TrueCaller is an online service that serves as a very large phone-book for reverse phone number lookups. You can search for an unknown number and the app will display the details for that number, including the owner name and their network, provided it is stored in the database.
How does TrueCaller work?
TrueCaller claims to source the user information present in their database partly from partnered directories and partly from crowdsourced data. Though in countries where there are no reliable public directory service available, the information is mainly contributed by the users.
TrueCaller mobile app has an “optional” feature called ‘Enhanced Search’. If you wished to gain access to a much broader database, the app ask you to enable this. Now the tricky part here is that once you enable the feature, TrueCaller will automatically upload your entire contacts list to its server, where they’ll form a part of its publicly searchable directory. What this means is that, even if you don’t install TrueCaller on your own phone, chances are that someone else would, and if you’re stored in their contact list, you’ll end up being in the database for anyone to search.
How to Remove Your Number from TrueCaller Database?
So what if you don’t want your number in a public database? Well, thankfully, fixing this privacy issue turns out to be easy. TrueCaller has a section on the website where a person can tap in their phone number and remove it permanently from the service’s database.
- Head over to Unlist Phone Number page: http://www.truecaller.com/unlist
- Enter your phone number – with the country code – in the form, and click on Unlist.
That’s it. In 24 hours, your number will be unlisted, and looking it up will return no search results. Once you remove your number, it is blocked from the database. So you don’t have to worry about your number re-entering or about repeating the process again.
Benefits of TrueCaller
The service does pose a threat to user privacy, however there are certain benefits of using it too. For example, an advantage of using TrueCaller is that telemarketing and other unwanted calls can be avoided via the app’s comprehensive caller ID feature.
It’s also handy to search for an unknown number, say if you get a missed call from a number you do not identify, you can simply search on the TrueCaller app or its website to see the owner of that number.
Obviously, the end decision rests on individual person and how he/she uses the service. If you don’t want people to search you, just unlist yourself to get off the grid. Still, you can use the service for the free benefits it offers.
TrueCaller client is available for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Series 40, Symbian, and Windows Phone.