Ways to Unblock Restricted Phone Numbers

By Thomas McNish

Caller ID technology reveals an inbound caller's telephone number before you answer the phone. One shortcoming is that anyone who dials "*67" before placing a call will have their number displayed as "Restricted" or "Private," concealing the true phone number. If you have been receiving restricted calls and you'd like to know who's behind it, you can discover the caller's identity in several ways.

TrapCall

Sign up for a service called TrapCall. For a small monthly charge, you can subscribe to this service and when you receive a restricted call, you simply press the "Ignore" button or the "End Call" button on your phone to refuse the incoming call. The call will be rerouted to TrapCall's database, where the caller will be cross-referenced and identified. Within minutes, you'll receive a text message from TrapCall identifying the name behind the number.

Call Trace

Contact your local phone company and request that Call Trace service be added to your account. For a small monthly fee, you can set up a trace on your phone line. Whenever you receive a call from a "Restricted" number, just dial "*57" (or "1157" on a rotary phone) and the call will be traced, revealing the caller's identity.

Call Trap

Ask your phone company to establish a "call trap" on your line. This service is often free but it has several drawbacks. It is temporary (usually a couple weeks); also, you must keep a log of the dates and times you receive the restricted calls. Once the call trap has ended, you can cross-reference your log with the data collected by your phone company and verify the identity of restricted callers.

File a Police Report

Contact local law enforcement and file a complaint if the calls you have been receiving threaten you, your family or your property. The police can wiretap your line, trace the calls and identify the caller. If you decide to postpone contacting law enforcement, make sure you keep a log of the dates and times that you receive the calls to use as evidence in court.