In today’s connected world, cell phones have become one of the most useful pieces of technology. In fact, they’ve become so important in recent years that just about everyone needs to have access to one. That being said, there are certain dangers that come along with using a cell phone on a daily basis. And one of the most common dangers are phone scammers. These individuals attempt to trick you out of your hard-earned money using spoofed spam calls. Typically, they’ll pretend to be from the IRS or another government agency, demanding payment for some made-up offense. Unfortunately, these types of calls always come from an unknown number. So, you won’t be able to tell right away if the call you’re getting is an important one or just another scammer.
Sometimes during the day, you may receive annoying calls from pranksters, you may pick up the phone with no one answering on the other line or you may get an unknown number on your caller ID. If someone calls you on the phone, but you don't know who the caller is, you may want to identify the owner.
Finding the owner of a cell phone number is tricky, since these numbers are not listed in public databases. You do have quite a few options, especially if you are receiving harassment calls you can report to the police, but there is no single guaranteed method.
Understand the drawbacks of tracing a phone number. You can generally approximate the location and/or type of phone that the person is using, but in order to pull up an accurate, up-to-date version of their number, you'll need to use a paid service. There are a couple of other downsides to tracing a phone number:
Enter the phone number into a reverse phone number search or look-up website. A reverse phone number search is a website for when you already know the phone number and are looking to find out the name, address or location. A reverse phone number look-up is a user-supplied database of phone numbers from different types of people, such as telemarketers and scam artists. Additional information may include messages from other users who have been called from the same phone number.
Find more information from the phone number's area code and three-digit prefix. If you can't find the owner of a specific phone number, you can still find the general area of location by looking up the area code. After you know where the general area is, use a search engine, such as Google, to look up the area three-digit prefix which may reveal the phone number's city. By the time you know the city and state, you may suddenly recall why a person from this area would call you and identify the owner of the phone number.
Call the phone number back and ask the person who the owner is. If an unknown phone number shows on your caller ID, calling back is often the fastest and easiest way to identify the owner of a number. Oftentimes, when this scenario happens, it's someone who called the wrong number. If it's not a random person, it may be a business or a company, in which a person on the other end will answer the call back with a business name. At this point, you can ask who the owner of the business is and decide if you want to continue talking or hang up.
Try Googling the phone number. Much of the information that paid services have comes from Google and other search engines, so running a Google check to see if you can find the phone number's owner should be your first step: