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Disposable Phone Numbers Are So Hot Right Now

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This story appears in the February 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Tech veterans Greg Cohn and Will Carter tried to develop a social platform that would let users establish virtual "office hours" for chatting with strangers and colleagues. The reception among beta testers was lukewarm. But one feature stood out: the ability to create temporary phone numbers that forward to one's mobile phone.

Illustration © James Yang

Cohn and Carter's beta testers had a range of uses for fleeting phone numbers that would mask their permanent digits. Among them: Craigslist sales, online dating and maintaining a public internet persona without giving away private coordinates.

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