With advanced technology available at the fingertips of the average user, it seems like the ability to unmask a phone number contacting you should be an easy no-brainer. Interestingly, phone services have largely elected to not do anything to enable you to easily figure out who’s calling you. Depending on several factors, it can be far easier to do so during the phone call or after the fact. We’ll go over all the major ways to uncloak a hidden caller’s true number.
There are several names for a caller with no ID. This depends on the phone model you have, whether it is a cell phone, and what the carrier has defined. Other names include “Unknown Caller” and “No ID.” If you have an old fashioned landline phone, you typically have fewer options to track down that caller.
First, there is the famous *69 that you can use. Once you receive a call on a landline or cell phone, you can hang up and then dial *69. Timeliness is key here because if you receive another call after the unknown caller ID one, this numeric sequence will tell you that number instead.
There is a lesser known numeric sequence that you can use if someone is harassing you as an unknown caller. You can dial *57, which will take the information and make it so that you can easily pass it onto the police. If you have a restraining order against someone, this can help to prove that the person is breaking it. Again, you’re better off using the *69 sequence if it’s just a run of the mill inquiry.
You could also contact your phone service provider to retrieve a number. Contrary to popular perception, when a caller chooses to hide their number, it is still logged by phone carriers. Make sure you get a log if you’re on a landline. Your provider is required by law to keep these logs, typically running about three years. If you have a cell phone, you can access logs on your own device. When you contact your provider regarding a no caller ID call to your cell phone, make sure to collect the time and date of the call in question. They will need this to assist you.
If you use an iPhone, there is a special set of steps you can take. While both Android and iPhone devices have ways to block these pesky unknown caller ID calls, the iPhone method is more standardized. Different Android devices have similar yet different means to perform this action. On your iPhone, you can go to Settings -> Phone. On this item, you can hit the “Silence Unknown Callers” option and turn it to “On” from “Off” on the switch icon.
While unknown callers or those with caller ID enabled have that capability, it’s important to know your abilities and rights as a landline or mobile phone customer. This knowledge will help you ensure that your rights to block harassing callers and know who is contacting you are upheld.