Ways to Identify and Stop an Unknown Caller


Updated · May 05, 2023


Joined April 2023

Ritesh Kumar has a seemingly deep obsession with anything web, tech and SEO (in no particular order)... | See full bio


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If you have been receiving calls from unknown numbers, you're not alone. Most Americans do not answer calls on their phone from unknown numbers. 

Some people avoid the possibility of entertaining a scammer, a robot spam call, or a regular spam call. 

People also often avoid answering unknown phone calls to protect their privacy. In a study on spam calls, 63% of Americans fear they may miss a real call and if it is spam. 

In this article, discover different ways to identify unknown numbers' owners and stop unwanted callers. 

Identify Who's Behind the Unknown Call

There are several ways to trace who the unknown caller is. In this section, you'll explore how some tools and methods work. You may choose what works best for your situation. 

Use Reverse Phone Lookup Websites

You can identify the unknown caller by using reverse phone lookup websites. One of these websites is Truthfinder. To use this website, you may follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to TruthFinder.

Step 2: Click "REVERSE PHONE LOOKUP" on the upper part of their website.

Step 3: Enter the unknown caller's phone number.

Step 4: Click "SEARCH" to prompt the website to begin searching.

Step 5: Wait for the results.

Step 6: Verify some information.

Use Reverse Phone Lookup Websites

To view the full report, you may subscribe to their services or do this before starting the search. This website offers a free trial and its plans start at $4.99. 

The search results may include digital footprints from the following databases:

  • Social media
  • Dating applications
  • Criminal records
  • White pages
  • Yellow pages

This way, results may lead you to the person's identity who calls on your phone number.

This website is only helpful if you already know the phone number. You can uncover an unknown caller by dialing a specific number from your phone. 

Call Return Service by Dialing *69 

Dialing *69 will help you trace the private number that has recently called your number. To access this service, dial *69, and a recording stating the phone number will play. 

In some cases, the phone number of the unknown caller will show on your phone screen when dialing *69. 

After this, you may use the reverse lookup tools mentioned above or refer to your other contact lists. This service can also work on hidden or anonymous phone numbers and reveal when it calls you. 

It's important to note that not all phone companies offer this service for free. Some may charge for this service that works on mobile and landline devices. 

For instance, there's an unknown caller that is threatening you or telling you obscene comments. There is another specific number that may be helpful for you. 

Call Tracing Service by Dialing *57 

If there's a call from an unknown number and this person is harassing you or causing harm to you, then you may dial *57. 

This number is the Malicious Caller Identification Service (MCIS).

The call will connect you with your local law enforcement authority. The police keep track of the unknown caller's number. 

Remember to note the time and day the unknown person called your phone number. 

Once the legal process has started, your network service provider may release the unknown caller's records to the police. 

Just like dialing *69, when dialing *57, some phone companies offer this service for free, while others may charge a certain fee. 

This number may also reveal the unknown number and block the number. Either way, using this with caution will help since it involves the police authorities. 

Use Search Engines for Phone Number Tracing

One great way to trace who's calling is by using search engines. Like reverse phone lookups, it has databases of public records. 

Few websites and social media pages focus on spam calls and scammers. 

To use search engines like Google and Bing, type the number on their search bars and click enter. 

The search results may include announcements or posts associated with the unknown phone number. You may see that a previous victim reported the unknown number as a scammer. 

Yet, you may also see results referring to companies and businesses. You may consider calling back or giving it a message. 

Contact Your Network Service Provider

You may know the hidden number that calls you and your incoming and outgoing calls by calling or emailing your network service provider. 

Yet, this is tricky since companies protect their subscribers’ anonymity for legal reasons. Because of this, it's essential to ask for further details to access the number. 

Some companies give the details as you ask, but some may need documents from the police or other legal documents. 

Once you have the number, you may refer to reverse phone lookup tools and search engines and consult the police authorities. 

Use a Caller Identification App on Your Phone

Another way to know who's calling is to use a caller identification app on your phone. These applications would allow you to see the person's name, block their number, and report the spam call if the call was. 

You can look for options on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It will help if you read the reviews first to install what fits best for your situation. 

Report Spam Calls

Once you're sure that the call from the unknown number is spam or a robot spam call, you may report the number to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The report can happen on their website or their landline, 1-888-382-1222. It's the FTC's mission to protect the public from fraudulent ways of insincere telemarketers. 

How Do You Know It's a Spam Call?

Here are a few symptoms of a spam call if the unknown caller does these:

  • Calls too many times and at odd hours
  • Asks for private details like banking information and login credentials 
  • Sends you unwanted and inappropriate text messages before or after the call 
  • Their number has an area code for a foreign location

Reading spam discussions online, like social media groups or authorities' websites, may help you. 

This way, you may be more aware of spotting a spam call and not falling victim to unknown and fraudulent callers.


Unknown callers can be bothersome. The good thing is there are ways to know who is calling behind the unknown number, and if it's a fraudulent call, there are ways to stop it. 

You can identify the name of the person calling by using a reverse phone lookup tool like Truthfinder, dialing *69, dialing *57, using search engines, and using caller identification applications. 

It is important to be vigilant in every call you answer. When you suspect that you have been a victim of a scam, report it to the authorities right away. 




Ritesh Kumar has a seemingly deep obsession with anything web, tech and SEO (in no particular order). He has more than five years of experience in the background check industry, promoting and collaborating with all the major brands in the space. He is currently the co-founder of LookupAPlate.com - A free tool to report bad drivers and look up license plates. Talk to him about Google algorithmic updates, and he can go on and on till the sheep come home.

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