You Don’t Have to Answer: Identifying the Caller Before You Pick Up


We’ve all been there. You pick up the phone to answer a call, only to find yourself stuck on the phone with a telemarketer or someone trying to scam you out of your hard earned money. Caller ID can only go so far and there are ways to get around it. You, of course, can do better. There are a variety of different methods you can use to determine whether someone’s legitimately trying to get in contact with you. The best part is, many of these methods are simple to use and inexpensive. Here’s how you can stay one step ahead of the scammers.

Use Facebook or Twitter

Believe it or not, you can use Facebook or Twitter to help you figure out who owns a number. Just search for the number and Facebook and Twitter will pull up any profiles attached to it. Granted, this method has it’s limitations as well. You might not be able to find the owner if they’ve listed their number as private or if you’re not already friends with that user.

Man using social media on smart phone

Social media is a great tool to use if you’re looking to find an unknown number

Reverse Phone Lookup Services

While social media is a great starting point, the absolute best option has to be using a reverse phone lookup service. These services take numbers you enter and helps you find the true owner of any number by using publicly available data. While you may be worried about the legality of looking up a number, it’s perfectly safe and legal to do so. The best part? Whoever you’re looking up will have absolutely no idea you conducted a search and you won’t have to worry about privacy settings potentially getting in the way.

Using a service like this is a lot easier than you might think. There are dozens of solid websites out there that will perform this valuable service for you. What you’ll need to do is have the person’s full phone number available. If you lost the number, go into your phone’s call history. There’s no need to call the number before hand. Just take the number that you couldn’t identify, type it in, and allow the search engine to find the number.

Some of these websites may even offer a free service. However, with many of these free services, you may find that you’re unable to find detailed information about the owner of the phone. But at the very least you’ll get to see what city they may be calling out of and possibly other information such as the device they’re calling you on and their service provider. A paid service however, would be able to pull up more detailed information such as the name of the owner, their physical address, arrest records, and more. Just decide how much information you really need to make an informed decision.

Generally, you just want to be sure that you feel safe and secure talking to this person. If you do decide that you feel safe try giving them a call back. Just make sure you proceed cautiously, especially if you’re being asked for information like your name or address over the line. Services like the ones we mentioned above are vital to ensuring you’re staying smart and safe on the phone, no matter who’s calling.