Are you constantly harassed by phone calls? Do you keep track of calls received from numbers you don't know? With the help of the Internet, you can find some information about the caller, as long as you have their number. If the number is blocked, you can contact your service provider and initiate a legal investigation. Read on to learn how.
Step 1. Search the web for that number
One of the fastest ways to trace the origin of a phone number is to search the web. If the number is listed publicly, you have a good chance it will appear in the search results. You should at least be able to determine the approximate geographic location.
Step 2. Dial * 69 from a landline (in the US)
This will give you the phone number of the last call received, as long as it was not private or from a blocked number. If the number is private or blocked, there is little chance that you will be able to determine it or know where it came from.
Step 3. Check 411 online directories (in US)
These are databases containing public information about businesses and individuals who have public numbers. Many of them allow you to do "reverse" lookups to get more information about the phone number, such as its location and the department it is.
Step 4. Check if the number is for a telephone booth
Many online resources list the numbers of public booths, as well as their locations. Many of these directories are community powered and updated, which means they are not always 100% reliable. Two of these most popular sites are:
- Payphone Project
Step 5. Use reverse phone books
There are many online telephone directories, some free and some paid. Many of them offer to give you information for a monthly subscription, collecting large amounts of publicly available data. You should be able to find this information on your own, but it will take you to dig a little deeper.
Step 6. Activate call tracing for blocked numbers with your service provider
Many ISPs offer a tracing service for harassment situations. You may need to pay something to be able to use this service, and it will not give you the phone number or any other information. This information will be sent to the competent authorities for investigation.
- When the service is activated, dial * 57 after receiving a call that you want to trace (in the United States). The ISP will register this number and transfer it to the competent authorities.
- Remember to write down the time and date of each unwanted call, and take notes on how you perceive the caller. This will help the investigation.
Step 7. Hire a private investigator
The last option is to pay a professional private investigator to look up the number and determine the name and address of the caller. This is obviously the last resort method to use, and you should only think about it when you have determined that no public information is available using all of the aforementioned means.