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How to Use a Cellphone Directory to Trace Numbers

If you're tired of getting annoying calls from telemarketers and others, consider using a cellphone directory service to trace the numbers and identify unknown callers.


  • Step 1: Enter the number into a search engine Enter the phone number into a search engine. The caller may have entered personal info online.
  • Step 2: Consider using Smartphone apps Try using reverse directory smartphone apps that allow you to enter a number into a database and get caller names and addresses.
  • TIP: Directory search results should include the phone number owner's name, address, wireless carrier, and even the names of previous owners.
  • Step 3: Find reverse directory services online Find online reverse directory services like Most of these services charge a fee, but reputable services offer a free search to determine if the cell number is available in their database.
  • Step 4: Consider directory services offering extra info Consider using directory services that offer info beyond an unknown caller's name and address, such as a criminal background checks, for safety reasons. Once you have an idea who's calling, you'll know what steps to take next.
  • FACT: In 1940, Motorola developed the Handie-Talkie, a portable 2-way radio forerunner of the cellphone, used during World War II.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Smartphone reverse directory app
  • Reverse directory service fees

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