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Unwanted calls from unknown callers are becoming more common; finding out who’s behind these calls isn’t always easy. And it’s sometimes difficult not to answer some of these calls because they show up on your phone screen as “unknown.”
You can’t be sure if it’s an important call you’ve been expecting or a spam caller. For example, you could be expecting a call from a client or a job offer; not knowing who the caller is can complicate the situation.
In addition, you can’t block a spam call, especially if the number appears on your screen as “Unknown” or “No Caller ID.” Fortunately, there are a few ways to find out who’s calling you from an unknown or blocked number.
If you frequently receive calls from unwanted numbers, here are three simple ways to find out who these unknown callers are and put a stop to them.
Use *69 or *57
The first option to find out an unknown caller number is to dial *57 on your phone. If you think the unknown caller is a scam or spam caller, simply dial *57, and you will be able to see the previous caller’s number.
In most areas, using the *57 code after an unknown call automatically identifies the number. Cell phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon offer the *57 service. However, there are some areas where this code may not work; speak with your phone provider for the code that works in your particular location.
When you use the *57 code, the information from the previous caller is passed on to the police. In addition, phone service providers log a *57 call in a particular way that allows relevant authorities to easily find the unknown caller that’s harassing you and arrest them.
Another option you can also try is the *69 code which automatically performs a call trace on the last number on your phone. Even for hidden or anonymous phone calls, the *69 code will obtain the exact time the call came in and the actual phone number used to call you.
After you find out the unknown phone number, you can block it on your phone from ever calling you in the future.
Most carriers will charge extra for dialing *57 and *69 codes, so you may see some added charges on your bill when you use them. Additionally, check your phone company to see if they provide these services, as not all network providers do.
Tip: Anyone can mask their telephone number by using the No Caller ID feature. *67 is the phone code that unknown callers usually use to hide their number when making anonymous calls. When you put a call through to any number using the No Caller ID feature, your call will show up as “Unknown Caller.” To automatically mask your caller ID, type *67 before the number you wish to call.
Contact your service provider
Not all service provider offers the anonymous call tracing service. This service enables your phone to auto-check the legitimacy of every call to your phone number. If it’s a call from an unknown or restricted number, the service will compel the anonymous caller to unblock the number before they can put a call through to you. Once an unknown caller’s number is unblocked, it will appear on your Caller ID screen.
Contact your phone provider and let them know you are receiving unknown calls from a consistent spammer. They may ask you for your name and phone number. In addition, they may ask for the exact date and time you got the call so they can track down the unknown caller.
Once you provide all the information your phone company requested, they will get in touch with the unknown caller to stop calling you or contact the caller’s network provider to report and ask them to block their access to your phone number.
There’s an app for almost everything out there, if the two options above do not unmask the identity of the unknown caller — TrapCall is one of the most popular paid apps that can reveal unknown and blocked numbers by letting you reject the call, and then the same caller rings back with the number appearing on your screen.
TrapCall can also record incoming calls and auto block robocalls for you, but will notify you about block calls should incase you want to call back. It also allows you to blacklist spam callers, and when they try to call you, TrapCall will play a message to the caller that your phone number has been disconnected.
If anyone tries to use a fake number to reach you, TrapCall will force them to reveal themselves before allowing their calls to get through to you.
The app is available for Android and iOS devices. Pricing starts at $3.95 per month and increases based on what more features you want.