Finding my UK phone stalker

Well, not really a stalker - at least I hope not.

But seriously, I have been getting phone calls (no messages) from 2 different numbers in the UK. UK Phone Info ( tells me that the area code for each number - 02088 - is in London, somewhere near Lambeth Bridge on the west side of the Thames. I can’t seem to get any further than that vague description though without having to pay for the info. Are there any free reverse phone lookups for the UK at all?

Seems to be illegal in the UK.


I’ve had some strange unsolicited calls in the past and had some limited success from doing an internet search on the number, when it was to my mobile, and on calls to my landline (when it wasn’t withheld)

Probably an automatic dialler. Register your number with the Telephone Preference Service and it should stop within a month. Or you can just ring the operator (100 if you’re with BT) and discuss it with them.

Reverse phone lookups are illegal in the UK? Interesting. They aren’t illegal here in the US, although it’s getting more and more common to find services that want to sell you all sorts of information along with name and address of the phone number’s owner.

In fact, if these calls aren’t random errors, the only person I think it could be would have had to buy reverse phone lookup for my cell phone number here in the US (not otherwise freely available), in order to get my name and then to find my landline. :smack: Oy.

Well, thanks for the info, it’s much appreciated.

Have you tried just googling the number?

Bear in mind that 0208 is the code, but it can be broken into 020 8XXX XXXX or 0208 XXX XXXX.

Tut tut jjimm, we’re supposed to know these things - 020 is the code, replacing both 0171 and 0181. New numbers such as 020 3xxx xxxx are now being issued, anywhere within the 020 area.

And I’ll make a reverse operation timetable lookup to play Lambeth North.

Dammit, I removed the word “popularly” before I posted. Good catch.

I did try googling the numbers, with spaces in various locations as Google wanted to suggest. No luck at any point, unfortunately.

I have no idea about the geography of that part of London - is it likely to be residential? Seems like anything residential in that general area (near Parliament) would be awfully pricey, and then I could reasonably rule out the person I’m thinking of. :stuck_out_tongue:

I stand to be corrected by someone who actually knows, but I seem to remember that London numbers are no longer strictly geographical so 020 88xx xxxx could be from anywhere in the London area. On the other hand, I thought the 020 8xxx xxxx number were originally Outer London so I am surprised UK Phone Info places it in the centre.

Incidently - you mention Lambeth as the area in the OP and “near Parliament” in your latest post but these are not really close to each other. Lambeth is definitely NOT an up-market area.

If the three digits following the 8 were ones not in prior use as an old geographic code within London, then this is one of the numbers the move to the 020 code made available for use anywhere within the larger area. However, I then don’t think it’s possible for it to be pinned down so specifically, and I think the OP is just being offered a vague central London location.

I stand to be corrected by someone who actually knows, but I seem to remember that London numbers are no longer strictly geographical so 020 88xx xxxx could be from anywhere in the London area. On the other hand, I thought the 020 8xxx xxxx number were originally Outer London so I am surprised UK Phone Info places it in the centre.]

This is what UK Phone Info has to say about 02088:

Area served by 0208
Approximate location

Grid ref: TQ3079
Latitude: 51° 30’ N
Longitude: 0° 8’ W

The UK Street Map Page can display a detailed map of the area requested, provided it is within the area it covers. (It currently excludes Northern Ireland.)
Distance to principal towns/cities

* within London
* 74 km N of Brighton
* 81 km SSW of Cambridge 

Nearby area codes listed by increasing distance

* 020 7 London roughly the same area
* 0171 Geographic - unassigned (formerly London Inner Area) roughly the same area
* 0181 Geographic - unassigned (formerly London Outer Area) roughly the same area
* 020 1 London National Dialling roughly the same area
* 020 0 London National Dialling roughly the same area 

and there are more places listed, but they all seem to be some distance away.

This is the link to the detailed map they mention: (the link is to but is way too long for me to post here). The distance from the Houses of Parliament to Lambeth Bridge seems less than 500 meters - doesn’t seem far but I’ve seen plenty of city neighborhoods change character from one block to the next, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

Hmm. The two numbers in question are 020 8872 XXXX and 020 8876 XXXX. Old geographic codes, or no?

Hmmm. Don’t take that site’s lat/lon too seriously. I just tried my own code, and it placed me several miles away. In the middle of a river.

Googling “020 8872” turns up a lot of places in Harrow, and likewise “020 8876” Richmond. Both would have previously been 0181 numbers, but neither are anywhere near Lambeth Bridge!

Ha! Well I guess that I’ll have to remain clueless but wary as to the identity of the caller, then, unless a voicemail is ever left. Thanks everyone for your help in trying to get this sorted for me.

Wonder if it is worth me weighing in with this, I live in Lambeth borough.

I understood that codes 020 7 XXX XXXX are inner London, 020 8 XXX XXXX are outer London. e.g. my office tel number is 020 7, and it is closer to Central London. One of the projects I work at sometimes is 020 8, and it is further out.

Note that Lambeth is quite a large borough. It comprises several areas some of which are not upmarket at all, and some that are. Part of Lambeth borough reaches into Central London, and would be in close to proximity to Parliament by virtue of this, others, eg Brixton, would not be anywhere near. Here is a map

My guess is that your phone stalker is in South Lambeth. Which is the least upmarket part. Unlucky.

Have you tried dialing the numbers? With what result?

My google-fu is kicking in. 876 was indeed the old code for the Mortlake exchange, i.e. Richmond, long before the division into inner and outer 7/8 areas. 872, however, is only listed as an old code for the Westminster exchange (872 = TRAfalgar), which eventually became 020 7872. Google that and you get addresses around Northumberland Avenue etc.

I think there are some fairly scrubby bits within 500 metres of the Houses of Parliament, never mind 500 metres of Lambeth Bridge. One of the random things about London is the way you can walk down a street full of million-pound flats, turn a corner, and walk past a bunch of oiks sitting on the stairs of some ratty building swigging Super-t and arguing about who got Sharmaine preggers.

If it is really the person I’m thinking of, that would be a surprise… but since I haven’t spoken with them in 5 years, I have no idea where they would be living now.

And no, Peter Morris, I haven’t tried just calling the numbers - yet. Overseas phone calls would be pretty expensive directly from either my landline or my cell, and I’m not sure the caller ID block would work dialing outside the US. I’ll be buying a phone card soon to call a friend in Australia, though, so maybe I’ll give in to temptation and see who I reach.

GorillaMan, thank you for digging. I think this just confirms though that I’m not likely to ever get London geography straight in my head unless I go live there myself… which would be fun, as long as it’s not in South Lambeth. :wink: