So it’s time to call your new client. Or maybe it’s the hot date you met at Trader Joe’s. The only problem is you can’t read their phone number! Staring at the napkin, you try to decipher if it’s an 8, or a 1, or a 0. Or worse, you can read all the numbers just fine. But why are there only 6 digits?
So what do you do? Where can you go for help? Who can you call?
I decided to write this blog because a few days earlier, this is exactly what happened to a friend of mine. My friend is a no good, lousy duck stuffer (a taxidermist).
He came to me because he needed to call a new client about a bird he just mounted. But the client’s handwriting was so crappy that he couldn’t make out a digit in the phone number. I was able to find the number anyway using Google. However, it was not your typical Google search.
How To Google A Number That’s Mostly Right
Sadly, Google did away with its reverse phone number lookup. And if you enter a 6 digit # or 8 digit # with dashes, Google thinks it’s a subtraction problem!
But Google can pull up plenty of phone numbers if you give it some hints. This includes lots of business numbers and even some cell #s. And remember, you want to find the number they gave you. Not the old landline they discarded 10 years ago. Here’s how:
678-58?-9228. Or maybe you got sloppy and wrote 678-587-92228.
Or worse, the guy gave you a bum phone number and no last name.
But don’t you fret. All is not lost! Simply Google their name along with the area code and first three 3 digits of the phone number. OR, if you think that too could be wrong, try their name along with the last 4 digits at the end of the phone number. You can also search for part of the phone number along with their name in quotation marks. Don’t know the last name? Try with just their first name. Did you get too many hits? Then refine your search with a city or state.
Google Search Examples With Partial #s
When Unsure of Last 4 Digits (Google 1st 3 digits w/ or w/o area code)
Graham Firestone 587 (rare name: not sure of the last 4 digits)
Greg Napster 404-394 (for more common names add an area code)
“Greg Napster” 404-394 (Narrow search with name in “Quotes”)
Graham 678-587 Roswell (first name w/ city)
Graham 587 lawyer (first name w/ profession)
Firestone “587” Roswell (last name w city)
When Unsure of First 3 Digits (Google last 4 digits)
Graham Firestone 9228 (rare name, last 4 digits)
“John Smith” 9228 (common name in quotes)
“John Smith” 9228 Roswell (add a city)
Graham 9228 Roswell (first name w/ city)
Graham 9228 Morosgo (first name w/ rare street)
Graham 9228 lawyer (first name w/ profession)
Or Use Asterixes for missing #s! And Add a first Or Last Name if Known
But What If I Can’t Find It On Google?
Look, life’s tough. And you can’t always get what you want. Partial number searches don’t seem to work on Facebook, Pipl, the Whitepages or on Linkedin. But they may work on your emails, or in Excel or in a Word document.
Or, if you know which digit is missing, plug in numbers
0 -9 and put the whole phone number in a reverse cell phone lookup. Sites like OK Caller or SpyDialer will often return a full name once they have the right phone number.