How to Find Out Who Is Calling from an Unavailable Number
By Michelle Carvo
Updated September 29, 2017
Unavailable numbers are not always easy to unmask, although this depends entirely on what number blocking mechanism that they are using. Try one of these options to find out who is calling from an unavailable number.
Activate Call Trace *57
The first thing to try is to call trace 57. This service is available on both landlines and cellphones from many phone carriers. Although this won’t always work on unavailable numbers, it's worth trying. Use call trace by hanging up on the unavailable call and then dialing "57" before another call is received. Wait for call trace to trace the number of the call. If call trace is unable to determine the phone number, try a few of the other options here.
Check Phone Records
Checking phone records might just be your next best option if call trace fails to give you information on the caller. Calls that show up as unavailable on your phone often display with the full number on your phone bill. This is because the phone carrier is typically able to see the origin of the incoming call, while your phone might not see it due to the number-hiding mechanism used. Access your phone bill on your phone carrier’s website and look for call records around the time of the call that you received. The full number will either display or will be masked. If it is masked, continue to try other options.
Several paid services or apps are available that allow you to trace unavailable or unknown calls.
TrapCall enables you to find out who is calling you even if the individual is calling from an unavailable, unknown or no caller-ID number. Identify unavailable calls with TrapCall by initially declining the call. The call then rings back with the actual number showing. TrapCall is a paid service that starts at $4.95 per month and works without the need to install an app on your phone.
Truecaller is similar to TrapCall but is a free app that you install on your Android or iPhone device. Truecaller works by having the calls go through the app and then displaying the phone number of the caller as each call comes in.
Hiya works by analyzing each incoming call and comparing it to a global database of caller profiles to determine who is calling. Hiya is a free app and also allows you to block calls and blacklist unwanted phone numbers.
Block Restricted Calls
One final option to consider if you cannot find out the identity of an unavailable caller is to simply block restricted or unavailable calls. Many phone service providers like Verizon and AT&T allow you to do this. You can also block restricted calls from your Android or iOS device settings.
Michelle Carvo has been writing professionally since 2006, contributing to a variety of websites. She is also a technical writer with extensive experience in Android/iPhone development and PC repair. Carvo holds a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from the University of Michigan-Flint and works as an IT project manager.