Today, virtually every cell phone has caller ID. However, unless the person calling you is in your cell phone's address book, your phone won't display their name when they call. The same rule applies to landline phones with caller ID, but instead of the number having to be in your personal address book, it only has to be published in a phone book. In either case, if you miss the call, you're left with nothing but a number to go on. Fortunately, there are a few ways to try to track down someone using their phone number, but most of them cost money.
Type the phone number into a search engine such as Google, Yahoo! or AskJeeves.com. Even though the person's name may not be published in a phone book, he may have posted his number on a social networking site, such as Facebook or Twitter. If the caller put this number on line at all, one of the search engine's crawlers will pick it up and give the context in which it was posted.
Check out Reverse Phone Detective. You can log onto ReversePhoneDetective.com or click the link in the "Resources" section below. Type the phone number into the search bar on the home page to see if the information is available. It will tell you what type of phone the number belongs to (land line or cell phone) and if more information is available. As of 2010, you can get a full report on a single number for £12.90 or you can get a subscription to the site for £29.10 which gives you unlimited number lookups for a year.
Log onto CellphoneRegistry.com or click the link in the "Resources" section below. This site is similar to ReversePhoneDetective.com but it's slightly less expensive. You can get a full report on a single number for £9.70 or you can get a year's membership for £25.90. One advantage this site has over several other reverse number lookup sites is that they offer a "No Hit, No Charge" guarantee. In other words, if your search yields no results, you won't be charged for the lookup.