Crowdsourced Phone Directory App Truecaller reveals all caller IDs


Having been one of the students that joined campus after incidences of kidnappings and mysterious murders, my first concern was, naturally, safety.

If I’m being really honest, it was probably trying to avoid the creepy guy at the corner of the class who always wore a hoodie. I judged the book by its cover, which is a mistake a lot of the time, but there’s a reason it’s called stereotyping. In as much as we depend on campus security, we also have to shoulder some personal responsibility in regards to our security.

That’s why the TrueCaller app is an almost near app. Available on both Google Playstore and Apple’s very own itunes for free, TrueCaller is an app that screens your calls and text messages and notifies you of the identity of the owner of the number from which the communication originated from. The really amazing twist of the app is that it identifies the caller or message even when you haven’t saved their contacts. TrueCaller-1

I scoffed at the idea at first, with good reason. At the time, CCK hadn’t issued the SIM card registration rule, so no one really knew which number belonged to whom. An app such as this one works best in the developed (as opposed to developing) world where they have reliable databases updated with the contacts. But it also works perfectly here in Kenya. That’s why I called it a “near perfect app”.

But times are changing. Our communications controllers are finally realizing the importance of knowing not only who calls you, but where they are calling from. The app gives you this information when it’s available, even when the person calling uses the “private number” phone setting. It shows the information on the call screen, which allows you to see both the number and identity of the caller before you accept the call. Even official company numbers, like the one used by Orange recently when they called me to conduct a survey, were shown both on my call screen and on my TrueCaller call log.

An app like this can go a long way in helping you figure out if you’re really in danger from the caller or if the death threat you received was from some inmate at Kamiti prison. The point of this app isn’t to be used to call out those of us who are always “five minutes away” when twenty minutes late. It’s meant to identify your caller –  a majority who will be genuine people – but a few that make fake “you have won” calls, or a stalker standing right outside your door.

So, start paying attention to the signs here and there. Don’t make the mistake of calling someone out as a murderer just because they stared at you that one time in an Economics class then called you that night. The guy may just like you. But for the paranoid out there, please use the app to give you rest and use it responsibly. I guess time is up for the stalkers out there.



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