How to trace a phone call

Need Help Signing In? Call trace allows you to dial a simple code to trace the phone number of a call that was received. Important : Customer Originated Trace must be used immediately after you disconnect from the call you want traced. If you get another call, or hear a Call Waiting tone first, you will trace the wrong call.


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All Cox Digital Telephone customers can use the Voice Tools features to set up the capture of calls you make and receive, excluding private or unlisted numbers. The Voice Tools are available through your accounts on www.

How To Trace A Phone Number

If you need records of outgoing calls made before establishing your Voice Tools record, you can obtain them for a charge by presenting a photo ID and completing a release at any Cox Front Counter location. Records will be mailed to the address on your statement in two to three weeks. Cox maintains call records for 18 months 36 months in California and Virginia.

Other than through Voice Tools, records of incoming calls are not available to customers because they may include private or unlisted number information.

What's included in a successful trace

Law enforcement can obtain these records for investigation of harassing or annoyance calls. The number you traced will be recorded by Cox personnel.

If you decide to follow-up on the matter, you must contact a law enforcement agency and we will provide that number directly to them. We cannot provide the traced number directly to the Cox Digital Telephone customer. Skip to Main Content.


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In most instances, the last incoming call you received -- whether or not it was answered and even if it's forwarded via a service -- is traceable. 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.

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A connection simply needs to be made, and that usually happens once the phone rings at least 2 times. Unknown, unavailable or out-of-area calls are not traceable because they don't contain the data needed for a successful trace.

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On the other hand -- and maybe surprisingly -- private, blocked or restricted calls can usually be traced just fine. A successful trace captures the calling party's phone number and -- if the phone number is serviced by CenturyLink -- the name and address as well. The phone number, name and address if available are turned over to the CenturyLink Call Identification Center. For legal and privacy reasons, we aren't able to share this data with you.

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We can only release this information if we receive a subpoena, court order or -- in some cases -- a call from a law enforcement agency. Under normal circumstances, 3 successful traces of calls -- originating from the same number -- are required before CenturyLink or local law enforcement can take action. Once you've traced a number 3 times, you can request action be taken against the calling party.

You can also contact your local law enforcement agency. Tell them that you've been receiving harassing calls and that you've traced those calls. Back in the bell-bottomed pre-digital s, telephone switchboards required operators to manually connect circuits, leaving the cops to cool their heels for 10 to 20 minutes while Ma Bell pinpointed the caller's location. That first 60 seconds might only get operators to the first or second switching station, hence the old "Keep him talking, Chief! But manual switching died along with disco by the mids when electronic switching systems enabled carriers to instantaneously match a caller with a location.