How to Trace a Prepaid Cell Phone

There are a number of resources available to help trace a cell phone or land line phone number. However, it can be difficult to trace the location or person behind a prepaid cell phone number since there a prepaid cell phone can be purchased and used without using personal information.

Close up shot of a man talking on cell phone
How to Trace a Prepaid Cell Phone
credit: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

But there are some ways to attempt to trace a prepaid cell phone number and in some cases the number can be traced revealing at least the general location of the cell phone user.

Utilize The Internet For Tracing Purposes

Step

Enter the cell phone number into a search engine. You can use one of the more popular sites, such as Google or Yahoo. Click "Search" to display the search engine results. If the number is associated with a person or business, it may come up in the results. At the very least the cell phone service provider or general location of the number may be revealed.

Google Opens New Berlin Office
Enter the cell phone number into a search engine.
credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images
24021371
With a basic search you can enter the number in question and get the general geographic location of the cell phone number
credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Step

Use a reverse phone number look up service. With a basic search you can enter the number in question and get the general geographic location of the cell phone number (area code) as well as the cell phone carrier information.

Woman's hand giving stack of US $20 bills to man's hand
Purchase premium search results from a reverse phone number look up service.
credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Step

Purchase premium search results from a reverse phone number look up service. However, you should only do this if the basic search turns up that there is additional information available. Since prepaid phone users are not always required to submit personal information, there may or may not be additional information available for the number.

Badge of police officer
Contact the local authorities if the person using the cell phone number is harassing you or making threats to you.
credit: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

Contact the local authorities if the person using the cell phone number is harassing you or making threats to you. Often times the authorities have the resources and legal ability to get access to account information, cell phone handset tracking, and even call records. This is the most likely method of tracing a prepaid cell phone, but only in extreme circumstances.