If you have received a call from an international phone number that you don't recognize or if you need to find the international phone number of a person or business you know, then you may find yourself in a bit of a bind. From a North American perspective, international phone numbers can look downright bizarre, with many of the digits seeming as though they are completely out of place. However, your international phone number lookup won't actually be that difficult if you know where and how to look. Just follow the steps below to gain some clarity.
What do the zeros mean?
A lot of the trouble with deciphering an international phone number is figuring out what the numbers actually mean. If you're placing an international call then you will usually have to dial zero or double zero before the number. Many international phone numbers, instead of showing this zero or double zero, however, will simply display a plus (+) sign. That plus sign simply stands for zero or double zero.
Finding the country code
Another thing about international phone numbers that is a little unusual, at least from a North American perspective, is that country codes are often two or three digits long. In fact, Canada and the U.S. are the only major countries to use a "1" as their country codes. Most other large countries use two digit country codes, while smaller countries may use three digit country codes. Knowing this information you can more easily find the country code you are after or learn where that mysterious phone call you received originated from.
Use country-specific directories
If you try using a U.S.-focused online phone directory, such as WhitePages.com or Anywho.com, to find an international phone number then you probably won't have much luck. That's because U.S. sites, unsurprisingly, tend to focus on the U.S. (and occasionally Canadian) population. But don't worry because just about every other country also has its own online telephone directories and people search engines. To find a specific country's online phone directory simply google the name of the country along with the words "phone lookup." You will probably get at least a few results that will lead you in the right direction. While countries like the United Kingdom and Australia have telephone directories in English (obviously), that may not be the case for some other countries. Luckily, you can get around this problem if you don't speak the local language by relying on Google's automatic translation function if you have Chrome installed as your internet browser.
From an American perspective, international phone numbers seem both strange and indecipherable. However, behind their seemingly random grouping of digits, international phone numbers can reveal quite a bit about the person you are trying to call. By taking the time to learn how to place an international call and how country codes work outside of North America, you'll become much better informed and better equipped to track down any person's phone number no matter where in the world they live.
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