Are you suspecting that somebody might be using a Google Voice number for calls or texting, and you want to verify whether or not it’s true?
Google Voice is an incredibly popular tool to hide your phone number, as it forwards all calls and messages received to somebody’s actual number. But how can you tell whether a phone number is real, or it was simply provided by Google?
In this article, I’ll be sharing how you can find out for sure!
How To Tell If Someone Is Using Google Voice As Their Number
Currently, there are only three ways to tell whether or not somebody is using a Google Voice number.
Let’s look over each one of them now!
1. Lookup The Phone’s Carrier
The first, and one of the easiest methods to determine whether not someone may be using Google Voice is to plug their number into a phone carrier lookup tool.
For example, you can find a free one on FreeCarrierLookup.com, as pictured above.
Simply type in the phone number, answer the captcha, and click on the green ‘search’ button on the right-hand side of the page.
If the number is a Google Voice number, it will say ‘Bandwidth.com’ as the carrier.
To illustrate another example, I plugged my own phone number into FreeCarrierLookup’s tool.
As you can see, it properly identified AT&T as my provider, which is correct.
So, if you see a standard provider (like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile etc.) pop up next to ‘carrier’, then they are not using a Google Voice number.
Note however that even if you see ‘Bandwidth.com’ as the carrier, this does not necessarily mean they are using Google Voice. Bandwidth.com also supplies solutions for other phone / communications tools as well.
So, you may wish to continue verifying whether or not it’s Google Voice they’re using by trying out one of the other options I’ll mention in a moment!
2. Call, And Wait For The Confirmation
One sure way to determine whether or not a Google Voice number is being used, is to check to see whether or not the number is using the standard Google Voice confirmation.
If the person has this confirmation turned on (which is the default setting), Google Voice will screen the calls that the number receives before actually sending them through to the person’s phone.
To try this out, call the number.
Google Voice will ask you for your name, and then you will need to wait a moment. The person will receive a phone call, be able to listen to the name you just provided them, and then choose whether or not they want to accept or decline the call.
So, if you hear the request for a name, chances are the number is indeed using Google Voice!
Unfortunately however, many people using Google Voice numbers end up turning off this service – both because it can be annoying for people that call, as well as interfere with automated services that may need to deliver confirmation codes by phone, for example.
3. View Their Google Account
Finally, the surest way to determine whether or not somebody is using Google Voice, is to either ask them, or browse over their Google account (with their permission of course.)
If you visit Google Voice’s website while signed in, you will be able to see immediately whether or not they have an account.
Then, you can visit the ‘Account Settings’ section by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner.
From there, you will be able to see both their Google voice number, as well as any linked numbers that Google will forward the call to.
Of course, at this point, it would be best to simply just ask them. They may be able to share why they chose to use Google Voice, and maybe convince you to try it out too!
Is There A List Of Google Voice Numbers You Can Reference?
When determining whether or not somebody uses Google Voice, you may be wondering whether or not there’s a published list of Google Voice numbers available, that you can simply reference and search through.
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Currently, there is no published list of numbers that belong to Google Voice, so you will need to use one of the methods above in order to find out whether or not a specific number is being used by Google.
It’s likely that different numbers are being used and discontinued all the time, so maintaining a list like this would be difficult!
Why Doesn’t Google Make This More Transparent?
So, why isn’t Google more transparent about this? Why is finding out whether a number is used by Google Voice or not so difficult?
Really, it comes down to privacy.
Everybody has their own reasons for using Google Voice, and a large part of it comes down to protecting your identity.
If Google gave out more information about their users, this would ultimately be used for malicious purposes, including spam, scams, and even harassment.
So, it is in the user’s best interests that as much data about their number as possible is kept confidential, and can’t be discovered by others.
Finding out whether a number is used by Google Voice – or if it’s an actual, real phone number can be difficult.
By using the carrier lookup tool and combining it with other methods however, you can become quite certain whether or not a number is used by Google Voice.
I hope that you’ve managed to try one of the methods out, and that it worked for you.
If you have any other questions about Google Voice, ask them below and I’ll be happy to help.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister