Whether it happens once a day or once a month, from time to time, everyone gets calls from numbers they don’t know. If you prefer not to answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize, you aren’t alone. During a busy day, the last thing you need is to waste a few minutes talking to a confused caller who has the wrong number anyway.
Sometimes, avoiding calls from numbers you don’t recognize is about more than just saving time, though. If you’re trying to avoid calls from an ex, for instance, you need to know who’s on the other end of the line before you can feel comfortable picking up the phone. Stop wondering, “Whose phone number is this?” and use these tools to find out who’s calling you.
Try a Google Search
No matter what type of information you’re looking for, doing a Google search is probably second nature to you. After all, you can find everything you need with a Google search, right? While Google can answer many of your questions in mere fractions of a second, when it comes to phone numbers, a Google search is helpful only in some cases.
Try typing the 10-digit phone number into Google or your preferred search engine, and you’ll only get the results you want if the caller meets a few criteria. For instance, if the caller is from a business that has posted its phone number online, you’ll usually be able to track it down with a quick Google search. Along the same lines, if other people have posted the number online because the caller is a well-known scammer, it may also turn up in a quick search.
If the caller is using a cell phone or a personal number, however, it isn’t easy to find out who’s calling you with a simple Google search. While you can often track down information about landlines via Google, you won’t find the average cell phone in a basic online search. If your first search doesn’t turn up anything definitive, try one of the next methods on this list.
Search Social Media
When the same phone number shows up on your missed calls list week after week or even multiple times a day, you might be tempted just to return the call to find out who’s calling you. If you’ve ever been the victim of harassment or if you have reason to believe that responding will make the caller more persistent, then calling back probably isn’t the best method. If you’re discreetly trying to figure out who keeps calling your significant other’s phone, then returning the call definitely isn’t an option.
Instead, turn to social media. Many social media channels allow you to search for phone numbers, since millions of users link their numbers to their profiles. For instance, you can look up phone numbers on Facebook, and your search could turn up a linked user, even if you’re typing in a cell phone number or a Google Voice number.
Keep in mind that this method can provide results, but they might not be as accurate as you might think. That’s because Facebook and other social media platforms give users tons of control over their profiles. Even if a user has the phone number you’re searching for, you’ll never know if privacy settings prevent you from seeing the information. Many users prevent anyone outside of their immediate group of friends from seeing their contact information or other personal details, so it’s easy to keep their number private on these channels.
In addition, social platforms like Facebook don’t update automatically. If people’s phone numbers change, they don’t necessarily have to update them in Facebook. That means social platforms might reveal outdated information. Even if your social search turns up a user with the number that keeps appearing on your caller ID, that person might not really be who called you. Instead, it could be someone who took over that cell phone or Google Voice number more recently.
Use Reverse Phone Number Lookup
If you’re concerned about prank callers, telemarketers, or becoming the victim of a phone scam, don’t waste your time with online searches that could provide outdated or inaccurate information. Instead, use the reverse phone number lookup tool from CheckThem. A tool like this streamlines your search, since simply typing in the number from your caller ID opens the door to all kinds of information. You could get access to the caller’s name, address history, location, social media accounts, and other personal details.
Since the database is updated regularly, it provides current information you can count on. Because it pulls data that search engines don’t reference, you’ll get much more information than you would from a simple Google or social media search. If the reverse phone lookup turns up something surprising or interesting, you don’t have to stop there. Use CheckThem’s background search tools to find out even more information on the caller to inform or protect yourself.
Download an App
You can try each of the above tools to look up the number of an unknown caller. When the caller blocks the phone number or calls from a private number, however, you’ll need one extra step. Start by downloading and installing a call unmasking app like TrapCall. Once you’ve set up the app on your phone, simply decline the next call you get from a blocked number. Then use the app to unmask the caller’s identity.
Keep in mind that call unmasking apps usually have a few different levels. The basic version reveals the caller’s phone number only, so you’ll have to do a reverse phone lookup to get the caller’s name and other identifying information. With the premium version of the app, you can typically get the caller’s name and contact information right away, so private callers and blocked numbers don’t stand a chance.
If you’re tired of asking, “Whose number is this?” each time your phone rings, it’s time to get answers. Use one of these effective tools to get the information you want and regain control of your phone.