Useful tools for investigating junk faxes
Who owns a phone number
The fastest, easiest and simplest way to find out who owns any phone number
is Phone Search Central. If
they can't find it, there's no charge. I gave them a tough number and in about
30 minutes, they had the correct subscriber name, address, and phone company and
also told me whether it was still active. I highly recommend this!
If you want to do things the harder way (which is NOT worth the time),
http://www.fonefinder.net will tell
you which company owns the phone number. You can then subpoena that company to
get the owner of the phone number.
Address and phone of a person
http://www.peoplefinders.com is a
reasonable service. Their "people search subscription" works reasonably well,
finding all sorts of things, including some things that are completely wrong.
Don't use this for 800 number reverse searches...I never got anything even
remotely useful from those (and they will reverse the charge on these
automatically if you make a mistake). For cell phone numbers doing a reverse
search, it will tell you only the name of the subscriber; and the location of
the number when it was originally assigned; no address of the person. It is
annoying that on every search it prompts you to sign up for a $16.95 "savings"
program. The link to sign up is huge. The link to say "no thanks" is below it in
small type, and somewhat hard to find. I did a criminal search on a guy I knew
was convicted and it wouldn't tell me what county it was in, but it did find it.
This service is a bit pricey, but may be your lowest cost option if you've
exhausted the alternatives.
www.FreePhoneTracer.com charges $10 per phone number lookup. No hit, no
charge. They don't charge for info that is publicly available.
How to find out the merchant ID of the company
You may have to put a small $ transaction through in order to get complete
info. Having a rejected transaction may only give you the "name" of the vendor
as it would appear on your statement which can be quite obscure and often bogus.
Bank of America ShopSafe is the best option. You can generate a one time
number (including the 3 digit code) that is tied to your credit card and you can
set a $ and time limit on that unique card number. But once a merchant charges
to that card, it is locked to that merchant. So it is really safe.
Buxx number or a
Visa reloadable card is another choice. Keep the amount in the account
really low. When they try to charge your card, you can find out their merchant
ID but ONLY if the transaction goes through! If it doesn't go through, then you
only get the info that would appear on your bill (which could be bogus and it is
not traceable). There are monthly fees though even if you don't use these cards. The B of A ShopSafe has no additional fees.
How to find the Florida seller of travel number
Call 800-435-7352 or 850-488-2221 and they tell you if a seller of travel is
registered and their complaint history. This is not available on the website.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulate sellers
of travel in the State of Florida. If you want to file a complaint you can at
our website www.800helpfla.com at our home page on the left or you can call us
at 1-850-488-2221 or in Florida at 1-800-435-7352.
When I want to find out information about a possible FL State Seller of
Travel, I call Sophie Campfield (850-410-3713) or Will Harter
(850-410-3763). If they have a company registered in their office as a FL
State Seller of Travel, then they will respond to a FOIA request and provide
you with lots of information about the company...
There is a similar sellers of travel department in CA, but I haven't dealt
with them much...
Tracking down violators
This page at tcpalaw.com is an excellent resource of all sorts of information
including forms to get PO Box information.
Recording phone conversations
I use Personal call Recorder from
www.digital-loggers.com. I use the
free WavePad from www.nch.com.au and sample
at 16000 and save it in MP3 Constant bit rate CBR 16kbps (high quality).
For lower quality and fast saves, capture at 8K and save in .wav format, PCM,
8kHz, 8 bit, mon, 7Kb/sec. Be sure it is legal first:
Number Administration System
shows the responsible organization for each number. You then send a subpoena to
the company to find out who owns it.
800 number ownership
As far as finding the resp org, in theory your long distance carrier should
be willing to supply that for you.
Ameritech has an automated service at
800-337-4194; they typically give a service number associated with the Resp Org,
which you can then call to find out who the Resp Org actually is. A third
"If you don't know who to subpoena, use the RESPORG services or go to:
this works for non-toll free numbers too!)
and find out the provider and then go to:
(download the "Feature Group D CIC assignments" zipfile)
to get their contact info. Call to ask WHO to send a subpoena to, then send
You can also try 1-800
Toll free number search program to locate vanity 800 numbers.. You can type
in the toll free number in the "Vanity number lookup" at the top of the page and
it will also get you the RespOrg. As before, you'll have to subpona the RespOrg
to find who purchased that number. I've had excellent results from this site.
If you have a login, you can go right to the source: www.sms800.com
For Canadian numbers: see CO Code
With respect to subpoenas to resp orgs, I've found that you can generally fax
the subpoena to them and simply ask that they fax the answer back. In three of
three cases, they have simply faxed the information back to me.
See the question on the Junk fax Q&A
on "The junk fax has a toll free response number on it. How can I found out
who owns it so I can sue them?"
See also next section.
Phone number ownership
Find out who owns a number or who is calling you!
Offers a very comprehensive set of searches and is very similar to
Docusearch. Unlike Docusearch they can trace the source of a fax call into your
phone number. This is the only service we know of that lets you do that without
your having to change your incoming fax line into an 800 number (they can't
block their callerID if you have an incoming 800 number).
The way their service works is that you forward your fax line to their number
and they forward the call back to your number instantly. In the process, they
pick off the callerID that you can't get. So let's say you get 10 faxes a day. You just
note the time you receive each fax and correlate it to the list they give you of
phone numbers that called you at the same time. So you can identify the number
of every single fax you got over any time period! It's called the Trace Phone Calls Search.
The Abika "Trace Phone Calls" service is highly recommended because you get the phone numbers of
each of the junk faxers that called you regardless of how they are trying to
block their number. Then you can use the other Abika searches to find out who they really are (billing name and address, etc). Then
you can sue the sender of the faxes. This is particularly useful for pump and
dump faxes and the 900 number "we want your opinion" faxes because
these faxes generally never identify who is sending them (since they want to
avoid lawsuits) and if they have an opt-out number, it is generally
blocklist.com and that's totally useless since blocklist doesn't identify
individual clients...they just give the list to all their clients. So you can't
sue blocklist and blocklist can't tell you who sent the fax. In fact, someone
can just list the blocklist numbers and not even be a blocklist client! So
that's why the Abika service is so important and it's the only one we know of
that does this.
The cost is $79.96 ($69.98 plus 9.98 processing charge) for the first month; $10 for 1 month extensions. You get 100
minutes of talk time free with your initial order. You can buy additional 60
minutes of talk time for $10 each. For Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico
you get 50 minutes of talk time free with your order. You can buy additional 30
minutes of talk time for $10 each.
Note: You will probably not be able to forward back to the original number. This
will depend on the local phone or cell phone company and often on the area, even
within the same phone company. They have a database of the phone / cell
companies and the areas where it works and it does not. For areas where it gives
a busy signal the call has to be returned to a different phone number or
But for fax lines, if you don't have a second line handy or a fax machine
that timestamps when the fax was really received (I don't have either), the best
option is to do what I did and just forward my fax number to Abika's call center
and then have them forward it the phone number of an efax service U sign up for
such as www.efax.com. So you don't have to
have another phone line installed, and you get an electronic record of
everything, including accurate receipt times that you can then correlate to
their call logs. And you can set everything up instantly (the efax number is
instant; call forwarding may take a couple of business days to add).
Abika can immediately tell you
of the caller's origin number and billing address. You either call or email them
for the info. This is part of the "Call Trace" monthly service. So to
do a live trace, you must do the same as described above, i.e., forward your
number to them and have it forwarded back. As long as the call is 5 seconds or
longer, you'll know who called you.
The service works virtually 100% of the time, even if the number is "out
of area" or blocked and even when they were unidentifiable by callerID,
*69, and *57. Basically, they get the ANI (Automatic Number Identification)
information that certain businesses get (more
info on ANI). Getting ANI delivered realtime to your
home or office requires installation of digital equipment and a separate digital
line, and programming at the CO. So Abika is the quick and easy way to
accomplish the same result (getting the ANI information), but without the
hassle, cost, or time delay.
Here's what they write:
We have had hundreds of customers who have used our call trace. If you would like to test us out, I can activate trace for a number you
specify and you can ask any of your associates to dial that number from any
unlisted, anonymous phone number or even using *69 and check us out. We will
trace the origin number for all calls that originate in US and Canada. The
proof is in the pudding. The test will speak for itself. (Can we get the $20
for winning the bet!:)
Regarding our price list, we do not have fixed pricing of our products. Our
prices are dynamic and vary according to the complexity of the various
searches we offer. Where is the price list? Each search is unique and gets the
attention it requires. Prices vary depending on whose and what information you
are searching as some information is easier (cheaper) to search and some more
difficult (expensive). Once you fill out the search form with the search
criteria and click "next" you will see the prices for that
particular search. If the information is easy to search then that particular
search is listed as FREE!
Q Regarding most of our searches? A. You can try any of our searches. All
of them have a money back guarantee for inaccurate information found. As a
businessperson you would be interested in knowing that the Wall Street Journal
got the full report on Richard Scrushy (ex CEO) of Healthsouth's suspect
activities from us even before anyone else in the media or investment
community suspected anything. The time when WSJ got the full report
Healthsouth was a high flying stock. In most of the searches we offer, we have
the best sources for the information. We have even had a senior editor of
People Magazine, a few magazine reporters and news anchors of a couple of
local TV stations use us to get information for some of their stories and
Here are some testimonials from customers who agreed to publish their
You maybe interested to know that we offer a similar service to trace emails
and instant messages. emails and IM traces are available for the whole of N.
America, W. Europe, India, S.Africa and the Pacific Rim Countries including
Australia and Japan. I wonder when many of the so called tech gurus say that
emails and IM's are untraceable. We have conducted thousands of these traces
with a success rate of more than 98%. A few major corporations use us to trace
emails and IM's.
If you have any more questions or need any more information please do not
hesitate to contact us online. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or if you choose you can call us at:
Junk Fax Library
Maintained www.junkfaxes.com. Just hit
that search button (any extra info is optional) and you'll be amazed. Search for
your favorite junk faxer here. Not terribly up to date, but an excellent
resource. Try searching by removal number here.
Find out who owns an 800 number, regular phone number, and more. Expensive (well
under $100), but some stuff you can
only get this way. If they can't find it, there's no charge.
Also use Ameritech's automated RespOrg ID service: 800-337-4194.
Call trap procedure
This is guaranteed to get your offender.
Have the phone company put a "trap" on the line, make note of when the
calls came in. You must have the EXACT time of each call (e.g., I set my fax
machine to the The official U.S. time and
then I print out the "activity report" of the fax machine which shows the
time of each fax transmission). Then I report it by calling the Annoyance and Tracking line. For SBC,
the number is 800-698-7223. After you get two faxes from the same sender,
if they can't get a number, then they can put traps at the remote location and eventually you get them.
Hit 0 to speak a live person when calling the SBC number. You also need to call the police/sheriff and get a case number (associated
with harassment calls). They'll come out to your house and hand you a piece
of paper with your police case # on it. The phone company will release the info to
the police using that case #. You'll also need to file a small claims action
against the junk faxer (use your best guess as to who it is using clues on
the fax.com page; you can amend the
claims later when you find out for sure). That way, you'll get a small
claims case number (which you got when you filed your small claims claim
with the court). You can then go to small claims, get a subpoena
associated with that case number, fax it to the
detective that handles these annoyance calls, and he'll fax you back the
info from the phone company. For fax.com calls, you'll probably then have to
repeat the process with the carrier that was identified in the call trap,
i.e., the trap might tell you that the call was from Global Crossing and
to "call 800-783 7380" for more information
(i.e., the phone number to fax in your request). You'd then fax over your
request for call records, the subpoena, and the call trap results and
they'll fax back the results to the sheriff/police. You then ask the
sheriff/police to release the information to you via the original subpoena
which you asked them to hold. See KirschSBCTraceReport
which shows how I did this. This whole process will cost you absolutely $0
out of pocket since the subpoena is free and you normally need not pay
someone to "serve" the subpoena because law enforcement is happy
to comply with the subpoena if they a served via fax or mail (rather than
personal service from a paid process server, for example).
Here is some more info on call trap:
Caller ID and My Privacy.
The number for the SBC Annoyance call bureau in my area is 925-867-8101, for
Here's some slightly conflicting advice: Now *all* calls are logged by the
LEC's (Local Exchange Carrier) computers. Ask them (via subpoena) for a call
detail report (CDR) for all calls into and out from your number on the affected
date. *ALL* the phone companies have this data... most for 90 days of history or
more. If they tell you they don't, they are lying
25 cents a search. Highly useful for tracking down people, even with unlisted
phone numbers. Accurint uses a name, past
address, phone number or Social Security Number to obtain the current name,
address and phone number of targeted subjects. Be careful that you don't lookup
someone you don't have a legal reason to lookup, or you can be sued by that
person. So if you are looking up information for a lawsuit, that's ok.
Whois Source - Wildcard Domain Search Lookup
I have a silver membership here. It's totally worth it if you look up website
registration. There are other lots of other reverse lookup tools here if you are
Advanced Research, Inc. - Background Investigations, Asset Searches, Telephone Records, Locates
They will find a bank account owned by the debtor, bank balances for all
accounts in a given bank, bank transactions, credit card transactions, Canadian
phone records, etc. Even international bank account searches. You can find out
where the person is currently employed. Searches that are not available on the
Operation Sting Free
Useful free searches, e.g., within a certain state, lists all the free
services for locating a debtor in that state. For $49, they will do a special
search for you.
MelissaData address lookups
Lookup address related thing
"Return service requested" (preferred) or "Address
service requested" are both ways to find a new address or confirm an
existing address. See this page for a description of each type of endorsement.
Free People Search - Find People - Free People Locator - Find People Free, Skip Tracing, Trace People at skipease.com
variety of people search
Find anyone! We'll locate missing persons, debtors, assets, and
Pay service but worth it.
Satellite photos: You can search by lat/lon,
street address, zip code, or well known locations. Also:
International business name search
Anguilla company name search:
Company Status Search
International phone number search
International phonebooks directory
International Telephone Numbers Directory - City, State, Country Phone Number Look-up
Batch reverse phone number
Use accurint batch mode or a service from
ABA number lookup
ABA routing number verification. Free bank routing number search tool.
Bank account balance: See if funds are in the account you want to levy!
Welcome to www.bettercheck.com
TCPALaw investigation tools
A great list: Tracking down violators
Report bogus domain information
Bogus information in the domain registration in violation of ICANN regulations.
Registrars are required to ensure that registration data is complete & accurate.
You will have to subpoena the registrar for the information on who paid for the
You should also download and capture all information off of the web site and
look to see who hosts the web page, as they can also be subpoenaed for customer
In the meantime, you can report incomplete or inaccurate domain registration
If you want to find out who the officers are, etc. you can order a
"plain" copy of corporate records for any state in the US and some
foreign corporations. See also: Division of Corporations - Authorized Direct Web Vendors
Yellow pages, white pages, and reverse number lookup
forward and reverse phone number lookup. This is a downloadable FREE tool that
searches public databases.
FCC unsolicited fax orders and
Enter the name your favorite spammer and read what the FCC has done about them.
Our favorite spammer, fax.com has 6 separate FCC citations on this page alone!
This site uses the search engine that I invented when I was CEO of Infoseek, by
the way. The FCC citations explain the law much better than anything I've seen
on other sites. Read a few of them to educate yourself on the law.
G E E K T O O L S Whois Proxy
Fast whois lookup
Cell Phone Magic
They will find out who owns a cell phone.
This online store offers a variety of searches and stuff you won't find anywhere
else....like how to get keys for the car you want to levy.
Offering nationwide and international investigative services, spy gadgets,
safety and surveillance products, records research, criminal background checks
and personal information verification services.
Information retrieval for insurance companies, law firms, repossession
agents, financial institutions, collection agencies, private investigators,
bounty hunters, process servers, bail bondsmen, businesses, spouses and parents.
Similar to Docusearch
UPS Store Locator/ mail drop mailbox mail box location
Actually what you ALWAYS do when you have any address of any perpetrator is
simply first go to the UPS Store Locations search page
Excellent maildrop search: Mail boxes - remailing services. Directory of mail drops and mail boxes
Who is at this Address?
If I have an address and I am not sure what it is, or if it's even a real
address, then I always go to www.usps.com and look up the address and the post
office that delivers to the address. Then I call that post office and ask them
if they know what's located at that address. I ask if it is a residential
address, or if it's an office building of some sort. I ask them if they know if
the address is a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA) like a Mailboxes Etc or
UPS Store. The post office is not required to answer these types of questions,
but they can if they want to. I'd say 90% of the time they tell me what I need
FEIN number lookup
Federal Employer ID Number can found here if it is registered: Query RN Information.
Another low cost way is the Knowx.com: FEIN Number information Search Corporation Tax ID Number.
Otherwise www.dnb.com may work.
Very comprehensive searches. Requires a subscription agreement and
Reverse Phone Directory - Find Name and Street Address from Telephone Number:
Beware of selecting the 99 cent option. It obligates you to pay a large sum.
phone number lookup
Find out who owns a phone number
Reverse Address Directory - Lookup Street Address Find Person's Name and Telephone Number to Locate People and See Who Lives There.
Craig Ball's Sampler of Informal Discovery Links
A pretty extensive list of resources
Public Records from KnowX.com
I've found this pretty useful. They charge for searches, but you'll find info
here you can't get anywhere else. Reverse phone number, reverse address,
corporate records, D&B reports, etc.
Get all sorts of info on a person.
Net Detective 2001 people search utility software- HDP Corporate Website
Essentially a bunch of semi-useful hyperlinks, all categorized for you
OnlineDetective.com - unlisted phone numbers dmv records detectives personal public records investigate anything and more !
Seems to be similar to net dectective
Lookup phone number by business name
A search at superpages.com (hint: I usually look for the category
"mail" at the particular address, then if that doesn't turn up a mail
drop, search for any businesses at the address) turns up, for example, 5401
Chimney Rock Apartments 5401 Chimney Rock Road, Houston, TX 77081 (713) 661-3790
Lookup phone number by person name
Canada phone number lookup
United States Postal Service - ZIP + 4 Lookup
Maps and Directions
Handy when they don't give you enough info to confirm you got the right company.
I used this to grab a complete copy of the fax.com website so that they couldn't
California Secretary of State - CalAccess
: Follow the money!
A way to follow the money. Find out who fax.com is hiring as a
much they are paying the lobbyist, and campaign contributions to members of the
Legislature supporting fax.com's bills to make it easier to send junk faxes.
See also California Secretary of State - Campaign & Lobbying
Find out who owns a PO Box
Some popular techniques to find out the owner of PO Box
Telephone Prefix location
If you have a phone like (650) 423-xxxx, it will tell you where that phone is.
It's legal to pick up their trash and comb through it.
ID_Link 2L can record caller
ID for calls to your fax machine
ID-Link 2L hardware provides Caller-ID connection your Windows PC and
call logging for 2 phone lines. ID-Link 2L monitors the phone lines to capture
all incoming and outgoing caller information.
Electronics and Surveillance for Law Enforcement
A wonderful listing of suppliers.
CCS International Ltd: Surveillance, Counter surveillance and Hi-Tech Spy and Security Products
This device is perfect for finding out what your fax.com faxcaster is doing. The
is a self contained fax logging system that will record all your incoming faxes
and outgoing fax transmissions from your fax machine. The FM-400 offers compact
digital fax recording technology for 4 fax machines or can be expanded up to 100
channels. This is Title 3 equipment and can only be procured by state or federal officials.
Shack Call Accountant 200 (Cat.#: 43-446)
CallerID printer (for incoming faxes and attaching to a faxcaster). It does
print out a record of every outgoing call as well as incoming calls. Also, like
a computer it has to be on all the time, and it seems you have to reset the date
every time the power goes out. If you attach to a faxcaster, order
extra paper (Cat.#: 43-1266).
Windermere Standard Products
They make devices to capture fax transmission.
Electronic Countermeasures Inc.
Provides cellular, pager and fax surveillance monitoring systems
to law enforcement and other investigative agencies world-wide. Fax
Surveillance monitoring System 8000 (FSS-8000) connects to the telephone
line of any fax machine or fax modem. It monitors, captures and stores a copy of
all documents sent or received over the telephone line it is connected to.
Stored images can be recalled, displayed and printed. Data rates up to 14,400
are supported. Can only be procured by state or federal officials. (403) 233-0644, Fax (403) 233-8849. Email: email@example.com
GSM, CELLULAR, COMPUTER, FAX MONITORING
Due to federal law, you must be in law enforcement to get access to this site.
This is a free site where you can find lots of information about a person or
a company gathered from analyzing web pages. Very impressive.
Find out who called you
Use the call trace feature offered by the phone company. I did a *57 and got a
"successful" trace, FWIW, plus an announcement that for $8 (plus tax
and tip, no doubt) I can even have it reported the the police. For $8, they can
record the number. Then if you take action, you subpoena the phone company for
the call info, and if it is a subscriber of that phone company, you get info. on
the caller as well. If it's not a subscriber of the phone co, you generally get
who the local carrier is so you know who to subpoena for the subscriber info. If
you were to have the number but want the subscriber info, and issued a subpoena
to SWB, they would charge you a $25 fee for the record search. When you do a
call trace, you get the whole shebang for $8. I've done call traces when I have
the subscriber's name and number, but want a) a sworn affidavit from the phone
company saying that the call was made from number "X" to my number
"Y" at a specific date and time, and b) if it is from a SWB customer,
full ID of the calling party, including name & address where the service is
installed. All for $8, much cheaper than issuing a subpoena for records after
the fact, and with more info.
Locating a company in Calif
http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/list.html That's the CA business search page,
might lead to what you need.
links to all the state corp. search pages on the net. Pretty helpful, if you
still can't find it
has a nationwide corp/dba search for $39.00 .
will let you have private PI's bid for a service you describe.
Can We Tape
Rules regarding taping of phone conversations in each state.
Other useful tools (for Internet and e-mail)
A bunch of useful tools for Internet spamming investigation
Sam Spade for Windows
The classic program for snapping up websites and analyzing paths and mail
How to track who sent you that unsolicited e-mail
> Since SBC is now merged with AT&T, does anyone know where they accept >
subpoenas? Anyone done an SBC or AT&T subpoena lately?
This is the information that I have (not sure what's still correct and what's
old). Please let me know if you get a response from them.
The AT&T Subpoena Center 800-291-4952 (voice) 248-552-1764 (fax)
Southwestern Bell, SBC is now AT&T Teleport Communications Group (TCG) is now
AT&T Corporate Security (Subpoena Compliance) 800-732-5689 800-559-7928 (general
information) Must mail subpoena to: AT&T c/o CT Corporation Systems 1515 Market
Street, Suite 1210 Philadelphia, PA 19102 I was told that they charge $150 for
subscriber information, but that they will refund that money if they simply
rebill service to another telephone service provider. One time they looked up a
number that I gave them on the phone and told me it was rebilled to ICG Telecom
Group, so I didn't need to send a subpoena at all.
Southwestern Bell, SBC is now AT&T Pac/Pacific Bell is www.sbc.com,
800-750-2355 Subpoena Department is 800-291-4952 (1, 5) 208 S. Akard, 10th Floor
Dallas, TX 75202 214-464-2854 (fax) They said that they won't respond to a civil
subpoena from out of state unless I have a search warrant or make a request on a
AT&T long distance and Resp Org information 877-973-7767, 2 Send subpoena's
for toll free numbers to VP Regulatory Long Distance 5850 West Los Positas
Boulevard, Room 302 Pleasanton, CA 94588 I sent a subpoena to AT&T the West Los
Positas address and it was responded to by SBC Southwest at the South Akard
address. I also sent one that never got a response.