When you don't want your identity to be revealed to the recipient, you may want to take a moment to consider the possibility of anonymous texting. Under normal circumstances, your phone number is shown every time that you send out a text message, but there are ways to hide your mobile number too.
Under a Shroud of Secrecy
Normally, a telephone voice call will result in your phone number being shown on the other side if the recipient has caller ID. You can hide your caller ID from being shown if you preface your call with *67 in most jurisdictions. This does not work with SMS, but there are ways to take advantage of anonymous texting. Be forewarned, though, that the technologies to send anonymous text messages should not be used for illegal purposes.
How to Do Anonymous texting
Even if you have an unlimited texting plan, you may not want the recipient to trace your mobile phone number. While the process isn't quite as seamless as sending a regular text message, the process of anonymous texting is similar to some services that let you send a free text message. One of the key things to note here, though, is that you'll need to know the wireless carrier of the recipient.
Email a Text Message to AT&T Phone
If you'd like to send an anonymous text message to someone who subscribes to AT&T, it is possible to send that message via email rather than through a conventional SMS interface on a cell phone. The text message may divulge your email address, but with so many free email services out there, it would not be difficult to have a few free accounts set up for this kind of purpose.
To send a text message to an AT&T account via e-mail, address your e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org, replacing "number" with the 10-digit wireless phone number. Naturally, the message must be under 160 characters to be sent properly as an SMS. More information can be found on the associated AT&T Wireless Support page.
Online Verizon Text Messaging
An even easier solution is offered through Verizon Wireless. If you want to partake in some anonymous texting with a Verizon Wireless phone user, you can go to a special page on the Verizon website and send a text message directly from the web interface. That's completely anonymous, because you don't need to enter a valid email or phone number. It asks for one, but it does not appear to verify it.
Use the Send a Text Message page on the Verizon Wireless website to send a free online SMS.
Bell Mobility Website SMS Gateway
How about Canadians? Can they send free text messages anonymously too? As it turns out, yes they can! The interface with Bell Mobility is much the same as the Verizon solution described above, letting you send anonymous text messages through a web-based interface. Like other similar services, however, the recipient may be charged a premium fee for receiving web-based text messages. Bell Mobility's online SMS page is simple and straightforward.
Send a Message with Telus Mobility
Just like with Bell, Telus Mobility has an online interface for sending free anonymous SMS messages as well. Simply enter the phone number where you'd like to send the text message, a sender's number (that does not need to be verified), and the message itself. Remember to keep it under 160 characters! Send an anonymous text through Telus on the company website.
Useful Reasons for Anonymous SMS
There are many different reasons why you may want to send an anonymous text message to someone. It may be helpful to send one to a co-worker to warn them about something without having to reveal your identity. Similarly, certain law enforcement agencies may be able to accept anonymous tips via text message and you don't want to reveal your identity.
Ironically, one of the best applications for using these web-based text messaging portals has nothing to do with anonymity at all. If you have lost your cell phone or you are traveling overseas, these online utilities can be a great (one-way) communication tool back to your friends, family, and colleagues that saves money and time.