How to trace a restricted cell phone number

Written by stephanie ellen
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How to trace a restricted cell phone number
If you're receiving harassing calls, you have options. (black cell phone image by timur1970 from

If you've ever been the recipient of a restricted cell phone call, you know how annoying these unwanted calls are. Often you'll pick up, only to be greeted with a robo-voice or worse, a hang-up call. Restricted calls usually appear because the caller doesn't want you to know his number; it could be anyone calling from a jilted lover to a creditor. Find out who is placing these calls to your phone with the assistance of a little technology.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Ask your phone company for call tracing. With call tracing, you can dial *57 on your phone immediately after receiving a restricted call. If the number originated from within your local calling area, you'll be able to access the number.

  2. 2

    Call your phone company and ask for anonymous call blocking on your phone. Anonymous call blocking will route restricted calls to an automated message stating you have opted not to receive anonymous calls. The caller will have no choice but to call you back from a non-restricted number. You may have to pay a few dollars a month for the service but it could be worth it for peace of mind.

  3. 3

    Call your phone company and ask to be put through to the annoyance desk. You phone company may require you to place a formal police report on file before they will take action against harassing calls. The phone company can then put a skip trace on your line, revealing the restricted number to your phone company. This information can then be turned over to law enforcement, who can issue the party a warning or file charges.

Tips and warnings

  • For serious threats or obscene calls, file a police report immediately. Provide as much detail as you can remember about the caller such as the tone of voice, whether she sounded intoxicated or if she had an accent.

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