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The Truth Behind Recycled Numbers

July 31, 2017

Have you ever received a text that was meant for someone else? Maybe it was from someone’s crazy ex-girlfriend that was trying to reach them. Or the text could be a coupon from a restaurant or store. You’ve undoubtedly received at least a few of these texts over the years. Alerts you didn’t sign up for and texts from strangers have almost become the norm. But have you ever wondered why, exactly, you’re receiving those texts? It turns out that the culprit is recycled numbers.


A recycled number occurs when a telephone number has been deactivated and then assigned to a new person. According to PACE, there are 45 million recycled numbers per year in the U.S. alone. Other statistics suggest that over 120,000 phone numbers are recycled daily. Organizations or individuals who are not aware that a certain number has been recycled will continue to send texts to said number, which is why some of us receive so many unwanted texts. Just because we didn’t sign up for those coupon alerts from Target doesn’t mean that the person who had our number beforehand didn’t.

For the most part, these unwanted texted are mainly just annoying. No one wants to be on the receiving end of information they don’t care about, especially if it happens often. However, these texts can turn out to be very bad for the companies sending them due to the TCPA. Under the TCPA, organizations need to obtain permission from the owner of the phone number in order to send outreach. It doesn’t matter if the owner of the number has changed—it’s up to the company to keep tabs on that information. So, if organizations send unwanted outreach to a recycled number, they can get slammed with fines by the TCPA.

Luckily, companies like iconectiv have been working to make keeping track of phone numbers easier for companies. For instance, iconectiv’s Right Party Verification for Messaging determines whether there has been a change in telephone number ownership. With the help of this solution, enterprises can continue to send outreach without having to worry about whether they’re sending texts to the right people. iconectiv’s Right Party Verification for Messaging takes care of that concern for them, allowing organizations to reach the right people and saving consumers from headaches. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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