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How to Identify Unknown Phone Numbers

Updated July 19, 2017

The number that pops up on your caller ID is unfamiliar, and the name says "Unknown." Could it be a bill collector? Or perhaps a long-lost relative with good news? Identifying unknown phone numbers is easy can help you catch the annoying telemarketer or your good friend.

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  1. Write down the phone number on a piece of paper. Be sure to also note the time of day you received the call if you think it constitutes harassment or violate the Do Not Call registry rules. You will need this information in order to report the call to authorities and your phone provider.

  2. Go to Yahoo People Search and put the unknown caller's phone number into the search field. Enter the numbers only, including area code. Do not include dashes or parentheses.

  3. Use Reverse Mobile Phone Finder 1 software to find out the name of a cell phone owner. This free program can be downloaded online from CNet's website, and has been tested to insure it does not contain spyware.

  4. Use TrapCall to identify callers to your cellphone, including private and blocked numbers. As of May 2009, this service is being offered for free.

  5. Warning

    Unscrupulous callers can easily disguise their phone numbers with widely-available services like Spoofcard that disguise phone numbers. In other words, the number that shows up on your caller ID may not match the caller's real phone number. If an unknown caller asks you for sensitive information such as your social security number or bank account information, don't trust your caller ID. Tell the caller you will have to call him back at his main company phone number before offering personal information.

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Things You'll Need

  • Home phone or mobile phone with caller ID.

About the Author

Denise Gonzales has covered public health, parenting and education issues since 2007. She has been published in Seattle's Child, Philadelphia People and Pure E Magazine, and was an education blogger at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Gonzales holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Edward's University.

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