A person holding a phone displaying and incoming call from an unknown number.

Many people don’t like answering calls from unknown callers. If you’ve got an unknown caller in your recent calls, there are several ways to find out the name and number of whoever called you.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to find out an unknown caller’s number. You can dial special services linked to public databases, check certain websites, use caller ID apps, and more.

Table of Contents

    1. Dial *69

    If you ever used *67 to conceal your phone number when calling someone, you might be familiar with *69 too. This service is the opposite of *67.

    By dialing *69 immediately after a missed call from an unknown caller, you can trace their number, as well as their name and address if they are listed in a public database. The service works even for anonymous or hidden calls. You can reveal a hidden phone number and the exact time they called you.

    Dialing *69 on a mobile phone.

    You can use this information to call them back and verify if the call was a scam or spam. Don’t expect a civilized conversation with spammers and scammers. You won’t persuade them to remove you from their call list. Instead, block the number on your phone so you never receive unwanted calls again.

    Keep in mind that not all phone companies offer this service, and some may charge for it depending on your phone plan. Don’t be surprised by additional costs on your next phone bill. The service is also available only in the USA and works for both mobile and landlines.

    2. Dial *57

    Similar to *69, this service is offered only by some phone companies, and at an extra charge. The difference is that you should use *57 only when you are certain that the unknown caller is harassing you.

    This is because dialing *57 will automatically connect you with your local law enforcement officials. The police will then be able to track the unwanted calls you receive and act upon them. If this is the service you need, please make sure to contact your local police after dialing *57 to confirm that you need their services.

    Use *57 with caution, and only when you are absolutely sure you need extra help to get rid of unwanted phone calls.

    3. Contact Your Cellular Service Provider

    Your phone service provider might be able to help you find out the number of an unknown caller. They will provide you with the log of your incoming and outgoing calls, with the unmasked unknown caller’s number.

    This might be enough for you to take the matter into your own hands, but the phone company can give you even more details. If the information is available, you can find out the name and address of the annoying caller, as well as their phone company.

    Logos of popular US carriers like T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon.

    Phone companies can also provide the Anonymous Caller ID service. This means that if the service is enabled, your phone will check the authenticity of each call made to your number.

    If someone tries calling you from a hidden number, the Anonymous Caller ID service will force them to reveal their number before the connection with your phone is made. Then you will be able to see the Caller ID on your phone screen.

    Mobile phone carriers can even help you fight robocalls for an extra monthly charge. But keep in mind this service is still new, and it might not be 100% reliable.

    4. Install a Caller ID App

    There are various apps for mobile phones that you can install and use as phone number tracking tools. These apps will look up online databases for information on unknown callers and display their details, such as their name, address, and phone number. You can then opt to report and block the spammers, telemarketers, or robocalls.

    Truecaller page in the app store

    Choose the unknown caller ID app wisely, as most of them are not connected to rich databases and phone directories. Read the app reviews and see what other people’s experiences are. Keep in mind some apps are free, but others have monthly payment plans.

    Here are a couple of apps that do a good job of revealing unknown phone numbers.

    Truecaller (iOS | Android)

    Truecaller takes advantage of a vast, user-updated database to identify unknown callers on iOS and Android devices. It also offers reverse phone lookup capabilities, blocks spam calls, and even deals with scammers who send you messages. Truecaller is super-easy to set up, but you do need to give the app permissions to your contacts list for everything to work.

    The free version should suffice for most users, but you can upgrade to the paid tier to unlock features like no ads, advanced spam blocking, check people who’ve looked you up via Truecaller, and more.

    Hiya (iOS | Android)

    Hiya is another app that offers robust caller ID and spam-blocking services, and it doesn’t require you to share your contact information to work. However, online chatter indicates that it is less effective at identifying spam compared to Truecaller. Hiya is available for iOS and Android.

    5. Check Websites

    If you don’t want an extra app installed on your cell phone, you can always opt to manually search for phone numbers via people search sites like Anywho, Whitepages, and Spokeo. Caller ID services like TrueCaller also offer web apps that you can use to look up phone numbers.

    6. Silence Unknown Callers

    If you’re an iPhone user, you don’t need to be bothered with discovering unknown numbers if you want to block unknown calls. Apple made a neat little feature for their devices, called Silence Unknown Callers. That means when a number that is not in your contact list calls you, your phone simply won’t ring. They can still leave a voicemail, send you an SMS, and be registered as a missed call.

    Android phone displaying the Truecaller store page on Google Play.

    Follow these steps to turn on this feature:

    1. Open the Settings app and tap Phone.
    2. Scroll down and tap Silence Unknown Callers.
    3. Enable the toggle next to Silence Unknown Callers.

    If you can’t find out who called you and you don’t want to answer random strangers, simply silence them.

    Get to Know Who’s Calling You

    As you’ve just discovered, there are several methods to identify unknown phone numbers. The simplest approach is to use a caller ID app. However, if you prefer not to use such apps, you can take advantage of the other techniques mentioned above to stay informed as to who’s calling you.

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