Last update on: 9:08 am May 21, 2023 by fashionabc

Call a Private Number for Free With *69

Following an FCC mandate to allow private calling, telephone companies created a service called Last Call Return that automatically calls the last number that called your phone, whether or not the call was private.

The service is free for many, but not all, providers. To activate it, dial *69 (in the U.S.) on a landline or cellphone before another call comes in.

The drawbacks of this approach depend on the phone service provider. For example, some providers supply a computer-generated voice that tells you the number along with the option to place a call. Other telephone providers call back the private number and don’t provide you with the number.

In addition, *69 doesn’t work with all phones, and some carriers limit the time window to activate the service to 30 minutes after you receive the call.

Using *69 could make your problem worse. Some blocked calls are automated callers who want to confirm if your number is active. They intend to sell your number to other scammers, and by calling back, you are letting the system know it called an active line.

Check Phone Provider Logs

Your telephone service provider keeps a log of your incoming and outgoing calls. To access this list, sign in to your account and enter your account password.

Screenshot of billing and usage of phone contract showing a call log of calls received

Sometimes the numbers of private callers are listed here, unmasked. To find the number, check the phone log on your phone to find the time the blocked call came in. Then, look online at the call log, sometimes under the billing and usage menu, for a match with the date and time.

The length of time call records are kept varies with each phone carrier. Typically, these records are held for one to seven years and can be used in criminal investigations.

Find Out Who’s Calling From a Private Number With Reverse Number Lookup

Once you find the number, use a reverse phone lookup to get more information. Type the number in Google or the public Yellow Pages to learn if the number belongs to a cellphone or a landline and find where the phone is registered.

Some telephone providers offer a call-tracing service to end unwanted calls that are harassing, obscene, unlawful, or threatening. In most cases, to activate this service, press *57 or #57. Some phone providers offer this service for free, while others require a small monthly fee. If you don’t want to download an app, you can also use a site like, who lets you look up phone numbers with their powerful reverse lookup function.

Use a Service to Unblock Private Numbers

You can pay for a service such as TrapCall to unblock a private number. TrapCall is a tool that unmasks private and blocked callers. It can provide the phone number and the name the phone is registered to. It can also provide the caller’s address and offers a blocklist option to block future calls.