Upgrade Your Life: Save big with Jenny’s number

Alex Romanelli

If the phone number 867-5309 sounds familiar, you're not alone. Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit single "8675309/Jenny" emblazoned the iconic phone number in our minds (and in our ears, thanks to its catchy chorus), and as it turns out, the number can save you some money.

Increasingly, large retailers are offering loyalty programs that are tied into your phone number: just key it in and get a discount on certain items. But if you don't want to sign up for a new card or loyalty program and don't want to give up your real number, just give the cashier Jenny's number: Your local area code + 867-5309.

Why Does it work?
Many people are hesitant to give their real phone number to marketers when they sign up for an account, so they use a fake number. What fake phone number comes to mind first? You got it: good-old Jenny! Since the 80s Billboard chart topper had such a contagious hook, odds are someone else has already used it to sign up for an account — and that means you can borrow their discount.

As mentioned in the video, Becky tested this trick from New York to Hawaii, and it worked like a charm every time. Of course, we wouldn't recommend redeeming someone else's hard-earned membership points or freebies, but using 867-5309 for a "member's only" break on your receipt will save you time — and money, of course.

Beyond Discounts: Serious reasons to protect your phone number
Giving your phone number out freely can be annoying down the road, but it can also be dangerous. All personal information is vulnerable to potential hackers and identity thieves — even those innocuous 10 digits we so readily hand out to friends and family.

According to security researchers and "white hat hackers" Nick DePetrillo and Don Bailey, that simple, harmless seeming string of digits can unlock a world of your personal data. With your 10 digits in tow, a hacker could use software to ferret out your full name and even track your location via GPS over a mobile network — more than enough information for a deft identity thief to wreak havoc on your accounts.

If you use your phone number to double as a memorable password for anything else in your life — your email, your home security system code, or your ATM pin number, for example — you'll be in big trouble if that number falls into the wrong hands. Knowing full well how most people settle on insecure (but easy to remember) passwords, it's best to keep your phone number as private as possible. It only takes a few scraps of personal identifying information for a successful identity swipe, and staying as private as possible with personal data can mean the difference between getting hacked and staying secure. If you know someone has accessed any of your personal accounts without your authorization, act fast to assess the damage, and lock down your accounts.

How to stop unwanted phone calls
If you are receiving annoying, persistent calls from companies with your number, you have a few options:
* Simply call and ask to be removed from the calling list. Sometimes this is an automated process and you can easily opt out with a few button presses.
* Register for the National Do Not Call Registry. Implemented in 2004, getting your name on this list can cut down on the amount of calls you receive from telemarketers who have your number on file.
* If all else fails, report the phone offender to the Better Business Bureau. By filing an official complaint with the BBB, you can expect to resolve the issue within 30 days, if not sooner.

Read more:
How to get big discounts from daily deal sites
How to find coupon deals online
Track your finances online with Mint
How to protect yourself from phone hackers