How to Find Out Who a Toll-Free Number Belongs to

By Colleen Collins

Toll-free subscribers pay significant premiums so that others may contact them directly without having to pay for a long-distance call. Toll-free numbers begin with 800, 866, 877 or 888. Unfortunately, calls placed from such toll-free numbers often show up on caller ID devices without further identification. Fortunately, free databases provide information about such numbers, including ownership.

Step 1

Review your voice mail or answering machine for messages accompanying the call from the number in question. Many toll-free subscribers leave messages identifying themselves and explaining the reasons for their calls.

Step 2

Conduct a reverse number search. Enter the number as it appears on your caller ID in the search field of your preferred Internet search engine.

Step 3

Look up the number in a toll-free directory. One such directory is the National Tollfree Directory, which contains advertising listings of business toll-free numbers submitted by businesses (which means not all toll-free numbers are listed). Go to In the center of the page, in the "Find a Business" box, enter the phone number, press the "Search" button, and review the results. If the toll-free number is in the database, information about it will be displayed.

Step 4

Research the number in a user database. is a user database of phone numbers, including toll-free numbers, which provides user-supplied information such as the content of calls received, who owns numbers, frequency of received calls and more. Enter the toll-free phone number in the box toward the top of the web page, press the "Search" button, and review the results.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're having trouble finding information about a toll-free number, consider hiring a private investigator. To find a qualified investigator, contact your state professional private investigator association (PI Magazine lists all state associations. Under "PI Links" in the top blue bar at, select "State Associations-USA"). Request an investigator who specializes in phone number searches.