If you receive a call from an unknown number, you can typically identify the caller without phoning or texting the number back. Fortunately, a number of services allow you to determine whether you are being harassed by a business, a debt collector, a fraud company, or an automated calling system.
Utilize a search engine to look for the telephone number.
This is the first and simplest step in determining the origin of a phone number. Even if the call is real, the search engine will provide a description. For instance, it will indicate if the number is a landline from Ohio or a cell phone from California. If a company consistently phones thousands of people, a search for the number will nearly always reveal the company’s name and location.
Enter the number into a database for reverse phone lookup.
If a standard search engine does not yield the desired results, you might visit one of the many websites devoted to detect unknown phone numbers. These are typically accessible and free. Simply enter the number into the database to obtain a location and, most likely, a name. However, keep in mind that some engines do not recognise cell phones.
Search for the number’s area code and prefix.
A search for the area code location in a search engine or phone book can yield the state from which the number originates and, in certain cases, the particular region within that state. The first three digits of a phone number also identify location; hence, a search for the first six digits of a phone number will yield the required information.
Determine international phone numbers
Some countries use phone numbers with additional digits or prefixes to indicate that the call originates from a country other than the United States. Nevertheless, some international calls can appear to come from domestic lines. Canadian phone numbers are identical to American phone numbers, and some fraudsters in other nations purchase American phone numbers to use on their phones in order to lend validity to their calls. In many instances, a simple search engine query can help determine the true nation of origin of a phone number.