How to Trace Unknown Callers & Unlisted Phone Numbers


It is hard to remember a time when we used to blindly pick up a telephone any time it rang, having no idea who was on the other end. We are so accustomed to knowing who is calling, or at least where the call is coming from, that many of us do not answer personal calls from unknown numbers.  

It is difficult to let calls go to voicemail when they could be business leads, but it is also not worth wasting time if the call is likely trying to sell you an extended car warranty or some other scam. When someone calls from a blocked, masked, or unknown number and “No Caller ID” pops up on the screen, it is tempting to ignore it. But what if you need to know who called?  

Knowing how to trace phone numbers from an unknown caller can help, and there are methods that are more effective than Googling their phone number to get any available information and determining if you should call them back.

Using call return and call trace to ID unknown callers

If you received a call and need to know the caller’s identity, the classic way to find out is by using call return and reconnecting with the caller. To use this service, supported by many landlines, VoIP services, and cell phones, you just need to dial * followed by 69. This returns the latest call, allowing you to speak with the caller and view the number on your telephone if it was previously hidden.

There is also another option to trace phone numbers. It is meant to help victims of harassment and other crimes. It is important to document illegal activity, as it provides official documentation of the call. Follow these steps if you need to trace a call:

  • Dial * followed by 57 immediately after a harassing or threatening call. Note: This is a paid service.
  • Contact law enforcement afterward to file a police report.
  • Retrieve the caller information from the telephone company through the police.

Technology may be able to help with calls to your smartphone

A better solution for tracing phone numbers that doesn't require you to speak with the caller or involve the local police is via an app. Installing an app such as TrapCall on your smartphone allows you to ignore the call but still find out where it came from. However, this will not work on landlines or VoIP phones in most cases. This means *69 may still be the best option for identifying unknown callers and unlisted number calls to your office.

Use these reverse phone lookup tools to trace calls

Besides apps, you can also use online tools to trace calls or other information, like an email address. Check out the following examples if you need to perform a call trace.


Spokeo offers reverse phone lookups, but you can also retrieve information from an email. Some features include:

  • Access to public records to retrieve personal information and address records
  • Background check information
  • Offers email lookups
  • Wealth and job history information

Membership costs $13.95 per month for 100 searches. Individual searches have separate prices if you do not subscribe.


Intelius was founded in 2003 and is one of the oldest reverse phone lookup companies. Searches are private and have access to over 20 billion public records. Some features include:

  • Up-to-date information
  • Background check information
  • Social media information
  • Access to property data

Membership costs $19.95 per month.


TruthFinder is a background-checking service that enables people to find information through name, phone number, or location. Some features include:

  • Background checks, including arrest records
  • Social network information
  • Job history and education background
  • Location information

TruthFinder offers a free trial, with plans starting at $4.99 per month.


CocoFinder acts like a search engine for phone numbers that can give you the most up-to-date information on a caller. Some features include:

  • Unlimited free lookups
  • No tracking on your device, encouraging privacy
  • Background checks, including court records and arrest records
  • Current information on the person, such as their address or identity

CoCoFinder does allow free reverse phone lookups, however, the information you receive will be limited. For an additional fee, you can receive more information.

You do not have to worry about screening calls yourself with

At, we understand that small business owners and executives of large corporations have a lot on their plate. By helping them clear some of the smaller tasks, we can ensure they have room to use their expertise to grow their business. Handling calls and screening for spam is necessary, but they don’t have to do this alone.  

We can help manage tasks in such a way that tracing unknown callers or unlisted phone numbers will not be a problem. We will ensure every call is answered and the caller is screened before they ever reach your office. This is possible through:  

Free spam blocking

Using a list of already known spammers and robocall numbers, our virtual receptionists are ready to field your phone lines with our spam blocking services. If a spam call gets through, we’ll add it to our growing list to prevent future calls from that number. You can even create your own list of blocked numbers. Did we mention that we block spam and sales calls for free?

Our around-the-clock answering services

One of our most popular solutions is our 24/7 answering service. Our virtual receptionists are available to answer incoming calls to your company anytime. We can also accept payments, make outbound calls after an email or text inquiry, and take other steps to help your business.  

Our intake services

Our lead screening and intake services learn the necessary information to prequalify contacts based on the standards you set. A member of our team will use the criteria you select to screen the caller and determine what action needs to be taken.  

We also automatically log each call, chat, or appointment in your system. This allows you to see your leads, learn more about them, and identify their specific needs before meeting with them.  

Connect with the team about our services today

Speaking with customers and clients is essential to your business, its growth, and your bottom line. It can feel overwhelming trying to log your calls, track who is calling, and record messages, especially with blocked numbers and rampant spam calls. is ready to help you get organized so you can focus on other essential operations.

If you are ready to get started, the team offers a complimentary, 30-minute consultation to determine the services and solutions your business can benefit from. Alternatively, you can check out our plans and transparent pricing and sign up right away for an individual service or suite of services.  

Business Education
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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