How to Find out Who Owns a Phone Number

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If you have ever had an unrecognizable phone number pop up on your caller ID, you know the feeling of frustration it instills. Nothing will drive you crazy faster than getting calls from a phone number you don't know--or, even worse, seeing a phone number you don't recognize on your partner's phone. Thankfully, there are safe and easy ways to find out who owns that phone number that's provided you with such a mystery.

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Step 1

Look up the phone number on the most popular search-engine sites, such as Google, MSN and Yahoo. Be sure to include the area code. If this does not yield anything, move on to Step 2.

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Step 2

Visit any popular reverse-phone number search site (like the one in Resources). Some are free, while others impose a fee for use. The free variety will give you some information, but probably not everything you want.

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Step 3

Call your local directory-information line to see if they will give you information on a phone number. Let them know the owner of the number has been calling and you want to find out who he is. Give them the phone number and see if they will release any information.

Step 4

Find a public phone and call the mysterious number. This way, you can hear who is on the other end of the phone. If you get sent to voice mail, listen carefully to the message to see if you recognize the voice.

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Step 5

Block your own phone number before making any investigatory calls. You usually dial * and a series of numbers before dialing the phone number you want to reach without identifying yourself. (Confirm the exact procedure with your phone provider.) You can also ask someone else to talk on the phone and ask who is on the other end, or simply state that you have the wrong phone number to see who it is. Be careful when calling, as you may unwittingly reveal your identity.

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