Can Blocked Phone Numbers Be Retrieved?
By Amanda Holden
In the modern age of cellphones and digital information, Caller ID allows you to see the identity of a caller before you answer a call. A caller can conceal his identity through various methods, sometimes making it necessary to retrieve his phone number or information for your own needs or even safety.
Preventing Anonymous Calls
Prevention remains the best deterrent. If you possess a land line phone, you can set up your phone line to reject all blocked and anonymous calls, forcing the caller to hang up and redial with a specific code in order to unblock her number while calling you. Contact your phone company as an additional monthly fee may apply. To enable this feature, pick up your phone and dial 77. If a private number attempts to connect to your phone line, an automated message plays and informs the caller of a specific code to enter when attempting to dial your number. This code will publicize the caller's number and reveal her name to you via Caller ID. This method often remains the best way to retrieve all incoming phone numbers by forcing all callers to self-identify. If you need to deactivate this feature, known as Call Blocking, simply pick up your phone and dial 87.
Smartphones allow for applications that can retrieve blocked phone numbers with ease. One such app for Andriod, TrapCall, reveals not only the true phone number of the private caller but any other basic information associated with the registered phone number. While free to download, TrapCall requires a paid subscription to use.
Another example for iOS, the CIA app, provides the same category of information and more. Unlike TrapCall, CIA offers various downloads, including a free version. A banner-free version and full version both cost a small amount of money, but do not require a monthly subscription like Android's TrapCall app. The CIA app also provides social network details about a caller when available and offers various backup utilities for your list of contacts.
Caller ID and other security measures sometimes cannot do enough to protect you from those with malicious intent. You may become a victim of "spoofing," in which a fake phone number appears on your Caller ID, intending to mislead you as to the true identity of the caller. If a caller has malicious intent, this becomes illegal. Some apps, such as CallerDec, require verification of caller identity on both calling and receiving ends and can help you retrieve a blocked or hidden phone number in the event someone misleads you in this manner.
Your phone company has the power to reveal and trace any phone calls made to your phone but only when provided with proper documentation by a police department. When you've exhausted all other options, this is an option if you have been enduring harassing or dangerous calls. As with call blocking and unblocking, you will dial a specific code depending on your phone provider and pay a small fee, allowing for the company to trace and retrieve the phone number and sometimes even the location of the caller who continues to harass you.
- University of California at Davis: Caller ID Frequently Asked Questions
- Federal Communications Commission: Caller ID and Spoofing
- KingCounty.gov: Harassing Phone Call Tips
- Google Play: TrapCall: Unmask Blocked Calls
- University of South Carolina: You Can Call But You Can't Hide: Detecting Caller ID Spoofing Attacks
- Rutgers University: Phone Features (And Their Star Codes)
Amanda Holden has more than 17 years of professional writing experience. She is trained in computer programming and computer repair, and currently holds a Bachelor of Science in physics and geology with a minor in computer science. She is pursuing her PhD at a major university. Holden writes for various websites on subjects such as computer science, technical specifications, education, science and math.