
  • Facebook is an example. See #3: "Does any website, including social networks, know your [current] phone number and first name?". If the answer is "no", and there aren't many potentially evil strangers who know your first name and number, you're pretty much safe. However, consider also #5, #6 and #7.
    – A. Darwin
    Sep 30, 2016 at 10:46
  • Well I believe I should be safe then, I dont think other websites know my phone number, and I am not really a representative or something like that
    – Poyr23
    Sep 30, 2016 at 12:17

I dont think that they could go away and perform identity theft with no further information but they could use it to get some more information about you like A.Darwin said but there is also the attack vector of phoning you and asking you for more info, they know your name which will give them slightly more chance to convince you that they are who they say they are.

why not see how easy you are to find with your phone number, put it into google, you will get a few results saying "this is a phone number" but you shouldn't get anything that gives any more info than that. There are private lists of personal details out there but you would need to spend money to find out if you are in them as there isnt a phone version of https://haveibeenpwned.com/


As a privacy consultant; with a last name and general location of where the person lived, I have been able to identify individuals, where they live and lived in the past, email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook and every other social media account and even their spouses name, and where and when they were married as well as place of employment. It all depends upon how much of yourself already exists publicly on the internet and how much time someone is willing to spend searching...and if you would specifically be a target. The amount of time it could take with that little info is not worth it to choose someone at random.

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