How to Find Out Who Is Behind an Unknown Phone Number

The regular caller ID facility doesn’t always help when you want to identify a call from an unsaved number. Sometimes, callers can deliberately change the name that appears on your phone screen when they call.

They can also hide their identity and remain anonymous. But as long as you can view the incoming caller’s number, there are hassle-free ways to discover who is calling. In this article, you will learn how.

How to Find Out Who Is Behind an Unknown Phone Number

Why Is It Important to Identify Unknown Callers?

In simple terms, it is about ensuring your personal safety.

In 2022, Americans lost nearly $40 billion due to phone scams. The potential threats you could encounter by interacting with unidentified callers are countless.

Here are a few examples:

  • Robocalls that phish for information or defraud individuals using automated messages.
  • IRS imposters who threaten to get you arrested unless you pay a pending tax immediately with a wire transfer.
  • Tech support calls that attempt to gain remote access to your computer so criminals can steal personal information or launch a ransomware attack.
  • Fake charities that trick donors under the pretext of soliciting donations.
  • Fraudulent lotteries and sweepstakes that ask for upfront payments to process winnings.
  • Imposters who mimic loved ones in trouble to trick victims into giving them money.

These are just a few unwanted calls that could threaten your safety. Nuisance callers, stalkers, and telemarketers can harass you, too, if you are not careful. Naturally, knowing who you are speaking with is an essential step for avoiding them all.

Online Tools to Find Out Who Has Called You

Thanks to digital data, tracing unknown callers is easier than it used to be several decades back.

Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and similar search engines, for instance, keep records of digital data resources. Therefore, if someone has shared their contact details on their social media profiles, websites, or other publicly accessible online platform, you can uncover them in under a second using a search engine.

Even most social media sites, from Facebook to LinkedIn, offer search features. This allows you to find information relating to a contact number by scanning their public user profiles, posts, and comments.

But one downside to these search options is that they all require you to browse many search results, possibly hundreds and thousands, to find relevant records. Remember, each site or page could contain different pieces of data relating to a phone number. Some may not even be relevant. But you can only find out by clicking through each search result.

This exercise is undoubtedly time-consuming. What if there is a faster option—one that could filter the most relevant details about a caller? Now, there are several platforms that offer this facility thanks to advanced data aggregation techniques.


With access to over 6,000 data sources and more than 30 years in business, PeopleFinders is one of the popular reverse lookup sites available to identify unknown phone numbers.

The information it provides is not just limited to the caller’s name. The site can find details about the caller’s current and past addresses, emails, family members, and a variety of other data.

You can purchase a detailed report at $1.95 or get a basic monthly membership at $24.95 to receive up to 150 search reports.

PeopleFinders also has a mobile app to make it easier to search numbers from anywhere, at any time.


This is another data aggregator that provides comprehensive information for you to identify unrecognized callers. According to Spokeo’s website, it uses proprietary deep web technology to access 3.9 billion historical records, 130 million property records, 89 million business records, and more.

Its reports cover contact details, location history, social media accounts, family and associates, financial data, and even criminal records.

Each report is available for $0.95 and comes with a free membership on a 7-day trial. Memberships cost $29.95 per month for 100 searches. They also include lifetime updates to ensure you have the latest information about a caller as and when their records change.


Another reliable source to identify unknown numbers is Intelius, which claims an impressive A-rating from the Better Business Bureau.

The platform collects data from federal, state, and county databases, social media sites, and other public sources. Its reverse phone lookup service is on offer for $34.99 per month.

This includes unlimited phone reports, so you never need to worry about running out of your search quota. Alternatively, individual reports are available to download for $3.99.


Unlike the other options in our list, PhoneHistory specializes in providing a detailed history of contact numbers. This makes it easier to trace a caller even if they change their number.

PhoneHistory is a free service that provides unlimited searches for you to browse data belonging to over 500 million US numbers. It can get you contact information, location histories, and personal and professional details about callers.

And if the number belongs to an organization, PhoneHistory can uncover useful records about it, too.


This is another unique solution that comes in the form of a mobile app.

Truecaller identifies calls in real-time, helping you to know who is calling before you answer the phone. It also applies machine learning technology to identify and color code incoming calls based on their importance.

For instance, those from verified businesses are marked in green, while priority calls are tagged in purple.

The app even identifies scams and spam calls by leveraging a database generated by its community of over 356 million users. Once detected, Truecaller can also block those numbers automatically, so you would not need to worry about answering them by mistake.

To Conclude

Malicious scams initiated via phone calls threaten the safety of Americans every day. Therefore, knowing who’s calling is crucial for avoiding unwanted call harassment and ensuring your personal safety.

PeopleFinders, Spokeo, Intelius, PhoneHistory, and Truecaller allow you to identify calls from numbers you don’t recognize with minimum hassle. Some are paid solutions, while others are free.

The depth of information they provide also varies, with certain data aggregators offering comprehensive reports at a fee. So, assess your requirements first and select the best solution for your needs.

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