How to track a phone number with Call Trace

Call center abuse is illegal. You can track the source of threatening or offensive calls and request assistance from your local law authorities, even for calls originating from private and banned phone numbers Your Brightspeed Home Phone subscription already includes Call Trace. Keep reading for more information on how to deal with harassing calls. 

Tracing a phone number

If you receive a harassing call: 

  1. Answer the phone or check the caller ID to see if it's a call you want to trace. Then, hang up on the caller. If caller ID shows a number that you know is malicious, do not pick up the phone at all

  2. After you have hung up, or after the call has stopped ringing, pick up the phone again and listen for a dial tone

  3. Dial *57

  4. You will receive a recorded message with additional instructions for you to follow

  5. After this, you will hear a message confirming whether the trace was successful along with any charges for the trace

  6. There may be a charge on your next bill. Keep in mind that you will not be given any information about the caller

What constitutes a successful trace?

If the phone number is serviced by Brightspeed, the name and address of the caller are also recorded in a successful trace. The Brightspeed Call Identification Center receives the phone number, name, and address - if applicable.

We are unable to provide you with the caller's personal information due to legal and privacy restrictions. Only upon receipt of a subpoena, court order, or request from a law enforcement agency, may we provide this information.

Note: We are not authorized to answer questions about subpoenas or provide legal advice to our customers.

Next steps

Three successful traces of harassing calls coming from the same number are typically necessary for Brightspeed or local law enforcement to take action. You can ask to take action against the caller after tracing a number three times.

Contact us to discuss your next steps. Be prepared to share any relevant information with us, such as the dates and times you've received and traced harassing calls. 

You can also get in touch with your local police force and let them know that you've been getting harassing calls and that you've tracked them down. The officer who registers your complaint should be identified and given their contact details. If an officer opens a case on your behalf, make a note of the case number.

If your law enforcement agency has questions, have them contact the Brightspeed Law Enforcement Support Team at 1-877-451-1980.

Frequently asked questions about Call Trace

No, Call Trace is already installed on your line. You don't have to order it or have it installed. You're only charged for this calling feature when you successfully complete a trace. Depending on where you live, the fee can be up to $10 per call.

If you successfully trace a call, you hear this message: 

"The last call has been traced, and a $xx charge will be added to your bill. Call tracing is a serious business. If the call was life threatening, call the police. If harassing or obscene calls persist, after three traces, call 833-692-7773 for further instructions. You will not receive the name and number of the party who called you."

If you attempt to trace a phone number, but the trace is unsuccessful, you will hear this message:

"The last call to your telephone cannot be traced, so no charge will be added to your bill. If the problem continues, call Brightspeed at 833-692-7773 for further assistance."

If you're trying to trace a number and are interrupted by Call Waiting, the system will automatically trace the call waiting number as the last incoming call. In this case, unfortunately, you would need to try the trace again if and when another call comes in from the same caller.

Call Trace is available in most areas. Charges will appear in the "Pay Per Use" section of your Brightspeed bill.

If you attempt to trace a call but hear a rapid busy tone instead of recorded instructions, Call Trace may not be available in your area. 

While telemarketing and collection calls are annoying, they are not illegal and should not be traced — unless they become threatening or obscene, in which case they could be considering harassing. Look at these options for blocking calls.

Private numbers, blocked, and restricted calls can usually be traced. However, unknown, unavailable or out of area calls are not traceable because they don’t contain the data needed for a successful trace.

No, there's no minimum time the caller needs to be on the line. In fact, if the caller hangs up before you can pick up the phone, you probably can still trace the call. A connection simply needs to be made, and that usually happens once the phone rings at least two times.

In most instances, the last incoming call you received — whether or not it was answered and even if it was forwarded — is traceable. 

More information about Call Trace

You can download the user guide. If you have more questions about this calling feature, contact us.

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