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British Telecom - ex-directory numbers.


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A friend has had problems with a stalker to the point that she moved houses.


She made her phone and address ex-directory, but it seems to have become available. This has made her ballistic.


I haven't had a landline in a while, but I thought they can't have your number in the directories without your permission?


Should she sue them about this happenstance?


I don't even know where to start.



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It is not clear to me if your friend's number is on Directory Enquiries or not? Perhaps the person found the number/address by some other means?


The best listing on directory enquires is NQR (no enquiry record) rather than just X/D (ex-directory), but you have to ask for this specifically as most BT personnel do not know about it. With NQR there is no information on the DQ database of your name, address or phone number. Also make sure to request CLI (caller Line Identity Withhold) as well so that your number is not available on Caller Displays/1471.


Another thing to bear in mind is the Electoral Roll. You should always tick the box to say you do not wish to be included in the 'edited' version of the Electoral Roll. The 'edited' version is freely available online (e.g. 192.com - The Largest UK Directory Enquiry Service) and with the rolling registration we now have, names can appear rather quickly!


It is also possible to find an address from a landline phone number! I know people say this is no longer possible because companies are no longer allowed to make available reverse-engineered DQ databases, but the fact is it is at least possible (if you have someone's phone number) to find their postcode (usually within 1-3 hours) of internet searching. The average postcode covers 15 properties so, it does not take a genius to find the full address by visiting the area!


You could consider getting a 'disposable' internet phone number from SIPGATE, but you would need an 'internet phone' or an ordinary phone connected to an ATA or VOIP router. So, you could change phone numbers (at no charge) if someone found out your number. Also, your address could not be found (using the method above) if someone did discover your SIPGATE number. You could even have a SIPGATE number in John O' Groats whilst living in Land's End!

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