Sometimes when we get a call/ message from unknown numbers, we wish to know their true identity. Especially when the person on the other end looks suspicious. A typical example is a message which reads somewhat like “KaunBanegaCrorpati me aap lucky winner h 25 lakh ke. Paise lene ke liye aap humare branch manager ko call kare, unka number 9000000000 h”.
In such cases law enforcement officials also need to establish the true identity of the messenger, in order to catch the fraudster. For this they can avail legal channels, like ask for CAF, CDR and other details from the concerned Internet Service Provider.
However, the procedure may involve undue delay, and not everyone can avail legal channels. So, here we shall discuss the freely available public resources, to get nearly accurate information and that too faster.
For a given telephone number, ideally there should be three phases of search:
There are hundreds of websites to find information on telephone numbers in USA and Europe. However, only few websites work well for Indian users.
There are many service providers in India like Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL etc. Knowing the service provider is essential for law enforcement agencies to prevent wasting time by asking records from companies that have no relevant data to provide. In other words, identifying the carrier, enables the police to ask for “Common Application Form”, “Call Detail Records” and other details from the right carrier.
The services below identify the exact service provider for practically any number.
Free Carrier Lookup:
Free Carrier Lookup (https://freecarrierlookup.com/) is one of the best options available today to know the carrier information. To use this service, always use the country code “91” in the first box. The interface of this lookup is:
Along with the carrier information it also provides additional information like:
We may also use their free API service.
For additional accuracy, you may try recharging the number with the identified carrier. If allowed to proceed after entering the target’s number, means the information is accurate.
Caller ID Databases:
Such databases, in the past identified telephone numbers on landline's caller ID display. Now they work on cellular telephone numbers too, with superb accuracy.
EyeCon Android App:
This is our most preferred tool to find information about a number. This excellent caller ID helps identify the caller in the most detailed manner, with a single click on the icon. Using Eyecon you can:
Finally, the greatest benefit is that the app allows you to - Navigate directly to the Facebook profile of the caller! Ya really, don’t you believe it? The same can be done using Messenger but the process is not only tiresome but also messenger blocks the person, if you use the process multiple times.
This Reverse lookup website (https://www.zlookup.com/) has always amazed us with its accuracy. It helps in finding the subscriber information, especially the name associated with the number.
This service is as reliable as True caller. Even when True caller shows wrong subscriber information in some cases, this service shows the right details. To use this service, remember to choose “India” from the drop down box as shown above. And you must use VPN to connect to VPN’s servers in U.S to use the service.
True Caller is the most popular telephone number lookup service in India. Most of us have installed and used this application in our phones. After installation, when we receive a call from an already saved numbers, it simply displays that contact. However, when the caller is not in our contact list, it searches its database and provides the result accordingly. The results are generally shockingly accurate. Most of us wonder how?
When we install the application, we give it the permission to collect all of our contacts and upload them to their master database. Thus, billions of users across the globe have uploaded their “Contact list” in the True Caller server, for the world to see. No wonder this service is so accurate.
You can also search using their website https://www.truecaller.com/
Pipl search engine (https://www.pipl.com/) allows search using a “telephone number”. We can also filter the results by location. We should enter the number without dashes or spaces similar to 1234567890. This improves the accuracy of the results.
The result identifies any profiles created with the given number. The information received from these profiles often includes date of birth, close friends, full name etc. However recently, the service has stopped its free service and you need to use its paid service.
Search engine should always be considered when searching for information about a given telephone number. We must place the number within double quotes to search effectively. However, at times the numbers are not in standard format. Criminals and tech experts, do this deliberately to confuse both the search engines as well as spammers. For example, consider the following numbers in letter:
Similarly, in words or mix of letter and words:
So, when we don’t get results for the standard number search, we may use Google’s “OR” operators as explained below.
“201-555-1212” OR “201.555.1212” OR “(201) 5551212” OR “(201) 555-1212” OR “two zero one five five five one two one two” OR “two zero one five five five 1212” OR “two zero one 555 one two one two” OR “two zero one 555 1212”
Additionally, we may search only the last four digits of the number. We shall then receive many false positives, but are less likely to miss any of the relevant results. Finally, the quotation marks are even more important in these non-standard number searches, to prevent the hyphen from being seen as an operator.
Real Life Application:
Once we were searching for all the possible information about a drug peddler’s number. The standard number search, revealed no information. However, searching for the last four digits of the number, provided us the desired lead.