Identifying A Phone Number


Identifying A Phone Number


Every so often you have a phone number and you want to know who it belongs to. Maybe it keeps showing up on your caller ID and you want to know why. Maybe it's showing up on your spouses phone bill. You run it through a bunch of free internet reverse-search directories and search engines but nothing will pull up any current information on them. Most people just give up but you don't have to. This article will give you a few more ideas on getting information from an unlisted phone number. It will also give you ideas on keeping your own number a little more anonymous.


Don't Break The Law


Many of the techniques on this page are very effective but some of them might be illegal. We list the illegal methods to help people keep themselves a little more unlisted. Please be responsible and don't do the illegal things that we suggest on this page. If you're unsure of the legalities of some of these techniques, check your state and federal laws. That being said, on to the ideas...


Ask Them


Before anything, let's state the very obvious. Call up the number and ask them who they are. Just say something like, "I keep seeing your number on my caller ID a lot and I guess I haven't been here when you've called. Who is this?" Maybe it's just a telemarketer. Maybe it's a wrong number. But before you get carried away with trying a bunch of covert methods of finding out who owns a number, just try calling and asking them who they are. The worst that'll happen is they won't tell you.


Free Pizza!


Everyone likes free things. And everyone likes pizza. So let's offer the people who own your number a free pizza! Call up your subject's number and have the following conversation with them:

THEM: Hello?
YOU: Hi, this is Roy from the Domino's Pizza on 3rd Street and I'm calling to let you know that you're our winner in this week's random drawing for a free delivery of a free 16" three topping pizza!
THEM: I didn't enter a drawing.
YOU: Our computer just picks random customers for the contest. Would you like to have a free pizza tonight or should I put you in the computer for a free pizza for a different day this month?
THEM: But I don't think I've ever ordered from there. So how is my number in your computer?
YOU: Perhaps someone else had your phone number years ago and ordered from us. In any case, the pizza is yours since it's your number. Would you like that free pizza tonight? Or I can put you in the system for a free one the next time you call us.
THEM: Sure, I'll take it tonight.
YOU: Great! And what kind of toppings would you like?
THEM: Half pepperoni, half sausage, extra cheese on all of it.
YOU: Anything to drink? The drinks won't be free, just the pizza.
THEM: Nah, no drinks tonight.
YOU: And could I get your address?
THEM: I thought you had my address in the computer.
YOU: Well you said you hadn't ordered from us before so I was just confirming. We might have an older customer in here. Are you at 525 Morgan Street?
THEM: No. I'm at 1013 Kingswood Court.
YOU: Okay, and your name?

You get the idea. They're usually not so suspicious but I put all the suspicion in there to give you ideas on how to cover yourself if they ask too many questions. Here's some advice for trying this kind of trick:

  • Find out what the closest pizza delivery place to them would be. Look up the address and phone number for it on the internet and have that ready when you talk to them in case they ask for it.
  • Use a cheerful, professional voice. Before calling the number you want information on, try the call on a few other random phone numbers. Practice will make you better when you make the real call.
  • Block your number using *67! Your call will show up as PRIVATE which might make them suspicious. But not as suspicious as if it had your real name and number. Besides, once they realize they don't really get a free pizza they'll be pretty mad at you.

Order A Pizza


Let's try the pizza trick the other way around. Get a list of all the pizza places local to your subject. Call them all and attempt to order pizzas from them. Since most pizza places look up your account (name and address) with your phone number, you just give them the number of your subject. Once they put your subject's number in, their screen will show that number's name and address if they've ever ordered a pizza there before.

Usually after you give your number, they'll read off your address for confirmation. If they don't, ask them what address they have. If they ask you what address it should be, just babble on for a few seconds about how you've moved a few times in the past year and 911 updated the street names where you are, blah blah blah. End your rant with, "So which address do you show for me?" Hopefully they'll tell you and you can say, "Yep, that's my address." You might want to ask which apartment number is on it to, just in case they left that part off. Then ask which name is on the account. A good way to ask is to say something like, "Is my wife's name still on our account there? Cause we're divorced now and I don't want to see her name on the pizza box. Which name do you have there?"

And just to make sure that you're getting correct, current info from them, ask them when the last delivery was made to that address. Most of the Domino's and Pizza Hut computers will show this, along with the total cash amount that the customer has spent. They may think it's weird that you want to know, but convince them to do it anyway. If the employee doesn't want to give you information, try back later to get a different employee.


Video Store Account


Get a listing of all the video rental stores in the same area that your subject is located in. Start calling them all and ask if they can check your account to see if you have any late fees to pay. Most video stores will ask for your phone number to pull up the account with. But some will ask for your name. Just make something up and when they can't find your account, ask if they can look it up by phone number instead. If they're not able to look you up by phone number, hang up and try the next video store on your list. It's best to try the big chain stores first, like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.

When they pull up your number, they'll either ask you what your name is or they'll say, "And you're Mr. Xxxxxx?" to which you reply "yes." If she asks you what your name is, just make something up and she'll get a little confused and say that she's showing another name on the account. Fortunately, the average video store employee is not trained to be suspicious of calls like this. Say, "Hmm, that's strange...what name are you showing there?" And write down her answer and say, "Oh yeah, that's my roommate!"

If you only got their last name, you still need the first name and address. Tell her that the account is actually under your parents/roommates name and you need to find out if your name is on there so you can rent something. Hopefully she'll read off the list of names authorized to rent movies on that account. If none of this works, call back later and try to get a different employee to try for you.

Now you still need the address. At this point, you should probably hang up and get the rest of the info later just to avoid suspicion, but if you think they're not getting too annoyed with you or too suspicious, carry on. Tell the video lady that you just moved and you want to make sure she has the current address on your account. Hopefully she'll read the address to you. Then ask if she's got the right apartment number on there just to be sure you get the complete address.

Video stores have a lot of information on their customers and you can use this same technique to get just about any of it. You can say that somebody from their video store called your work, telling you that you had late videos. They'll say, "Nobody from here would have called your work." So you ask them what contact or work number they have for you. Whatever they give you, tell them that's not the right number and ask if there's any other contact number on the account. Then you can say something like, "Well this is odd. I wonder if it's someone else's account with my same name. Which social security number do you show on there?" Video store employees usually don't get very suspicious so it's pretty easy to get anything you want from them.


Unauthorized Phone Charges


Call up your subject and tell them that your with the phone company. The conversation should go a little something like this:

THEM: Hello?
YOU: Hi, this is David Patterson from the Bell South toll fraud department. I wanted to let you know that we've shut off your calling card this morning because it's surpassed the monthly limit of $3000.

Of course, your subject will be a little shocked and might freak out so you'll have to calm him down. Ask who you're talking to and hopefully he'll tell you. If he says, "Well, you should know, you called ME." Then reply, "Well we're not allowed to give out any personal information regarding an account until we're sure who we're talking to." and hopefully he'll buy it and give you his name. Write it down and then ask to confirm his address in the same manner. Being in fear of having to pay a $3,000 phone bill might make your subject want to cooperate.


The Phone Company


Let's try calling up the phone company's billing office and weasle some information out of them.

THEM: Thanks for calling Verizon. Could I have the number you're calling about?
YOU: Sure, it's 503-258-xxxx
THEM: And you're Mr. Davidson?
YOU: Yep, I'm Ken Davidson.
THEM: Well I don't show a Ken authorized on this account. I have a different first name on here.
YOU: It's probably under my dad's name. Dean. Should I have him call in to ask questions?
THEM: I don't show a Dean on here either. I show an Andrea.

Unfortunately it's usually not this easy. The phone company is used to people calling in and trying to trick them. And it's especially hard if the person's number is unlisted or if there's a password on their account. But sometimes even if there's a password, they'll give you the name before asking you what the password is.

The best thing to do is to just keep calling the billing office over and over until one of the operators gives you a little bit of information. Then use that small piece of info to get more info, etc. Makes the calls one after the other and hope that the operator doesn't make a note on the account that someone keeps calling in, trying to get his info. (This happens.) The key is to not try and get too much information all at once. Take your time and make a lot of calls to them.


Helpful Links



User Comments


Feel free to post your own comments about this page below. If you have any new information for us or notice any errors, please let us know. If you'd prefer to make a general comment about phonelosers.org, try signing our guestbook instead. Or you can discuss this page in our forums.

03/17/06 - Stilly from Sunny CA: I used to be a hardcore Pizza Hut employee and NEVER gave out information about a phone number, but there ARE a great deal of CSRs that do not care and have no motivation to keep your info secret. The Pizza one may work well, but if a number is unlisted and you do not know the prefix location, it could take quite a few calls to get r done...

03/12/06 - teresa from [email protected]: i need help . i got voice mail number but i need voice mail numerber mail box.

11/07/05 - navin from india: great information..a wonderful site


10/02/05 - pfunk from Might as well be mexico: I forgot to add a little trick a friend of mine would do on stag nights. Call up anyone you want, but before they answer, you quickly use 3way to dial someone else. Then if timing is right the two will be connected, and sometimes will argue over who called who..


10/02/05 - Pfunk from Texico (aka texas): Are these posts from another planet? Where on earth did you learn such shotty grammer?!


09/30/05 - GingerLee from California: Since I didnt get 2 finish, 2 get his VM code: since he has hidden his phone n the truck 4 the night, he will have 2 use the house phone 2 check his VM. Encourage this! Most house phones (especially portable handsets) not only have redial (which any good cheat will clear or fake) u can push redial several times & get the last few #'s dialed! Also, invest in an answering machine with a security feature that lets u listen 2 whats going on in ur home while u are away. They're lots of fun!


09/30/05 - GingerLee from California: I recently had a lying, cheating boyfriend who used his cell phone all day at work, then when he came home he would lock it in his truck & I would never see it. Well, when he went to sleep I would take his keys & go outside & make a very accurate listing of his daily calls, then wait 'til 3 or 4 am & dial the #'s. This late at night voicemail is almost always a sure thing & a great way to know who the # belongs to! Also, to get the VM code: let him use the house phone to check his VM since his p


06/19/05 - Lawrence Taylor from Bedford Ohio: I'm thinking about getting a internet phone service to make calls over the internet is it easy for someone to listen to your calls if you have all the spyware and norton anti-virus on your computor


05/10/05 - kim from sunny southern california: my son calls number saying he found coin purse with three jefferson's & a bunch of dimes inside it today at the park in the sand by the swings but the name ,address,& main phone # worn off. only their # ledgeable. i've done this five times each time they were eager to provide my young son information like name & address


05/09/05 - Clayg from Jax: Dipshits this stuff works. Old school PI trick. The reason it wont work for poopy is , there was no "idiot working" when he tried, only one calling.


05/06/05 - jenny from Minneapolis: what if you dont have the number, but have the name?????


05/04/05 - Alex from OH: You'd be surprised how well those work, Tanya. You should try them before knocking them.


05/04/05 - poopy from Bayarea: These are not that greaty of ideas. The pizza one's are totally stupid. The video store ones may work if an idiot is working when you call.


04/12/05 - Anna from Taxila: Everyone has got a job and they think whatever they r doing it's right but giving comments r a job also of some people but listen it is the worst job and do you see on this comment board Phil a name he is an idiot because only people intelligent like me can do this:-/)


04/12/05 - Tanya from Colombus: this is not that much good


04/11/05 - Josh from Ohio: Wow, don't know anyone that stupid :P


04/07/05 - peter from fivedock: found num


12/29/04 - Phil from PA: This is some great information on how to get an unlisted number. I did the pizza trick and it worked! THANKS.


11/28/04 - Ten from Texas: Thanks!


12 Responses

  1. tmt07 says:

    While alot of the info provided here is somewhat usable most of it is common knowledge. However it does provide a good resource of ideas and information regarding this topic. Though, it would be just as helpful to include whether the services offered from the list of provided links are free or require a fee or membership to use. I as many people, don’t like to pay for information that may or may not be of any help. Especially considering that there are free reverse phone number resources available online and can also be obtained by simply contacting the operator. I realize that this website is most likely compensated in some way from the businesses for provided their links, which is fine; however I think that it should be mentioned that the listed service will require a payment. Just my thoughts, …..

  2. Andrew says:

    I dont really think calling the telco will work all the time, and here’s why. It’s a little thing called LNP. I guess if you have access to NPAC, like I do, you could just look up the carrier who the TN is active to. NeuStar offers a call in IVR system that basically gives you the same info as NPAC, but its done over the phone. You also need to be subscribed to it. With NeuStar, it only tells you if the TN is ported or not. You would need to use this in conjunction to the LERG to lookup the owners of the NPA-NXX.

    Just a few thoughts.

  3. Jon says:

    LMFAO at Andrew’s post.
    You do realize that almost all the people looking at this site most likely know nothing about what you just said right?
    haha.
    Nice post.

  4. vance decker says:

    ROFL! I wonder how many people realize what you are actually doing while saying whatever it is that your wrote above.

    Typically I *HATE* seo/click scammers, but this time a sense of recursive irony came over me and I thought it was HILARIOUS!

    (it could also be the pot…)

  5. cm says:

    I also find the irony hilarious and my drug of choice is cm

  6. bp says:

    You can call the number with one phone, then call the number again at the same time with another phone that has Repeat Dialing service. If the second call receives a busy signal, then you can hang up, dial *66, then the caller ID will be presented to you when the Repeat Dialing service attempts to connect the call.

  7. ryanfido says:

    I think there’s a small flaw in the method of calling phone billing offices.. I’ve always found it to be 100% easier to call the sales offices, because they’re trained to know about products and plans and services, they have no formal ‘security’ training like other department, yet they have access to all current account like everyone else!

  8. Frank Emanuele says:

    I keep getting numbers on my cell phone as if they are dialed from it. No one has dialed them at this house. Can a neighbor’s phone cause this?

  9. ReginaP says:

    “10/02/05 – Pfunk from Texico (aka texas): Are these posts from another planet? Where on earth did you learn such shotty grammer?! ”

    Leave it to a Texan to misspell both “shoddy” and “grammar”.

  10. VS says:

    I tried all these methods a few times and nobody gives out any information. They usualy want the name and if you don’t give it to the them they don’t help you . All these places can see the number you are calling from on their caller id except for some pizza places if you are calling from a cell phone. I’m sure no one would ever give out a social security number – in less they are increadibly stupid. These methods don’t seem to work for finding who it is that keeps calling. I finally just called my phone company and had them block the number. That worked fine.

  11. tj maxxx says:

    i remember back in the good ole days when this site had links to free reverse lookups and there wasnt all this “oh but thats illegal” nonsense. and now you are telling me if im out of change i should get a cell phone? a cell phone??? i cant play 5 33ms tones on a phreaking cell phone and get a free call!!! my plan wont allow that sort of thing!

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