How to Find Out If a Phone Number Is Local

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Before you return a call, its important to know whether or not that number is local. Most cellphones allow you to call nationally at the same rate as local calls, while others charge a premium. If you're calling from your office phone or a friend's home phone, you don't want to unknowingly load their bill with long distance charges. A little checking beforehand can save you the expense and embarrassment of unknowingly making a long distance call.

Things You'll Need

  • Telephone
  • Internet access
  • Google the phone number's area code. Simply type in the 3-digit area code followed by the words "area code" and hit search. The first few links will tell you what city that area code belongs to. Use a reverse directory search like the site 411. Simply enter the area code in the text box and hit "search". If the area code is assigned to another city or state, the call will likely incur long distance charges.

  • Call your telephone service provider from the phone that you intend to use to make the call. Give them the 10 digit phone number and ask them if dialing that number will incur long distance charges.

  • Log on to a service provider's website (like AT&T) to discover if your dial-up internet's local access numbers are in fact local. Enter your area code and prefix (the first 3 digits of your 7 digit phone number). Then enter the area codes of the access number your computer is using. Entering the phone number you're calling from and the area code of the phone number you intend to call will also let you know if the call you're making is long distance.

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