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Tracing A Cell Phone Number

Updated on September 20, 2014

Unlike regular telephone numbers cell phone numbers have always been closely guarded secrets. Caller ID revolutionized the way we interact with people with their telephones. When you come home from work the first thing you probably do is check your caller ID to see which phone calls you missed. In days past, you would check your answering machine and callback anyone who left a message. While many people still do this, most people call back people whose numbers appeared on their caller ID. One of the things that's so great about caller ID is that not only does the number show up but the name as well. If you see the name of someone that you don't recognize, you have the choice of whether or not to call them back. If all you saw was the number, you could call them back but you may find that you didn't want to talk to the particular person.

This is where cell phones caller ID feature is lacking. On most cell phones, you will see the name and number of the person who is calling you if and only if that person's name and number is in you phone's telephone's phonebook directory. If you don't have that person's name and number in your phone book, all that shows up is a number.

Doing a reverse cellphone look up can be very difficult.  Hopefully I'll be able to give you a few tips on how you might go about it in this article.


Try Searching Online

People enter their phone number into Internet forms all the time without ever thinking that doing so if may disclose personal information about them. Many of the companies that collect phone numbers actually sell the information to other companies. Often times, people will give their cell number because they don't want to give out there house number for one reason or another.

You can try doing an online search to find out who the cell phone belongs to. This is probably a long shot but it's worth a try. It may come up because the person lowered their guard and entered their cell number into an online form at one point of another.

Since the same seven digit number can be used in more than one state, it's a good idea to use the area code. As a matter of fact, it's a good idea to search for the number inside quotes. Typing 555-124-8790 can return results for 555, 124, or 8790. If you search for "555-124-8790", Google will only return results that match the numbers exactly and in the exact order. You might also try searching like this, "(555) 124-8790".

Finding the number like this can be a bit of a shot in the dark but who knows, you might come up lucky. Keep in mind that you're trying to do something that isn't that easy.

Online Directories

You can trace a cell number by using an online directory.  You can forget about trying to look up the number in an online telephone directory like dex or yellowbook. There are several online directories that say they are free but don't believe them. Cell phone numbers are closely guarded secrets.

There are also several directories that you must pay a fee to that claim be able to trace a number for you. Here is a list of possible directories that might help you.


As I mentioned before these services will want to be paid a fee to be able to use to their reverse cellphone look up feature. These services are a sort of like Internet private investigators. They're like the company that you might use to do a criminal background check on someone.

Prices range from $20.00 to $70.00 for this service. Some of them offer a money back guarantee if you don't get the exact information that you were searching for. Some of them offer a monthly subscription so that you can do it multiple searches. Others offer only one time only searches.

Before use give them any money, be sure to find out what their refund policy is if they are not able to provide you with the necessary information that you were looking for. 

Try Calling The Number

This one is going to seem silly but maybe you should just try calling the number. If you are concerned that the person might not answer if the caller ID on their phone shows your number, consider calling them from another person's phone. Perhaps consider calling them from a pay phone or maybe even ask to borrow the phone at a business establishment.

With a little bit of clever detective work, you can pretend to be someone else and simply ask who you are speaking with. Many people answer the phone with their first name. Some even answer the phone with their full name. You may just end up getting lucky. When it comes to detective work you will need to be creative and tracking down the owner of a cellphone number is sort of like detective work.

You might also try an old telemarketers trick and tell them that they won a prize. Of course you don't want to use your real name here. Use a phony name and tell them that they've won a prize and all you need is their name and address in order to be able to send it out to them. It might not work but maybe you will get lucky and they'll tell you the information that you need.

You might try calling the number at odd hours like during the middle of the night. Many people turn their cell phones off  at night. The same people often have their full name recorded on their voice mail. Call during the middle of the night when the phone is off and you might get the name right from their voice mail message.

Another tactic that might work is to call the number anonymously and pretend to be taking a survey. You might ask them if they have 5 minutes to take the survey. If they say yes, the first question that you should ask them is the name and address. If they ask you why you need that information, tell them it's to prove to your boss that you are actually making the phone calls and not just making the information up.

Reverse Cellphone Lookup

 Here is a short video explaining a reverse cellphone look up service.

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