Caller Identification, often shortened to Caller ID, allows you to determine the identity of the person calling you before you answer the telephone call. The number and name of the person calling shows up after the first ring. This feature comes standard on all cellphones and is an optional feature on traditional land lines. It can be purchased for an extra fee each month. Because of privacy concerns, individuals can choose to have their information kept secret, or blocked, from Caller ID services. Unless you are being harassed, you are unlikely to be able to discover a blocked caller's information. If you are being harassed by blocked callers, there are ways to determine the caller's identity, but it must be requested by law enforcement.
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Sign up for Call Trace with your phone service provider. Activate the Call Trace code of *57 immediately after receiving a phone call from a blocked caller. The phone company will have you sign an authorisation form and will hand the information over to law enforcement.
Enrol in Call Trap with your local phone company, through their Annoyance Call Bureau. Keep a log of all harassing phone calls for a two-week period and give that information to your phone company. The company will hand the identifying information over to police investigators.
Purchase an alternative service that allows you to block calls. If you are not being harassed by blocked phone calls, your phone company will not help you identify the callers behind the blocked call. Programs such as Selective Call Acceptance and Call Screen allow you to have greater control over which numbers ring through and which are automatically rejected.
Tips and warnings
- Reject the idea of using Call Return Services, such as *69, for identification. These will not reveal the caller's identity and will only work within a limited calling area.
- Ask your phone company for their prices for these services before signing up. Prices vary depending on location and telephone company.
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