Enhancement Request to Verizon Wireless Services
One way to reduce the negative impacts of call/text spam is to make it very easy to change phone numbers. Yes, today you can easily request a new phone number for your mobile device, but then you must notify all of your contacts (friends, family, clients, businesses, web sites, etc.) that you have a new number. And the more contacts you notify, the sooner the new number will be rediscovered by the spammers... and then you need to go through that pain all over again.
It'd be much better if your device supported multiple virtual phone numbers... that way you could issue a different phone number to each contact (or a small group). If one of the virtual numbers was compromised, you could delete it and create a new virtual number... and (here's the best part) you only need to send the new number to that one contact (or small group).
[ Yes, I already know about the Verizon "My Numbers" app, Google Voice, and others, but this is different... please read on. ]
Each mobile device would still have a native phone number, but you could choose to keep that number secret and give out only virtual phone numbers. All virtual numbers would share the same voicemail box as the device's native number. Phone and voicemail systems (IVR, apps, etc.) would need to be modified to indicate which virtual number calls were received on so that the user could choose how to answer calls (friend, client, etc.). Further, each virtual number could be optionally configured with a list of contacts from whom calls would be accepted, all other callers would be deemed "potential spam."
Messaging apps would need to be similarly modified to indicate which virtual number texts were received from, and to ensure that your replies indicate the correct virtual number as the sender. This is a bit tricky for group messages where multiple recipients have different virtual numbers... these use cases would need to be investigated and the behavior would need to be carefully designed.
Optional virtual phone number features/services could include separate ring and forwarding settings, a separate voicemail box (to support a different outgoing message), separate text messaging, etc. These optional features/services would be in addition to those already on the native phone line, possibly at additional cost.
Virtual credit card numbers are already available from some card issuers to help us combat fraud and identity theft... the time has come for virtual phone numbers to help us combat call and text spam!
We truly appreciate your feedback, Virtual_Phone_Numbers. You have some really greats suggestions. We will forward your feedback for review. Your feedback helps us make future changes to ensure we have the best tools available for our customers. Please feel free to share your feedback at anytime.