If you received a call and you don't recognize the caller, how do you know who owns the phone number? Do you call them back and risk calling a marketer or sales agent? Do you ignore it and go on with your day? Or do you find out who it is and then decide whether to call them back or not? While most people get several robocalls every day or week, curiosity often takes over and they want to know who called.
As you receive more and more robocalls or scam calls with offers that are too good to be true, you are more likely to ignore calls from undisclosed numbers or numbers you don't recognize. . This is fine for the most part as we know the number of family members and friends, but what if they were using another phone? What if you are waiting for a job offer or a callback from a contractor or tradesperson?
Knowing who owns a phone number is the only thing that gives you peace of mind. However, genuine answers usually aren't free, but they aren't expensive either – a few dollars at most. This article discusses your options for finding out who keeps calling you or who owns a particular number.
Identify a phone number
There are a few effective ways to find out who owns a phone number. These are just a few.
1. Search on Google
In 2022, we start with Google for almost every question we need to answer. Finding out who is calling you is no different. It's usually the first place to go, because Google's algorithm is programmed so well that we can instantly tell if the phone number is from a business.
Even with its algorithmic precision, Google isn't the best way to identify a phone number; but it's fast. You'll usually see a ton of websites that offer the option to review a number, offer a review, or help identify phone numbers. It's not always the most informative, but it often helps identify if it's a reliable business number.
Google is also useful if the number presented on the call is a landline. Finding mobile numbers is difficult because there are laws that protect them. To get details of these numbers, you usually have to pay.
Another useful function in Google is to find the area code. You can use the first digits to identify the origin of the call, assuming it was not tampered with by a computer or application. If the call is from a distant city but you have family or friends there, calling them back may be sufficient. As for these mobile numbers, they are not published online, unless they are related to a website, a company or a complaint.
2. Use Reverse Phone Lookup
There are many ways to do a reverse phone lookup when you have the number but not the owner. These solutions are very useful ways to identify who owns a phone number. Websites such as White Pages, Who's Calling, Pipl, Parlé, or Numéroville can all help you with this.
Many websites offer some level of information for free, but not enough to guarantee accuracy or determine the actual source of the call. For more accuracy and details, websites charge a fee to access identifiable information or some give you a hint about the owner of the number and ask you to pay to be sure. Keep in mind that the information may not reflect the current owner, but is often correct.
The scenarios above apply to landline and mobile numbers. The ones linked above give you all or enough information to identify who owns the number.
3. Browse and search social media
If the number is associated with any business, it will likely be mentioned on social media. This is especially true if it is a robo caller or a scammer, as many people will talk about it on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere. It might be worth putting the number in your favorite social network and looking it up.
If it's a private call, it probably won't be mentioned, but it's definitely worth a try.
4. Call the number
Your other option is to simply call the number back. This is probably the easiest thing to do, but you risk calling someone you really don't want to talk to. It's a good idea to use *67 before dialing the number to hide your own. This means your number won't show up on the recipient's phone, so if they're a marketer or a scammer, you're not confirming the number is live.
If you want to talk to the person on the other end of the line, you can. If you find you don't want to talk to them, you can hang up or listen for a while and they won't know who called.
How to block phone numbers
If you frequently receive marketing calls from the same number(s) or if you have identified a caller and want to stop them, you can block the number(s) on your phone. Blocking is managed by your device and provider. Mobile users will see a failed call in their call logs and landline users will be blissfully unaware.
Keep in mind that marketers and scammers often use different numbers or mistakenly send a wrong number to get you to answer or place the call, which also makes it difficult to identify who called you sometimes. .
How to block a number on Android
Once you've identified who called you, there are several ways to block a phone number on Android, depending on your smartphone brand, model, and operating system. The easiest way is to go to the call log, select "i" or the three-dot menu icon for more details, then choose "Block number" or something similar.
How to Block a Number on iPhone
The process is similar on an iPhone as it is on Android devices. Go to "Recents", select the "i" and choose "Block this caller". Confirm your choice and you're done.
Block a number on landlines
Different networks may have different methods, but the easiest way in the US is to dial *60 and enter the number you want to block. Some networks charge for call blocking and may require you to activate the feature first. You should hear an audio prompt if so.