How to Track a Phone Number With Ease and Legality

find phone with phone number

Are you looking to track a phone number for safety reasons or to find a lost device? Understanding how to track a phone number effectively and legally is crucial in today’s connected world. We will guide you through tested methods, important legal considerations, and steps you can take to accurately pinpoint a phone’s location or owner.

From service providers to reverse lookup platforms and real-time tracking apps, this article will provide insights into reliable ways you can keep track of a phone number without violating privacy laws.

Legal Framework for Phone Number Location Tracking

Statista projects that the global app market will expand by 8.83% between 2022 and 2027, reaching a market value of US$673.80bn. In light of this, it is anticipated that the mobile phone tracker app market will also experience substantial growth in terms of both revenue and market size.

Though technology empowers us to accomplish a lot, we must keep in mind the legal limitations that come with it. Whether you are a parent keeping tabs on your child’s phone or a business owner safeguarding your assets or looking to improve employee productivity, comprehending the legal consequences of your actions is paramount.

It is not illegal to monitor your child’s online activity or whereabouts unless they are considered an adult. On the other hand, using a parental control app on an adult’s phone without their consent is considered a crime according to US civil laws protecting individual privacy rights.

While the specific statutes may vary from state to state, the overarching principle is that individuals have a right to privacy, and monitoring their phone activity without consent could constitute an invasion of that privacy.

As for employee GPS tracking, in the United States, federal law generally allows businesses to use it for legitimate business reasons. Note that a legal entity should establish a GPS tracking policy and may need to get employee consent before implementing this technology. 

Service Provider Support in Case Your Phone Is Lost or Stolen

If you have lost your phone or it has been stolen, your service provider can be the first point of contact. Service providers have the capability to track the general location of your phone or verify the location of the cell phone number within their network.

This may involve using cell tower triangulation, i.e. combining data from three cell towers, or other methods, to determine the approximate area where your phone was last active. Besides, carriers like T-Mobile offer free online tracking services that use GPS. This option might be even more convenient than contacting their support center.

A T-Mobile feature called Lookout is a mobile security app that safeguards your device from malware, theft, and enables phone tracking. The web version of the app is also available for use. Just visit Lookout.com and log in to your account. Then, select “Find My Device.” If the process is successfully completed, the location of your device will be displayed on a map.

How to Track a Phone Number in Real Time

track someone's location

Knowing phone number location in real time can be especially useful for parents wanting to monitor their child’s whereabouts or for individuals trying to find a lost or stolen phone. But exactly how can real-time location tracking of a phone number be achieved? It is time to figure it out.

GPS-Based Tracking Capabilities

GPS-based tracking involves using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to determine the precise location of an object, person, or vehicle in real time or over a period of time.

The technology has several benefits, including:

  • Rapid tracking capabilities
  • Precise positioning data
  • Locating lost or stolen devices
  • Monitoring the movements of staff and family members
  • Detecting potentially fraudulent activity

Given that GPS accuracy varies depending on environmental factors, weather, device location, etc., GPS-based tracking may have certain disadvantages and limitations. For example, GPS signals can be blocked or weakened by tall buildings or heavy foliage, leading to inaccuracies in tracking.

Overall, GPS technology has greatly improved location services, making it easier for individuals and businesses to track assets and people in real time.

Real-Time Location Tracking Apps

Numerous GPS tracking apps can provide real-time location tracking and even the exact location of a mobile phone. Among the leading ones are FollowMee GPS Tracker, Google Maps, and the Find My app. These apps use GPS and cellular data to pinpoint the location of a mobile phone or another device associated with a specific phone number, making it possible to track someone’s location.

By installing these apps on your child’s phone, for instance, you can keep track of their location in real time using the GPS feature of their phone.

To monitor your child’s location, you can also consider parental control apps. Top parental control apps offer a range of features that can be customized to the particular needs of your family. From real-time location tracking to geofencing and location history, these features can help ensure your child’s safety and give you peace of mind.

There are certain aspects regarding parental control tools that parents should be aware of.

According to Digital Wellness Lab research, young children generally have good opinions of monitoring since it makes them feel safer. But the older they get, the more negatively they view tracking. The researchers believe that removing some limitations over time and encouraging open communication between parents and children will help kids develop thoughtful and safe behavior.

Without an App: Alternative Ways to Track a Phone Number

Although apps can effectively track a phone number, there exist other techniques that do not necessitate an app. Location sharing and IMEI numbers can be just as efficient for phone number tracking. Let’s examine these alternatives.

Location Sharing Feature in Action

The location sharing feature is available on many devices. By enabling location sharing, individuals can:

  • Share their real-time location with selected contacts
  • Keep track of their child’s location
  • Coordinate meetups with friends or family members
  • Find lost or stolen devices

Location sharing offers convenience and safety, allowing users to stay connected with loved ones and easily navigate their surroundings. However, you should understand and manage your privacy settings when using location sharing to ensure your information remains secure and accessible only to trusted individuals.

The Role of IMEI Numbers in Locating Phones

Another method to track a phone without an app is through the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This unique 15-digit code is used to identify a mobile device. In the United States, tracking a phone’s location using its IMEI number typically requires involvement from law enforcement agencies or authorized personnel.

Law enforcement agencies need legal authorization, such as a court order or warrant, to track a phone’s location by its IMEI number. Once authorized, they can work with cell phone carriers to determine the location of the requested device.

Individuals who have lost or had their phones stolen can report the incident to their mobile operator and provide the phone’s IMEI number. The mobile operator may be able to track the device’s location or take measures to prevent unauthorized use, such as blocking it from accessing the network.

Using Reverse Phone Lookup Services to Identify Unknown Numbers

track a mobile phone number

Next, we will examine a method renowned for its precision in tracking a phone number — a reverse phone lookup. Reverse phone lookup services have databases full of information about phone numbers, from the registered owner’s name to their location history. The data is taken from public sources, which means you can access information legally, without any privacy concerns.

Whether you are dealing with an unknown number on your caller ID or trying to verify a new acquaintance’s phone number, these services can be a helpful resource.

The Essentials of Reverse Phone Number Lookup

The process is pretty straightforward. You input the phone number into the service’s search bar, and the service provides you with the available information related to that number. The data can include the individual’s name, address, and social media profiles, among other details.

However, take into account that the accuracy of this information is not guaranteed to be 100% due to the possibility of multiple individuals owning the same number and recent number changes. Therefore, it is better to use multiple sources to re-check the information before making any conclusions or decisions based on the data provided by the service.

What Makes Nuwber Worth Considering

Nuwber takes its place among the best reverse phone lookup sites. It delivers comprehensive search results on individuals, providing precise and current reports. You only need to enter the phone number to get Nuwber to furnish details about the individual contacting you. This information can come in handy when you are trying to authenticate unidentified callers.

Advanced Phone Number Tracking Techniques

As technology advances, so do the methods of tracking a phone number. In the following part, we will delve into phone number tracking strategies that extend beyond the basic ones, namely leveraging social media and third-party tracking solutions.

Leveraging Social Media for Location Insights

With the prevalence of social media, it is no surprise that these platforms can provide valuable location information. By searching for a phone number on platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you might be able to uncover the owner’s name and additional details based on their privacy settings.

What is more, you can search for geotagged posts or check-ins on social media platforms to see if the person has shared their location in previous posts or photos. Geotagged posts provide explicit location information, such as the name of a city, neighborhood, or specific venue, allowing you to gather insights into the person’s whereabouts.

Third-Party Tracking Solutions

Third-party tracking solutions offer another way to track a phone number. Services like CallRail and Invoca are commonly used by businesses and marketers to track and analyze phone calls generated from various marketing channels, such as online advertisements, websites, and offline campaigns.

Even though these services are freely accessible, businesses must comply with applicable laws and regulations when using the above call-tracking solutions. This entails obtaining consent from callers before recording calls and adhering to data protection laws like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) if applicable.

It is necessary to use call-tracking data responsibly and ethically, ensuring the privacy and security of caller information.

Summary

Phone number tracking is not devoid of some obstacles. Geographical restrictions and inactive or disconnected numbers can render tracking a phone number difficult. Yet, with perseverance and the correct strategies, these challenges can be overcome. Remember, tracking a phone number is not just about finding the exact location or identifying the caller, it is also about maintaining safety, protecting privacy, and handling the information responsibly.

FAQ

How do I track the location of a phone number?

To track the location of a phone number, you can use methods such as a reverse phone search service, a GPS tracking app, location sharing, an IMEI tracker, social media, and a third-party tracking solution. These methods can help you determine the location corresponding to the phone number.

How do I track someone’s location on my phone?

If someone shares their location with you, you can track it with the Google Maps app. To track someone’s location on your phone, open the Google Maps app, tap your profile picture, select “Location sharing,” and then tap the profile of the person you want to find. You can also update the person’s location by tapping on their icon and selecting “Refresh.”

What are some effective parental control applications for monitoring a child’s phone location?

Consider trying Kaspersky Safe Kids or Norton Family for precise real-time location tracking and additional safety features for your child’s phone.

What are the typical challenges encountered in phone number tracking?

The typical challenges in phone number tracking include signal blocks from obstacles, SIM-based tracking risks, increased data usage, and accuracy issues due to location errors or GPS signal reception challenges.

What is the operational mechanism of сaller ID systems?

Caller ID systems operate by recognizing an incoming caller through their name and phone number, using a Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) technique to transmit ASCII character data to the receiving device. This allows the recipient to see the caller’s information before answering the call.

Unfortunately, this feature isn’t perfect, as sometimes the phone number can be deliberately changed by a spoofing service to mislead the person receiving the call.

Overall, сaller ID is a useful tool in most cases.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this text is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. We recommend consulting legal professionals for personalized guidance on any particular legal matter. 

Eugene Kirdzei
Eugene Kirdzei

Chief Technical Officer at Nuwber
With nearly two decades of experience in the IT industry, Eugene possesses comprehensive knowledge across his professional field, including in data management, data protection, and information search. Through his writing, he aims to provide valuable insights and practical advice on how to safely explore the online environment and leverage digital tools to enhance people’s lives.