Phone Number Lookup

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How to Reveal Private Calls By Lawrence Harris, eHow Contributor

Found This Helpful How to Reveal Private Calls thumbnail

You're woken up at 3:30 a.m. for five nights in a row by your phone ringing. No one is there when you answer. You punch up the caller ID readout so you can figure out who's doing this, but all it says is "Private call." There are a number of ways to trace a call, even if the caller is calling from an unlisted number or has enabled caller ID blocking. Some require just a bit of time and ingenuity, while others require you to spend some money.

Instructions

  • 1. Start keeping a written record of every call you wish to trace. This log should contain the date, time of day and contents of each phone call. This log will come in handy later when you're trying to isolate the offending phone numbers by checking your log against your phone bill or a phone company trace log, and will be crucial evidence if you decide to press charges.

  • 2. Call your phone company and speak to a representative in the nuisance calls department. Tell them you want to start a trace log on your phone line. You won't be able to access it directly, but the police will, should it later become necessary in the course of identifying the nuisance callers.

  • 3. Try using the "call return" function of your phone account. In most phone systems, this feature is activated by dialing "*69" before you receive another incoming call. If it works, tell whoever answers the phone that he has been identified, the police have been notified and he will be prosecuted if he makes any more nuisance calls. The call return function will likely not work, however, if the nuisance caller is calling from an unlisted phone number or has blocked his caller ID.

  • 4. If you manage to get the phone number but don't know whose number it is, use a free reverse phone-number lookup service such as WhitePages.com or AnyWho.com to check the number. Try a free service first; if you come up empty, then a paid service such as Intelius.com will likely be successful. Also try Google; the phone number may come up, especially if its owner happens to have an extensive Web presence.

  • 5. Sign up for a "trap line" service. This consists of an automatic number information (ANI) line to which you can forward every call you're interested in. ANI technology will display the incoming phone number even if the line is unlisted or the caller is using caller ID blocking. Once you have the number, finding out the owner's identity is relatively easy by using Step 4 above. These services cost between $4.95 and $29 per month in 2010, plus a small per-minute charge in some cases.

  • 6. Contact your local police department if the calls don't cease. They will get the trace log from the phone company and use your call log to determine the owner of the nuisance caller's phone line and may even contact her directly to let her know she has been identified and will be prosecuted if the calls don't cease. Most of the time, this will end your problem.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unless the caller is well-known to you and the prank calls were just a joke gone too far, don't contact the offending party yourself. This a job you should leave to the professionals; let the police handle it.

Lawrence Harris

Lawrence Harris is a consultant, author and web entrepreneur whose 25 years of writing have covered the spectrum from straight news, to technical reports, to features. He has written for the Boca Raton News, Coral Springs Magazine and Wedding and Event Videography Magazine. He attended Florida Atlantic University, majoring in communications.

Resources

Original source: eHow.com

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