Phone companies usually allow anyone to request an unlisted number. Upon this request, the phone company removes a person's phone number from public directories online and in print.
Most phone companies handle these requests through their technical support department. For example, as of August 2015, AT&T handles unlisted number requests at 800-288-2020. Some companies charge a small fee for this service. Those who are most likely to opt for an unlisted number include doctors, lawyers, teachers, politicians and other public workers. Unlisted numbers are also useful to those who want to avoid being contacted by telemarketers, prank callers or other types of harassers.