We’re currently living in a digitalized world where every piece of information is interconnected. If an investigation is being carried out, the investigator only needs one or two details about the underlying person to generate a complete profile containing all necessary information that can help in the investigation.
While that is the case, there’s a limit to the information about another person that ordinary civilians can access – most of these tools for investigation are used by law enforcement agencies only. Luckily, some investigative tools like the Phone Number tracker are available to regular civilians. Although the information a civilian gets from tracking a phone number is minimal, it’s enough to help locate the person or at least give enough details about the number’s owner for a proper investigative team to work with in security-sensitive cases.
In addition, advancement in technology has made tracking a phone number a seamless exercise that can be done on the go on a smartphone. More so, we’ve seen competition from different phone number tracking services which has over time caused them to offer better services including more advanced functionality like real-time pinging and remote GPS tracking.
In this article, we will outline some ways through which you can track a phone number. While some of these methods require you must have had physical contact with the device using the underlying phone number, many of them do not require much before you’re given full access to what you need for tracking the number.
Methods to Track a Phone Number
Granted that the methods for tracking phone numbers and devices these days are fairly simple and straightforward, we would like to emphasize that the information below is for educational purposes only. Tracking a phone number for ulterior motives is illegal in some countries. More so, if the person being tracked decides to press charges, you can face some jail terms.
If you’re not tracking a minor for their safety, make sure you seek the permission of the adult especially if it’s not a security-sensitive issue.
Using IMEI Trackers
Perhaps one of the oldest ways of tracking mobile devices – it has been around before GPS functionality got on our cell phones. IMEI is an acronym for International Mobile Equipment Identity – it’s a 15-17 digit code written on the back of the carton of every phone. Tracking with IMEI numbers is free, the only downside is some cases is that you need to have direct access to the underlying device or its carton, or at least before you thought tracking would be necessary.
On smartphones, IMEI numbers are written in the Settings >> General >> About section. If you find it challenging to locate, simply dial ‘*#06#’, and the IMEI number should pop up on your screen.
Next, you want to use an IMEI tracker using the app which is available on both the Google Playstore and Apple App Store, or with a web-based tracker. While this often gives expedited results, you can also work with your cell phone service provider to help with the tracing by giving them the IMEI number. The time for delivery of results can vary depending on the service provider. Although the process is overall slower than tracking the phone number yourself, they often provide more detailed information than what you get from other third-party IMEI trackers.
At any rate, understand that IMEI tracking tracks the phone itself. Getting access to the phone number is a by-product because the SIM card carrying the phone number is probably still in the phone.
Using Third-Party Smartphone Apps
This is perhaps the most common method used to track phone numbers – credits due to the number of apps available to carry out the same exercise. Many of these apps run as parental guidance tools, as such, you need to have access to the phone number or phone at least once to link it to the tracking tool. Some, however, are direct phone tracking apps that only need you to input the phone number before generating information that can get you the location of the number holder.
At any rate, understand that the best results are often with apps that run paid services. Even though some may give a decent performance while displaying ads, it’s not much compared to what’s available on the premium tools.
Here are some third-party phone numbers and phone tracking apps (available on Play Store and App Store) you can check out to know the exact service that they offer.
- Social Catfish
- Instant Checkmate
Perhaps the one we would say is the least effective in-group – it doesn’t give the real-time location of the person being traced, just details about the address that is registered with the phone service provider. Nevertheless, Whitepages is one of the best platforms to search for a person’s details through their number. Entering the phone number can give you details like the owner’s name, address, business and occupation, and known relatives. More so, it’s a free online resource, which is a total deal breaker if all you need is information about the person, not necessarily real-time location.
Using Native Phone Locators
The easiest of the group – is native phone locators. Aside from being easy, it’s also free, the only downside is that you’re tracing the phone directly, not necessarily the phone number as can be done with the last two options above. Also, you have to be tracking a smart device, button phones don’t have the necessary hardware for it to work.
Androids and iPhones each have in-built device locator apps in case the phone gets stolen or misplaced. Both smartphone types involve having knowledge of the Gmail or Apple ID signed into them before you can start the search. More so, it’s a functionality that you want to set up before any incidence of misplacement or theft occurs.
You can get an extensive guide on setting up the ‘Find My Device Feature’ on each type of smartphone by visiting Android Support and iPhone Support respectively. The cool thing about searching for phones with this method is that it gives real-time surveillance of the device while still being a free resource.
Although there are a plethora of methods that can be used to track phone numbers, the best methods are either paid services or require constant internet connection from the device being tracked. Meanwhile, we advise reporting to law enforcement agencies as soon as you can if you’re tracking for a security-sensitive purpose.