6 Ways to Identify Who an Unknown Caller Is

Are you receiving unwanted calls repeatedly from an unknown phone number? From vishing (voice phishing) attacks to random marketing calls, unexpected and unwanted calls can be frustrating for many.

However, if you receive multiple calls from the same unknown number, you may want to identify the caller to take further action. Here we show you how to find who’s on the other end of the phone using third-party services and the internet.

1. Dial *69 to Use the Call Return Service

*69 is a special call return service that automatically recalls the number that last called you. This is useful for finding the phone number when you receive a call from a private number.

To use the service, dial *69 and listen to the recording to find the phone number. Once you have the number, you can call them back or use reverse phone lookup services to find more details about the caller.

This service may be chargeable and only available in the U.S. While it is available on mobile and landlines, it works for local calls only.

2. Use a Search Engine to Identify the Phone Number

google phone number

An easy way to find and block spam calls is to search for the phone number on a search engine, such as Google. Several websites keep track of fraud and spam numbers reported by individuals via community reporting.

To perform a phone number search, type the phone number in Google search. Google will crawl websites on the internet to try and locate any traces of the given number. Especially websites that keep records of fraudulent numbers with their spam statistics. It will also display any social media or other publicly available user profile associated with the phone number.

3. Use Reverse Phone Lookup Sites

whitepages phone reverse lookup

A reverse phone lookup site has access to a larger database than a search engine. It scouts data from publicly available records, search engines, white and yellow pages, and social media databases.

Paid phone lookup services may even get their data from the dark web and private records of business partners. This is also why free phone lookup services may not always get you the desired results.

When using a reverse phone lookup service, be aware of the data it asks you to provide. For example, if you need to sign up with a phone number, name, and other details, you are probably putting yourself out there for others to identify you with your phone number on a reverse lookup site.

That said, here are a few popular reverse lookup sites that can help you identify the unknown caller.

1. SpyDialer

It is a free reverse lookup site that uses public data to find caller details. It also doesn’t require you to sign up to use the service. Type in the phone number you want to find and click Search.

Next, choose a search option. If you opt for Hear Voicemail, the service will dial the given number and record the voicemail greeting. The voicemail may include the caller’s first name and other details. You can also search by name, photo lookup, and phone spam.

2. ZLookup

Zlookup is a free reverse phone number lookup site and doesn’t require you to sign up to use its service. To perform a search, enter a phone number and click Search. It will scout its own phone number database and through other sources to find a match.

3. Whitepages

Whitepages is more than just a reverse phone lookup service. It is a people search platform that can provide contact information based on name, phone or address. It can also help you perform background checks, find criminal records and fraud ratings for business and professional licenses.

4. Use a Caller Identification App on Your Phone

truecaller call id app

Caller identification apps such as TrueCaller can help you find the unknown caller’s identification, including name and location. Although these apps are more of a two-edged sword, you can use them to identify an unknown caller easily.

True Caller is a popular multiple-purpose Caller identification app to identify caller information from an unknown number. It also features community-based spam reporting and auto-spam call and SMS blocking.

If it is just spam or marketing calls, you can block unwanted calls on Android by adding the caller to the block list, contacting your carrier, and via third-party apps.

Download: TrueCaller for Android, iOS (Free)

5. Dial *57 to Activate the Call Tracing Service

If you are a victim of harassment and want to get local law enforcement involved, dial *57 to use the call trace service. You need to dial *57 immediately after the incoming call to activate the call trace and wait for the confirmation. Make sure to note the date and time of the incoming call you want to report.

Once the service is activated, contact your local law enforcement agency. Your network service provider will only release the caller’s records to the agency through a proper legal process.

If your carrier doesn’t support the *69 or *57 call tracing services, you can contact your network service provider to try and find caller details.

However, this is a tricky process as the service providers are legally bound to protect subscriber identification unless requested by law enforcement agencies through the legal process.

Now You Know Who Called!

Some android devices come with a built-in caller identification feature. It can also detect spam calls sourced through community reporting. However, if it is a case of harassment, use the calling tracing services provided by your network service provider and immediately contact your local law enforcement agency.