How to Reveal a Silent Phone Number

Updated April 17, 2017

Silent phone numbers, also called unlisted numbers, may appear on your Caller ID as "Private," "Unknown" or "Restricted." While there are legitimate reasons for making a phone number silent, or private, this feature can also be used to harass or threaten someone. People who use silent numbers may think that their call is untraceable. The truth is, there are actually a few different ways to unveil the mask that hides the caller's identity. Choose your method with discretion, as some tactics should only be used for more severe circumstances.

Make a log of the dates and times that you're receiving calls from silent numbers.

Sign up for a service called TrapCall (see link in "Resources"). After subscribing to a plan, you can simply ignore an incoming call from a silent number, causing it to be rerouted to TrapCall's database. Within a few minutes, you'll receive a text message from TrapCall, notifying you of the caller's identity.

Call a representative at your phone company's annoyance desk, and speak with them about putting a trap on your line. This is usually done for a temporary period of a couple weeks; during which, the company will keep a record of all calls on your line. At the end of the trap period, you compare your call log to the phone company's log, and together, you can find out who's behind the silent number.

Speak with your phone company about signing up for a service called Call Trace. After receiving a call from the silent number, you can dial *57, which will unblock the number, and send it to your phone company. Depending on your phone company's policies, you may not be able to view the identity of the person who's behind the silent number, but you may be required to sign an authorisation form to turn the information over to law enforcement.

Call the police if you're receiving threats to your property, your safety or the safety of your loved ones. Your local law enforcement can put a trace on your line and unblock the silent number, revealing the caller's identity. Please use this method only in dire circumstances. If, however, the situation is serious, then use this method immediately, rather than attempting a trace or trap method.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.