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How do I find the origin of a phone number?

Updated July 20, 2017

In today's fast-paced world, taking time to connect with family and friends by phone is important. Unwanted telephone calls from individuals or telemarketing companies can be a nuisance. Luckily, new Web-based tools and telephone provider services eliminate the hassle of unwanted calls, and provide peace of mind by identifying callers and call types.

Lift your telephone handset and listen for a dial tone.

Dial *69 on your telephone receiver keypad or 1169 on a rotary phone. The service, known as call return or last call return, will automatically dial the last number that called your line. In some states, a voice message will provide the phone number, date and time of the last call received on your line.

Write down the telephone number on a piece of paper.

Open your Internet browser and go to Telewho.com. The site allows you to input a land line or cell phone number to find corresponding information.

Click "Search" and enter the phone number. This will open up a new window that provides the name of the person, address, city, carrier and whether the call was placed using a land line or cell phone.

Lift your telephone handset or view the base of your telephone and record the number that is displayed. Caller ID devices can provide either a phone number or a phone number and name.

Record the information on a piece of paper.

Open your Internet browser and go to Telewho.com. The site allows you to input a land line or cell phone number to identify the caller.

Click "Search" and enter the phone number. This will open up a new window that provides the name of the person, address, city, carrier and whether the call was placed using a land line or cell phone.

Tip

Keep a pen and paper by your telephone to record telephone numbers from unwanted callers. Dial 89 on your phone or 1189 on a rotary phone to cancel 69.

Warning

69 is available only on calls from a land line and some long-distance calls. It will not provide phone numbers from cell phones or blocked numbers. Users will be charged a fee each time 69 is used. Rates vary by state and may include a long-distance rate if the service is used to return a long-distance call. Caller ID does not provide the name or phone number of blocked or private calls.

Things You'll Need

  • Telephone
  • Computer
  • Pen
  • Paper
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About the Author

Julie Saccone is a senior communications specialist and former journalist who began writing in 2003. She works in the health-care industry distilling research findings and complex medical topics for media and trade publications. Saccone has been published in newspapers including the "National Post" and "StarPhoenix." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ryerson University and an honors Bachelor of Science.