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How to Trace Any Phone Number

Tracing an unknown number that appears on your phone’s Caller ID is not as difficult as it once used to be. For most landline numbers simply looking the number up in the local White Pages is the best option, or you can also search the white Pages online, using the reverse number lookup option.

At times the number may not be listed; this is probably because the registrant of the number wants to remain anonymous. If this is the case a simple Google search might be able to yield a few results, usually if the number is published on a website or in a forum, this technique might give you some insight as to from where the number might have originated from, or if it belongs to a business.

When researching a number on either Google or the white pages, it would be a good idea to enclose the number in quotation marks for instance: “885-456-8598”.

If you still come-up empty then there are still a few more options open. Now if it is a US area code, then the number either belongs to a wireless subscriber or an unlisted number, the number can also be used as a place holder for calls that are re-routed, such as from calling cards and VOIP services such as Skype.

However if the number unlisted number belongs to a business, such as if it is a toll-free number, there are chances that business has a website, which you can visit to get more information, or you consult sites such as and for further information about that number.

On the other hand it is almost impossible to track down wireless numbers, since wireless numbers don’t exist in a centralized number database, and no phone company can legally provide you with actual phone records.

You can run the number against a database of cell phone numbers using a reverse cell phone lookup service. A simple Google search for cell phone look up services will yield quite a number of websites that claim to offer cell phone number registrant details. You will however need to pay for these services. In most cases these websites are not worth the money they charge, however on the other hand there are a few websites that will provide you with some accurate results, usually from public records. However don’t expect much from these services and it is probably just a waste of time and money as many may just do an embellished area code, and carrier company search based on the number you enter.

When we actually got down to check out these sites we were not surprised to learn that these websites didn’t provide any information in the way of actual registrant information, such as a name or an address. We found Reverse Phone Detective to be a bit more reliable that the other services that we checked out, but the results were mixed as only a few cell phone numbers that we entered turned up any registrant’s information. However for $14.95 it may be worth a try, just to see what may turn-up.

Well at this point if you still turn up empty, there are a few desperate measures you can opt for. However bear in mind that these methods may not be legal in your area, and are not advisable until you have confirmed that it is not against the law.

Now besides doing online searches and using various paid databases you can always fish for information. This is also known as social engineering. Just call up the number from a payphone and ask who it is at the other end of the line, at times it may be just that simple. This may work for unregistered numbers, but may fail if the number is being used as a place holder for VOIP calls, most voice over internet protocol calls don’t show up as the number they belong to. This can be a bit confusing, and each time a call is made from a VOIP number the place holder number may vary as well, which is the case with Skype.

Now here is another long shot if you are desperate. The first step would be to first figure out the number’s area code and determine where the number originated from in the U.S. Then search the internet for classified sites and communities, such as or to see if the number appears in any classified ads.

Also try to search your own phonebook, this may just be somebody you know. Many times you may not recognize a number since the caller just probably calls you once in a blue moon.

If the person who is calling you sounds dangerous, in the sense that you are being harassed or threatened, then your immediate action should be is to call the police. Since the police have access to phone records and they have the ability to protect you, this is the best move you can make.

You can also opt to hire a private investigator, if you just simply need to know. However this can turn out be quite an expensive option.

As you can see that there are many ways to trace back a phone number back to its origins, as long as you know your way around the internet.


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