How to Identify an Unknown Number

By Chanel Adams

You may receive a phone number on your caller ID that you do not recognize. It could be a telemarketer or bill collector. In another case, you may be receiving threatening phone calls from a stranger or from someone in your past. Either way, you can find out who the person is by calling your telephone provider, searching online or contacting the authorities. You can only do this if the phone number appears on your caller ID. Without the necessary information, you will not get results.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen and paper

Step 1

Write down the phone number on a piece of paper. Include the time of day that you received the call. You will need this information when contacting the authorities or your telephone provider.

Step 2

Contact your telephone provider. Ask the representative to identify a phone number for you. He or she may be able to tell if you the phone number was from a business or personal residence.

Step 3

Search online with a reverse phone search website. Use Unknown Number, Lookup Caller ID or 800 Notes to find out who called you (See Resources). Enter the number into the field and click "Search."

Step 4

Contact the authorities, especially if you receive harassing phone calls. Provide them with the time and day of the call, including the phone number. They can identify the call with phone tracking software.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not put yourself in danger by calling the phone number yourself. You may be inviting trouble, especially if you are receiving threats.