How to Identify Who a Phone Number Belongs To

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How to Identify Who a Phone Number Belongs To
Who is it? (phone image by Eisenhans from Fotolia.com)

We all get phone calls from time to time from phone numbers we don't recognise. Whether on our cell phones, home phones or business phones, many people hesitate to answer for fear of the unknown. Sometimes the caller leaves a message and debunks the mystery; other times, we are left to wonder who it was phoning. There are other reasons, too, we might like to know to whom a phone number belongs, such as finding it on a forgotten slip of paper in our pockets or tacked to an old notice board. Fortunately, there are ways to find out who is on the other end.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Cell phone with texting capabilities

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Instructions

    Online resources

  1. 1

    One of the best free phone number identifiers on the Internet is at WhitePages.com. This web site offers a "reverse lookup" resource where users can type in a 10-digit phone number and receive useful information with the click of a button. If the number is public, the name to whom the number is registered as well as the person's address will pop up. If the number is private, the site will provide the user with the following information: a) whether the line is a land or a cell, b) in what city the line is registered, c) a map of the area in which it's registered.

  2. 2

    In the United States, you can text the number about which you want to inquire to 566587 (LOOKUP). The service will provide you with registered name of any user, including often unlisted cell phones. The cost is £1.20 per lookup (charges will appear on your billing statement) and standard message and data rates apply. There is no charge if they don't find a match.

  3. 3

    If you need to identify a phone number for health or safety reasons, your local police station will be able to assist. They have special access to resources civilians don't and are able to use their enforcement to find such information. Of course, they will only do so in a challenging situation.

Tips and warnings

  • You can always call the number in question either from your own phone or a pay phone and see who answers. It might, after all, just be a friend with a new number.
  • When doing online reverse searches, you might see sponsored ads offering further information if you put in your credit card information. Be wary of such promises and only put personal information into sites you trust.

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