Text messaging apps have become the texting champs of our digital world, offering a super easy and affordable way to stay in touch with everyone from your BFFs to your grandma. But the anonymity these apps provide has also made them a go-to tool for cyberbullies and other not-so-nice folks. So, it’s important to know how to track down those text app numbers to protect yourself from any potential harm.
Tracing a text app number can be a bit tricky, as many of these apps are designed to keep users under wraps. But it’s not impossible. Read on to find out!
How to tell if a number is from a text app? (and how to find owner info)
Method 1: Observe the number
In some cases, the number format might reveal its text app origins. Many texting apps assign unique identifiers to their users, often alphanumeric codes or randomly generated strings, unlike traditional phone numbers. However, beware that many text app numbers mimic real phone numbers. Some apps allow users to register their existing phone numbers, while others provide new numbers that closely resemble traditional ones.
If you’re receiving messages from the number, examine the content closely. Text apps often pack a punch of features traditional SMS can’t match. So, if you’re seeing an explosion of emojis, GIFs, or links, it’s a strong hint that a text app is the culprit.
Method 2: Track the number with BeenVerified
If you’re looking for a tool to help you identify the owner of a phone number, BeenVerified is a reliable option to consider. This platform has access to an extensive database with billions of data points, making it possible to locate almost anyone and uncover the identity behind unknown calls or texts, even if the number is from a text app. Simply follow the steps below:
1. Go to BeenVerified’s Reverse Phone Lookup page.
2. Enter the number into the search box and click SEARCH.
Reverse Number Lookup
Find owner information, carrier details, and more
3. Wait for BeenVerified to search through its extensive database to find a match. When it’s done, click on View potential owners to access the individual’s report.
Method 3: Reverse lookup the number with Intelius
For comprehensive phone number lookups, including text app numbers, several online services are available. One prominent example is Intelius. Intelius’s reverse phone lookup service has been around for decades, helping countless people identify unknown callers. It analyzes millions of public records, and offer you valuable insights about the number, including the possible name and address of the owner, their associated social media accounts, employment history, and any potential criminal and traffic records that are available.
Here’s how to perform a reverse phone number lookup with Intelius:
- Go to the Intelius phone number lookup page.
- Enter the number in the search box and click SEARCH.
- Click CONFIRM and the search will start.
- Once the search is finished, you can access the report by clicking on the VIEW REPORT button. The report can contain a variety of available details about the owner, such as their possible contact information, location history, and associated social media accounts. (To view the report, you’ll need to purchase a membership plan that suits your needs.)
The above image is from a sample Intelius report. Actual Intelius reports may contain more or less information.
Why would some people use a text app number?
There are quite a few reasons why someone might choose to use a text app number instead of their regular phone number. Here are some of the most common:
- Separation of personal and professional life: A text app number can be used for business or online interactions, keeping those contacts separate from personal ones.
- Anonymity: Some people prefer the anonymity of using a temporary or burner number for online interactions or dating apps.
- Two-factor authentication: Some websites and services require two-factor authentication using a mobile number. A text app number can add an extra layer of security without involving your personal phone number. Or in some cases, people simply don’t have a regular phone number to receive such verification code, and that’s where a text app number can come in handy3.
- Affordable international calls: Text apps often offer cheaper international communication than traditional phone plans, making them ideal for travelers or people who want to maintain closer contact with loved ones living abroad. For example, one British woman who had a “prison pen-pal” in the US downloaded a TextMe app so they could talk on the phone.4
So that’s pretty much all we have to share on how to tell if a number is from a text app, and how to search for detailed information on the number owner. Hope you find the post helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.
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- Misc. Tech Support & Discussion [samantha]. (2011, Jul 14). How can i figure out who is texting me from a “text free” app? [Online forum post]. groovyPost Forums. https://forum.groovypost.com/topic/1283-how-can-i-figure-out-who-is-texting-me-from-a-text-free-app/ ↩︎
- r/samsunggalaxy [Artistic-Working4111]. (2023, May 17). Which messaging app do you use and why [Online forum post] Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/samsunggalaxy/comments/13jf5yl/which_messaging_app_do_you_use_and_why/ ↩︎
- iOS and iPadOS [Dawn]. (2020, 13 December). apps that give you a phone number? [Online forum post] AppleVis. https://www.applevis.com/forum/ios-ipados/apps-give-you-phone-number ↩︎
- Questions about WriteAPrisoner.com [Haleymoo]. (2021, Feb 18). Hey guys, I’m nee to all this lol I’ve been in contact with my pp using jaypay but we want [Comment on the online forum post Getting a US number ?]. WriteAPrisoner.com. https://writeaprisoner.com/prison-forum/questions-about-writeaprisonercom/getting-us-number ↩︎