Cell phone text messages may be traced by calling the service provider's technical support department and requesting this service or by purchasing special software. Your monthly service bill, in print or online, also provides the source and time of text messages.
Several cell phone service providers list information on text messages recently sent and received for both standard models and smart phones. The procedure for accessing this information is device-specific and outlined in the phone's user manual.
Aftermarket downloadable programs are another method of tracking text messages on cell phones. According to Forbes, cell phone tracking is no longer unique to the realm of spies. Concerned spouses, employers and parents wanting to monitor a teen's phone activities can acquire software to conduct surveillance.
Forbes also warns that many programs leave unwanted tracking codes on cell phones that can monitor the phone's use even after service subscriptions expire.