Have you received unwanted or unexpected text messages on your cell phone and don't know who sent them? Or maybe you want to keep an eye on your child's cell phone usage. Whatever the reason, tracing a text message sent to a cell phone isn't as hard as you might think. It's not as easy as looking up a number for a landline phone because there are no complete phone number listings available to the public for cell phones like there are for landline phones, but to find the sender of a text message you need to trace the cell phone number it was sent from.
If you receive a text message with no number attached, try to contact your cell phone service provider. They should be able to give you a list of messages with the originating number, and/or trace the last sender. That's the simplest and quickest way to trace cell phone text messages even if the number shows up, if your carrier is cooperative and has the information readily available.
Otherwise, if you're the do it yourself kind, you can try searching for the number on the internet. Just put the number, including the area code, into a search engine and see what results are returned. It's surprising how many cell phone numbers are out there just waiting to be discovered and the one you're looking for could very well be one of them.
If the results from this search don't turn up anything, try putting the number in without an area code, or put the number in quotation marks and the area code without them, or vice versa. Play with it awhile and you might find just what you're looking for.
If you'd rather someone else trace the text message for you, there are many, many reverse lookup sites for cell phone numbers. You should be able to find them easily through a search engine by typing in "reverse cell phone lookup". There's a lot of competition in that field, so you'll find a lot of sites with a lot of claims for "free" lookup services.
Don't let them fool you. Oh, you really can search for free, but you have to pay them to actually get enough useful information to trace a text message. Prices range anywhere from a dollar to twenty dollars for one search. While you can't get the name of the person who sent the message or a real address without paying for it, you can often get the general location and the carrier. At times that information is helpful, so don't count them out completely.
Not all of these cell phone lookup sites have accurate information, so do a lot of checking before paying for their services. Compare the free part of several with a few numbers you're familiar with, then go with the one that seems to be the most accurate with the limited information they provide.
If, after paying, you still can't get enough information to trace the text messages, try your carrier again. Explain the situation and ask for their help in tracing the message sender.
It may seem like a complicated process to trace a cell phone text message, but it's never acceptable to have to pay for them when you don't even know where they come from.