How Can You Trace an Unknown Number

What if you want to know how to check an unknown phone number, or calls from a private or blocked caller ID? When receiving such calls, you might not be sure about your next steps. Here we’ll share the best ways to deal with such calls and how to identify an unknown number to protect against spam, scammers, and other malicious agents. 

How Can You Trace an Unknown Number

There are many ways to identify the person (or entity) behind the phone number or no caller ID calling you. Let’s talk about all the best tools and techniques to track and check that unknown phone number effectively.

Trace an Unknown Number with Online Phone Number Tracker 

Online phone number trackers won’t find just information on who’s behind the call with no caller ID, but also provide information like their location. A great online phone number tracker like MLocator will even provide that phone’s location’s longitude and latitude coordinates. It works by combining data from cell towers, GPS technology, and Wi-Fi signals to help pinpoint that phone’s location with up to 3 meters accuracy. It also works regardless of your location, globally, and does not depend on your target phone’s operating system. If you want to know how you can trace an unknown number using MLocator, follow these steps: 

  • Go to MLocator’s phone number tracker service. Enter the phone number you wish to check + country code. Select “Locate.”
online phone number tracker
  • Enter your email and select “Locate” again. 
locate a phone number online
  • Mlocator automatically finds the location of your target phone and prompts you to make payment so that the results will be sent to your email address. 
pay to locate a phone online


  • Find the precise location of the phone number calling you
  • Figure out who’s been persistently calling or texting you.
  • Verify the locations of numbers to ensure they are who they claim to be.


  • May be tricky to use if you don’t have the country code. 

Use *69 code to Trace an Unknown Number

What if you received a call from a completely blocked or private number? Such calls make it harder to determine if it’s an important call or a spam caller. Plus, you can’t even block such calls, since the numbers don’t appear. Fortunately, *69  (pronounced star69) is a smart and reliable way to get the phone number of that unknown caller. 

You only have to dial it to get the phone number of that no Caller ID call, and the precise time they called. This service has been free and has been reliable for decades in the US. You can also use it whether you’re on a mobile or landline. So you might wonder: how can I track an unknown number using *69? Here is how to use it:

  • Go to your phone dialer (or landline) and type in *69. On some phones, you may also have to press the “Call” button
 *69 code
  • The blocked number that called you and the time will appear on your phone’s screen. With the phone number, you can now add it to your block list so it can’t call you anymore.


  • A reliable way to get the phone number of any blocked or no-caller ID calls.


  • Works best when you phone immediately after receiving the call
  • Only works in the US.

Use the *57 code to Trace an Unknown Number

*57 also works in the same way as a *69. But in this case, your service provider will also log the information shown to you. That way they have a legitimate record of the calls, should you intend to locate whoever is harassing you and arrest them. You’ll need to use this code as soon as you receive the threatening call. Once you have the information, take note of the time and date and contact your local law enforcement agency. Do note that *57 isn’t always free. Here’s how to know an unknown number using *57:

  • Go to your Dialer and type “57*. Then press the Call button.
*57 code
  • Listen to the recording and follow the instructions to determine the phone number and details about the unknown caller. 
  • After this, you’ll hear a message confirming whether your trace was successful alongside instructions on how your phone service will charge for the call to you. 


  • Access phone numbers and other information about any blocked or no-caller ID calls.
  • Logs information you can provide to law enforcement when necessary.


  • Best used immediately after the  phone call
  • Will not offer personal details about the caller.
  • Only works in the US.

Contact Your Phone Company to Trace an Unknown Number

Your phone service provider often has its tracing services and may be able to provide information about who called you. Often they won’t just provide the details about that specific call but a full list of the calls you received within a set period. However, using this tool depends on your service provider. It may also cost you additional fees. 


  • Find out who owns the phone number calling or texting you
  • Easy to identify harassing or scam callers.


  • Often requires steep additional service fees
  • Depending on location might need to provide legal grounds for accessing information.

Search the Unknown Number Online Via Google

It’s also possible to search for any unknown number online. The first you should try is Google. In this case, you’re using it like a reverse image search, where you input the phone number into the search bar to see if anyone has reported it before. People often share stories about spam calls and spammer numbers online. If you want to try using Google as a reverse phone number lookup, here’s what you should do: 

  • Go to Google search engine and type the phone number (with its country code). Hit “Search”. 
  • Google automatically brings back any publicly available information on that number. 
Search the Unknown Number Online Via Google


  • Free and broad way to find whose phone number is calling you
  • Access billions of records creating unlimited possibilities 


  • Often provides an overwhelming amount of information.
  • May yield inaccurate details
  • Only works if people complain on forums or publicly displayed phone numbers.

Search the Unknown Number Online Via Social Media

Another tool you can try is Social media like Facebook, where businesses often list their phone numbers publically. That way, you can also find out if the number calling you is from a company. That said, also note that a number from a company can call, even when it’s not that company. This is a clear criminal strategy known as Caller ID spoofing. Here phone scammers spoof an actual number from a real company to trick customers. Here is how to check unknown numbers using Facebook:

  • Go to Facebook search and type in the phone number.
  • If there’s any associated information, Facebook’s results will show.
Search the Unknown Number Online Via Facebook


  • Free tool to whose phone number is calling you
  • Easily find if others have had any experience with that number


  • Only finds public phone numbers or numbers other people posted about.
  • Does not find private phone numbers.
  • May provide irrelevant information in confusing form.

Use a Reverse Phone Lookup Tool

You can also use a Reverse phone lookup tool to find information about that phone number. These tools access background reports on phone numbers, including criminal records, social media profiles, and more. Some such tools include Intelius, Spokeo, and Social Catfish. These Reverse lookup tools can find details such as full name, location history, email address, families and relatives, and associated contacts. Often, they have the same approach to using them. For instance, here’s how to identify an unknown number using Spokeo:

  • Go to Spokeo’s Reverse Phone Lookup and enter the phone number you want to search for. Tap “Search Now”.
  • Pick the details you want to find about that number or simply mark “select all” and then “Continue”. 
  • Enter your email address and pick “Continue” again.
locate an unknow phone number using Spokeo
  • Once the report is ready, Spokeo will prompt you to pay the search fee and then send the results to your email. 
view the location report on Spokeo


  • Access in-depth information on any phone number
  • Find out if you were called by a scammer.


  • Works best for phone numbers in the US.

How to Detect Scam Calls

One of the best ways to detect scam calls is by using a third-party app that works from within your phone helping you filter and block unknown phone numbers. Here are some applications you can use to trace unknown numbers with ease. 


Truecaller is a widely used spam blocker solution with tons of features for identifying and blocking spam calls. Using its Android or IOS app, you can create a blocklist, and access a database of data to check unknown numbers before picking up any calls. Truecaller also gives you ultimate control by making sure you can quickly review their details by providing their name and other information before you answer the call. Besides, Truecaller also offers a reverse phone lookup feature on their official website, where you can find any user-generated information and complaints about any phone number. 


Core Features 

  • Provides an amazing dialer to look at numbers that call your phone
  • Identify callers using a global user database 
  • Automatically block and protect against unwanted calls and messages.
  • Safeguard against scammers and robocalls


  • Robust global database to identify unknown numbers with ease
  • Integrates with your phone, to filter calls and texts in real-time.
  • Creates a separate store for calls and texts from blocked contacts. 


  • Contains ads.
  • Intrusive upselling 
  • Lacks customer support

💰Pricing: Free app, with premium starting at $29.90/year.


Hiya offers a full suite of protection for both individuals and businesses to protect against spam. So, for your device, you can access Hiya’s feature-rich spam call blocker apps to block and filter unknown calls effectively. Whether on your Android, or iPhone device, Hiya will help block and check unknown numbers before answering any call. Here’s a smart tool to prevent calls from malicious agents.


Core features

  • Access a global database of known businesses to help identify possible legal unknown calls
  • Easily block nuisance calls with nuisance alerts to let you know what’s happening
  • Enjoy the reverse phone lookup feature to identify unknown phone numbers before answering any call.


  • Easily see the names of all screened calls with ease 
  • Create a blocklist of specific numbers as well as modifiers. 
  • Auto-block nuisance calls from your phone. 
  • Report spam numbers to help other users also identify and block them right away.


  • No access to voicemail

💰Price: Free.

What to Do If You Get Unknown Calls 

Knowing how to react and the steps to take when you receive unknown calls is important. This preparation ensures you can react correctly especially when you receive calls from spammers or other malicious people. 

unknown caller
  • Don’t answer: When you don’t recognize a phone number, it’s best to let it go to voicemail. 
  • Be cautious: If you do answer, don’t give out any personal information. Also, beware of requests that attempt to confirm your account, press a button, or other personal details.
  • Hang up: if your unknown caller keeps pushing and asking for confusing details, do hang up. Avoid engaging any suspicious or aggressive callers to avoid giving out any vital details unknowingly. Never give details like account numbers, passwords, maiden names, social numbers, and more. 
  • Lookup their details: Consider using a reverse lookup solution or even checking online for any complaints from that number. Be also wary of phone numbers that seem to belong to legitimate businesses. Sometimes, it can be simply hackers spooking the number. If possible, call that organization or business using a different number. 
  • Block unwanted calls: Consider using spam call-blocking services for extra protection.
  • Have a password for your voicemail: Some voicemail services are preset to access if you call from your phone number. So malicious agents may spoof your phone number and attempt to access it if you don’t have a password. 
  • Report spam calls: If you’re in the US, and you’ve received scam calls, consider reporting to the FTC. The FTC is the US government agency that often handles issues about American consumers. All you need to do is either file a report via the FTC’s Report Fraud page, or Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

How to Silence Unknown Phone Calls

Silencing unknown phone calls is a great way to deter malicious scammers. This means you won’t receive any notifications about the call. Fortunately, your iPhone and Android phone comes with free features to filter spam calls. 


Apple’s silence unknown numbers feature will stop notifications from all strange numbers. It will then enable legitimate callers to have the chance to leave you a message. To silence or block an unknown phone number on your iPhone, follow the steps below; 

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone, and scroll down to tap on “Phone”.
iPhone setting
  • Scroll down to the bottom. Tap “Silence Unknown Callers”. 
Silence Unknown Callers on iPhone
  • Tap again to turn it on. 
tag Silence Unknown Callers on iPhone


You can easily silence a call from an unknown phone number using Android’s native solution to tackle unwanted calls. To block and identify spam calls on Android:

  • Go to “Settings” on your smartphone. Hit “Caller ID & spam”. On some Android devices, this would be “Call blocking”.
  • Turn on “Filter spam calls” or “Block anonymous calls” depending on your Android device.

Now your device will automatically detect and filter suspected spam calls. That way, you’ll only receive the calls you want. 


📌Should you pick up calls from unknown callers?

It’s generally recommended to avoid picking up calls from unknown callers. Often Scammers can even spoof numbers to make them appear as though from legitimate and familiar contacts. If the call proves to be important, your caller might likely leave a voicemail.

📌What should I do if an unknown number keeps calling?

If an unknown number keeps calling, consider tracing that number to determine if it’s a legitimate call or a spammer. You should also let the phone call go to voicemail where the caller can leave a message, giving you more options on what to do. It’s also possible to block specific numbers to avoid future calls. 

📌Can you call back an unknown number?

It’s possible to call back an unknown number, but you should be cautious when doing that. Avoid any prompts or statements that wish you to confirm any information, even when the information seems trivial to you at first. If the caller seems pushy, hang up immediately. 

Wrap up

There are many amazing solutions on how to identify unknown numbers. So you don’t have to be in the dark about any unknown or suspicious callers. Using these tools and techniques, we’ve mentioned, you can reduce unwanted calls, and protect yourself from scams.


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