How to Find a Phone Subscriber’s Info If You Only Know a Phone Number
Page Last Updated 5/2008
PSAP staff often need to track down subscriber information given a phone number. This turns out to be a non-trivial task that requires several steps. You could be lucky when you call the main wireline carrier, Verizon, to find that it is their number and they can just tell you the information but, increasingly, the information you seek will be from a cell or ported number and Verizon will know nothing about it.
This web page proposes an efficient, comprehensive method to determine subscriber information for any phone number in the US (including CLEC, cell, ported, and VoIP numbers).
1. Call the Law/911 Interactive Voice Response number (571-434-5781) at NeuStar to determine if the number has been pooled or ported (see NOTE a. below). This requires prior Law / 911 IVR Registration to get your PSAP’s 8-digit security code (see below on how to obtain one).
2. If the number HAS been pooled or ported the NeuStar IVR will report that “that telephone number currently belongs to <name of telephone carrier>” , then you can go ahead and contact this telephone carrier whose name you are given (see 4. below). Alternately, NeuStar IVR may say “that telephone number does not exist in our records” which means it has not been pooled or ported and thus still belongs to the originally issued carrier (see 3. below to find this carrier’s name).
3. If the number has NOT been pooled or ported, then look up the carrier for the number’s exchange (the first 3 digits in a 7-digit phone number that is alo called an NXX code) in the online NANPA “Utilized Codes Report“. The report screen will ask for a state and NPA (NPA is the area code) and then produce a list of all exchanges (NXX codes) and the carriers to which they are assigned for that area code (see note b.). Thus if one enters Massachusetts and an NPA of 617, one sees a long list of exchanges from 200 through 999 and the names of the telephone company originally assigned to each exchange’s block of 10,000 numbers. Scroll down to the exchange you seek (e.g., in the NPA of 617, the NXX of 203 is listed to Allegiance Telecom, Inc., 214 to Verizon, 216 to Sprint, etc.).
4. Now that you have the owning carrier’s name, you can find a 7 x 24 contact phone number for their security department on the www.askcalea.fbi.gov web site. Click on AskCALEA Forums, then Law Enforcement Forum Login. Go ahead and login and get the telephone company’s phone number. Access to this FBI-related site also requires prior registration and approval as a law enforcement agency to get a password; see below on how to register for CALEA’s Law Enforcement Forum and its Telephone Carrier Database access.
5. Finally, you can now call the carrier and ask for the subscriber info. Each carrier has their own procedures that you must follow to identify yourself and get the subscriber information.
A. IVR at Neustar – go to www.nationalpooling.com. Click on Law Registration (way at bottom of screen in small type). Click on Law / 911 IVR Registration. Call Barry Bishop at 571-434-5597 for general public safety questions on Neustar.
B. CALEA – go to www.askcalea.fbi.gov. Click on AskCALEA Forums. Click on Forums Registration Form. Fill it out and submit. Call Norm Wright at 703-814-4809 for general questions on CALEA
Pooling is when a 10,000 block of phone numbers that used to be assigned to a carrier are now broken up into smaller 1000 number blocks and given to different carriers. The Utilized Codes Report in 3. above only lists the large blocks of 10,000 phone numbers and the carrier to which they were initially issued; any pooled numbers within a 10,000 block will not be known to that original carrier if you call them. Porting is when a number is transferred to another carrier (cell or wireline); the original carrier does not know to which carrier a number is ported.
The number (617) 349-1234 has these parts: 617 is the area code or NPA, 349 is the telephone exchange or NXX code, and 1234 is the specific telephone number within the exchange code.