21 Best Responses to the “Who Gave You My Number?”

In today’s digital age, our contact information is often shared more widely than we might prefer. It’s not uncommon to receive a call or message from someone you don’t recognize, followed by the question, “Who gave you my number?”

How you respond to this inquiry can set the tone for the conversation and determine whether it leads to a positive outcome or an awkward exchange.

In this article, we’ll explore 25 of the best responses to this question, offering guidance on when and how to use each one effectively.

The List

1. “I’m Sorry, It Must Be a Mistake.”

Use Case 1: Unfamiliar Caller

Context: When you receive a call or text from an unknown number and the person on the other end asks how you got their number, a polite and non-confrontational response like this is appropriate.

Example 1: A wrong number dialed your phone, and the caller is genuinely confused.

Example 2: You received a message from an unfamiliar number that seems meant for someone else.

Example 3: Someone you don’t know added you to a group chat without your consent.

Guideline: Use this response when you want to keep the conversation cordial and avoid escalating a potentially innocent mistake.

2. “I Received It from [Mutual Friend/Colleague].”

Use Case 2: Mutual Connection

Context: If the person inquires about the source of your contact information, and you have a mutual friend or colleague who shared it with you, it’s appropriate to mention their name.

Example 1: You met someone at a social event, and they ask how you got their number.

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Example 2: You’re reaching out to a potential business partner referred by a mutual contact.

Example 3: A colleague shared a contact’s number with you for a work-related project.

Guideline: Use this response to establish credibility and transparency, especially when the shared contact is trusted by both parties.

3. “I Found It Online.”

Use Case 3: Publicly Available Information

Context: Sometimes, contact information is readily accessible online through professional directories or social media profiles. If this is how you obtained the number, it’s important to be upfront about it.

Example 1: You discovered a business contact’s number on their company website.

Example 2: You found someone’s number listed on a public platform like LinkedIn.

Example 3: You located a service provider’s contact information through an online search.

Guideline: Use this response when you want to be transparent about the source of the information and assure the other person that you obtained it legally and ethically.

4. “I Was Given It for [Specific Reason].”

Use Case 4: Purposeful Sharing

Context: If you acquired the contact information for a specific purpose, it’s essential to communicate that purpose to the person asking.

Example 1: You have a job interview scheduled and received their number for coordinating details.

Example 2: A friend shared their contact information because they thought you could help each other with a project.

Example 3: You received the number to discuss a mutual interest or hobby.

Guideline: Use this response to clarify the reason for having their number and set the expectation for the ensuing conversation.

5. “It’s Part of a Group [Work/Project] Chat.”

Use Case 5: Group Chat Inclusion

Context: When you’ve been added to a group chat where the other person is also a member, it’s reasonable to mention this as the source of contact.

Example 1: You were included in a team project chat with coworkers.

Example 2: You’re part of a social event planning group chat, and the person is another member.

Example 3: A friend added you to a chat with their friends, including the person asking.

Guideline: Use this response to clarify that the contact information was shared within a group context and not specifically for one-on-one communication.

6. “I Thought It Was You – I Apologize.”

Use Case 6: Honest Mistake

Context: Sometimes, you might mistake someone’s number for someone else’s. In such cases, acknowledging your error and apologizing is the appropriate response.

Example 1: You intended to message a friend but sent it to the wrong number.

Example 2: You thought you were calling a family member but dialed incorrectly.

Example 3: You sent a text meant for a coworker but accidentally sent it to a different colleague.

Guideline: Use this response to defuse tension and express regret for any inconvenience caused.

7. “It Was Shared by [Event Organizer/Host].”

Use Case 7: Event-Related Sharing

Context: If you received someone’s number in the context of an event, party, or gathering organized by a third party, mentioning the event organizer can be helpful.

Example 1: You got the number at a wedding, and the couple provided your contact information.

Example 2: You received the number for a charity event, and the organizer facilitated the introduction.

Example 3: An event host shared the contact details for a networking event they hosted.

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Guideline: Use this response to establish a connection through the event and emphasize the mutual connection.

8. “I Thought We Met at [Location/Event].”

Use Case 8: Social Encounter

Context: When you met someone in person, and they don’t immediately recognize you, mentioning the place or event where you met can help jog their memory.

Example 1: You encountered the person at a conference but didn’t exchange contact information.

Example 2: You met them at a social gathering, but it’s been a while since you last saw each other.

Example 3: You want to reconnect with someone you met while traveling.

Guideline: Use this response to reestablish a connection and facilitate a more comfortable conversation.

9. “I Saw Your Profile on [Platform] and Thought We Could Connect.”

Use Case 9: Online Networking

Context: In the age of social media, connecting with people you find interesting or professionally relevant is common. If you discovered their contact information through a public online profile, it’s important to mention it.

Example 1: You found a professional contact on LinkedIn and decided to reach out.

Example 2: You came across someone’s blog or website and wanted to discuss their work.

Example 3: You found an author or artist on a social media platform and reached out to express your appreciation.

Guideline: Use this response to establish that you are genuinely interested in connecting and discussing shared interests.

10. “A Friend Suggested I Contact You.”

Use Case 10: Referral by a Friend

Context: Mutual connections can be a great way to initiate contact. If a friend recommended that you reach out to the person, it’s important to mention this referral.

Example 1: Your friend suggested you speak with a colleague for career advice.

Example 2: A mutual acquaintance recommended you get in touch with a potential client.

Example 3: Your friend thought you and the person would get along and suggested you connect.

Guideline: Use this response to leverage the trust and recommendation of a mutual connection.

11. “I Found Your Number in a Directory.”

Use Case 11: Directory Listing

Context: Some individuals list their contact information in directories for professional or personal reasons. If you obtained their number from a directory, be transparent about it.

Example 1: You found a local business owner’s contact information in the Yellow Pages.

Example 2: You located an artist’s contact details in a creative industry directory.

Example 3: A community organization shared contact information in a public directory.

Guideline: Use this response to establish that the contact information was publicly available and legally accessed.

12. “I’m Calling on Behalf of [Company/Organization].”

Use Case 12: Professional Introduction

Context: When reaching out on behalf of a company or organization, it’s important to convey your affiliation and purpose clearly.

Example 1: You’re a sales representative contacting a potential client for business.

Example 2: You’re a recruiter reaching out to a candidate about a job opportunity.

Example 3: You’re a nonprofit representative seeking support for a cause.

Guideline: Use this response to establish your professional identity and the purpose of your contact.

13. “I’m Part of [Group/Community], and We Wanted to Connect.”

Use Case 13: Community Involvement

Context: If you’re reaching out as a representative of a group or community, mentioning the group’s name can help create a sense of familiarity.

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Example 1: You’re part of a local homeowners’ association and want to discuss neighborhood matters.

Example 2: You’re a member of a hobbyist club and want to connect with fellow enthusiasts.

Example 3: You belong to a professional organization and wish to network with other members.

Guideline: Use this response to highlight your shared affiliation and common interests.

14. “I Found Your Number on [Website/Social Media].”

Use Case 14: Public Online Presence

Context: If someone’s contact information is readily available on their website or social media profiles, it’s appropriate to mention where you found it.

Example 1: You found a musician’s contact information on their official website.

Example 2: You located a local business owner’s number on their Facebook page.

Example 3: A public figure has their contact information listed on their Twitter profile.

Guideline: Use this response to indicate that their contact details were accessible through their online presence.

15. “We’re Both Members of [Online Community/Forum].”

Use Case 15: Online Community Connection

Context: When you’re both active members of an online community or forum, it’s a relevant point to mention when explaining how you obtained their contact information.

Example 1: You’re both members of a niche interest forum and want to discuss a shared passion.

Example 2: You frequent a professional networking group online and wish to connect with another member.

Example 3: You’re part of an online support group and want to offer assistance.

Guideline: Use this response to establish common ground and rapport based on your shared online community participation.

16. “We Were Introduced by [Name] at [Event].”

Use Case 16: Formal Introduction

Context: If you were formally introduced to the person at a specific event by a mutual acquaintance, it’s important to mention both the person’s name and the event.

Example 1: You were introduced to a potential business partner by a colleague at a conference.

Example 2: A friend introduced you to someone at a social gathering.

Example 3: You met someone through a formal networking event hosted by an industry organization.

Guideline: Use this response to establish the context of your meeting and provide a clear reference point for the other person.

17. “I’m Part of [Project/Team] with You.”

Use Case 17: Collaborative Effort

Context: When you’re working together on a project or within a team, it’s expected that contact information will be shared for coordination and communication purposes.

Example 1: You’re both members of a project team, and you need to discuss project-related matters.

Example 2: You’re collaborating on a research initiative and need to coordinate research efforts.

Example 3: You’re part of a sports team, and contact information is shared for practice scheduling.

Guideline: Use this response to emphasize the shared professional or team-related context.

18. “I Received It from [Professional Network/Conference].”

Use Case 18: Networking Event Connection

Context: When you attend a networking event or conference, it’s common to exchange contact information with fellow professionals. Mentioning the event provides a clear context for the connection.

Example 1: You exchanged contact information with industry peers at a conference.

Example 2: You met someone at a business networking event and exchanged business cards.

Example 3: You attended a professional development seminar and connected with other participants.

Guideline: Use this response to underscore the professional context in which you met.

19. “I Thought We Could Discuss [Shared Interest/Topic].”

Use Case 19: Shared Interests

Context: If you have a common interest or topic you’d like to discuss with the person, it’s a good idea to mention it upfront.

Example 1: You share a passion for a specific hobby or activity.

Example 2: You both have a professional interest in a particular industry trend.

Example 3: You want to discuss a common cause or advocacy effort.

Guideline: Use this response to establish a basis for your conversation and demonstrate your genuine interest.

20. “I’m a [Profession/Expertise] Interested in Collaborating.”

Use Case 20: Professional Collaboration

Context: When reaching out to professionals for potential collaboration, it’s important to convey your expertise and the potential benefits of working together.

Example 1: You’re a graphic designer interested in collaborating with a web developer on a project.

Example 2: You’re a researcher looking to partner with a fellow scientist on a study.

Example 3: You’re an entrepreneur seeking a mentorship opportunity with an industry expert.

Guideline: Use this response to highlight your professional background and the collaborative opportunities you see.

21. “I’m a [Student/Researcher] Interested in Your Work.”

Use Case 21: Academic or Research Inquiry

Context: If you’re a student or researcher interested in someone’s work, it’s essential to mention your academic or research affiliation and the specific interest in their expertise.

Example 1: You’re a graduate student studying a topic closely related to their research.

Example 2: You’re conducting a research project and want to interview them as an expert.

Example 3: You’re a journalist writing an article and need their insights on a particular subject.

Guideline: Use this response to establish your academic or research purpose and demonstrate your respect for their work.