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Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: criminal records, arrests & warrants, inmate records, vital records & more.

Requesting and Finding Unlisted Phone Numbers

Unlisted phone numbers are ideal for protecting the owner of a particular phone number's privacy. This may serve as an advantage or disadvantage, depending on which end of the number you find yourself. If you are concerned with who has access to your own number or do not want the general public to be able to find it, requesting an unlisted number is the best way to prevent this. On the other hand, if you are searching for someone's number and it happens to be unlisted, you may need to employ some dedicated tools in order to find it.

 

Requesting an Unlisted Phone Number

 

If you have been receiving prank or threatening phone calls, or are trying to escape being contacted by multiple parties, you may want to change your phone number and request your service provider to unlist it. These numbers are typically given free of charge, and the company will refrain from publishing the number in directories and online phone books.

Requesting these numbers puts the owner in charge of determining who has access to them. This can be a great asset and allow you more control over who knows your number and who doesn't; however, you may still need to register the number with the Do Not Call Registry to avoid telemarketing calls.

One of the best ways to prevent these unwanted calls is to protect your information such as phone numbers and addresses. Consider very strongly the companies and/or retailers you do business with and provide information to. Ensure you are familiar with their privacy policies, and inquire as to whether they ever sell your information before giving it to them. This is how many telemarketing companies gain access to personal information and phone numbers, and having an unlisted number is only a good guard against them if you don't give it out to others.

 

Finding an Unlisted Number

 

Oftentimes, if you search for a phone number through a search engine your returned result will state that it is unlisted. There are methods to find these numbers for a fee using special search engines or an unlisted phone directory. Other methods used may include conducting a reverse search and contacting the party via address or email.

It is quite commonly known that cellular and VOIP numbers are not published in a standard directory. This can pose a problem if you are searching for someone's number and they only use a cellular phone. In this case, you may need to use a special cellular number directory or contact the service provider for their listings. Many companies offer an elective directory that customers may choose to be a part of, or they may publish their numbers on personal sites, blogs or social network pages.

 

Other Options Concerning Privacy

 

You may always choose to simply dial *67 before calling someone to block your number from view. However, some parties may refuse to allow your call to go through using this method. In addition, if you see on your caller ID that someone is trying to call you from a blocked number, you may choose not to answer it.

Unlisted phone numbers provide an ideal way to protect your privacy, but can also make a number search slightly more difficult. If you are having trouble and receiving unwanted calls and solicitations, you may want to request one from your telephone provider. However, you must remember to keep that number private and avoid giving it to third parties.

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