Published on February 5th, 2020
There is nothing worse than your phone blowing up with unknown numbers calling you. It seems like everyone gets robocalls all the time now.
They always come at the worse time, too. Just when you sit down and decide to scroll through your favorite websites, an unknown number pops up on your screen.
What do you do next? Should you answer the call or hang up? What if a family member or friend got a new number and is trying to get a hold of you? There are lots of reasons that an unknown number can pop up on your screen. Luckily, you don’t always have to answer the phone to find out who’s calling.
In this guide, we give you the details on how to find out the identity of these unknown callers. You don’t even have to be a private investigator to do this! All it takes is an internet connection and a little bit of time.
Common types of callers from unknown numbers are telemarketers, financial services, fraud/scammers, and robocalls. Telemarketers will try to sell you a service.
This service can be anything from insurance for your home or car to changing your utility company or internet service provider.
One of the most common financial services calls is regarding student loans. Often, these calls will be about keeping up with payments or condensing your debt. Sometimes these can be from legitimate companies, but they can also be from scammers.
Scammers will try to solicit personal information, such as a bank account number or social security number.
Unless you made the call to a fraud alert center or some other such relevant communication, and you know who is on the line, never give out personal information.
Robocalls can be the most annoying of all. They usually don’t leave voicemails, and when you answer, a lot of times, there is no response or an automated message on the other end.
Free Resources To Identify Unknown Callers
Websites like unknowncalls.org offer free services where you can look up unfamiliar phone numbers.
All you have to do is type in the unknown number in their search engine. If you’re lucky, another user has already answered a call from the same number, and you can see who is behind the number.
This kind of information is also available to you at the click of a button. You can even type in the phone number on your computer while it’s ringing and discover it’s a scammer calling you before it even goes to voicemail.
Once you know the identity, you can block the number on your phone, and you never have to worry about it bothering you again.
What To Do When You Can’t Figure Out Who Is Calling
If a number you look up isn’t in the search results, you can help out future users by leaving feedback on the website or other forums.
When you answer a call by a robocaller or scammer, you can share this information. It will help hundreds or even thousands of people avoid having to answer the same call in the future.
Texts From Unknown Numbers
These same services are also available for text messages. Unfortunately, these are becoming almost as common as phone calls.
Usually, scam texts contain a link with an offer for free services or even money. Sometimes, these offers can seem real. It might appear to be regarding a personal account, like your Amazon membership. But know—these are scams!
In worst-case scenarios, when you click on the link, it can install malware into your phone. This malware can damage your phone or even steal your personal information.
Avoid these risks by searching for any unknown number. You can help yourself and others from being scammed.