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How to Find Out Where a Phone Call Came From

Updated April 17, 2017

For those annoying callers who refuse to leave a message, now you can "trace" the number and identify the caller. Telephone companies such as Verizon and AT&T suggest using the *57 feature, which will automatically return a call to the last call received. There is also the caller Identification box, which is an electronic device which connects to your telephone and identifies all calls received that have not been blocked.

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  1. Upon receiving the call, end the call by hanging up the receiver. Pick up the receiver and listen for the dial tone. Press *57. If you have a rotary phone, dial 1-1-5-7 and listen for the instructions provided by the recorded voice. The voice will inform you if the call trace has been successful. If this is an unwanted call, such as that from a solicitor subject to that "do-not-call-list" you signed up for, or one from someone who is harrassing you, contact the law enforcement agency of your city and file a complaint.

  2. Connect a caller ID box to your home telephone. When calls are received that are not "blocked," the telephone number will appear on your caller ID device.

  3. Dial *69 to call back the previous caller from your cell or home phone. This is a last resort, as it may not result in a reply.

  4. Tip

    A caller identification box can be purchased from your telephone service provider.


    For call tracing: You must dial *57 before dialling out or receiving another call. It is best to trace the call immediately after receiving it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Telephone service
  • Caller ID device

About the Author

Kay Jenkins has been writing faith-related articles since 1996. Her articles have appeared in the "Twin Visions" weekly newspaper and Candler Women's "Celebrating Our Stories." She has written for several syndicated e-zines and books on demand. Jenkins holds dual master's degrees in divinity and theology from Emory University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Rutgers University.

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