What Can I Find with a Reverse Phone Number Lookup?
Reverse phone lookup involves using search tools to find an unknown caller’s identity. Besides finding unknown callers’ identities, these tools are also useful for confirming that a phone number from someone is correct. Many people also use reverse phone lookups to find public records about persons of interest and avoid phone scams.
Generally, service providers that do reverse phone searches get their information from various sources. Then, they use algorithms to sort this information and present it when someone does a reverse phone search.
One common source is through special robots that search the web for phone numbers and the owner’s information. Other common sources include social media and buying phone number information from data brokers.
The variety of sources for phone number data means that there will be some inconsistency in the information that comes up in a phone number search. Nevertheless, anyone doing a reverse phone search can, at least, expect to see the name of the person or business using that number.
The user’s general location will also be available, especially with free reverse phone lookup sites. But that’s not all. A reverse phone number lookup can provide the following information:
- Personal details
- Registered addresses and contact info
- Social media profiles
- Location history
- Known family members
- Employment history and work affiliations
- Public records
- Assigned owners’ history
Generally, a reverse phone search will turn up the phone number owner’s full name, legal gender, and date of birth. Many powerful, albeit paid, reverse phone search sites will also include the person’s recent picture.
The aforementioned personal details are enough to easily identify an unknown caller and confirm the correctness of a new cell number. However, they are not enough if a searcher needs a physical address, like when trying to find an old classmate or colleague. In that case, having additional details, especially the cell phone number owner’s registered address, is important.
Many carriers require new cell number owners to put down an address when they buy a new sim. Many people also add a forwarding address when they move, especially small businesses. Others put their new addresses on their social media profiles, too. This address information will be available with a reverse phone lookup.
Besides house addresses, a reverse phone number search can also provide additional contact info like the person’s emails (work or personal).
Social Media Profiles
Most social media platforms require phone numbers for registrations, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms also let users add their phone numbers for account security. That said, many users add phone numbers, emails, and addresses to their social media profiles. These details will be available with a free reverse phone lookup.
People move, whether it be for school, jobs, or family. And when they do this, they often prefer to keep their current phone number instead of registering a new one. It is possible to do this, as it only requires changing the cell phone number area code. The prefix and line number will remain the same.
Because area codes are tied to specific cities or towns, a record of changing them can leave information about where the cell number owner has lived. This location history will be available through a reverse phone number search.
Reverse phone search algorithms can also scan available data about a person and use that data to identify known relatives. This process is not always complex. For example, when the cell phone number owner puts relatives on their Facebook profiles, search results will include those persons. In addition, the personal details, and earlier details mentioned in this article, will be available about these people too.
Employment history is one of several details a reverse phone search can provide. This info will be accessible, especially in cases where the cell phone number owner runs a small business and uses that number as a business line.
Likewise, many public agencies and private companies list employees’ contact info (work number or email) that will turn up in a phone number search. For instance, browsing the county’s official website will show elected county officials’ contact details.
Assigned Owners History
Sometimes, phone carriers reassign phone numbers, thus changing the phone number owner. This change often happens when the original owner dies or if the phone number has been inactive for several years. The carrier may reassign the same phone number to a new owner in such cases. An up-to-date list of owners’ names will be available via a reverse phone search.
A phone number search generally provides a person’s name and address. Armed with this information, it is possible to dig deeper and find the person’s publicly available records.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state public record laws allow interested members of the public to lookup arrest records, criminal records, and sex offender information. Likewise, court records and inmate records are also publicly available information. The public availability of vital records like birth records, marriage records, and death records varies from state to state.
Many reverse phone lookup sites have integrations that let users access these public records for a small fee without going through the official record custodian. However, a person may not use the results for official purposes like screening prospective employees or tenants.
A searcher can only use the unofficial search results to satisfy personal curiosity. In cases where one needs the official search result, that person must obtain official copies of the public records. A trip to the local courthouse, sheriff’s office, or health department will help find the records sought. Many record custodians also maintain online databases interested persons can use to order public records. Most record custodians charge service fees searchers must pay before getting copies of the public records of interest.
How Can I Do a Free Reverse Phone Lookup?
The first thing needed for a free reverse phone lookup is the cell phone number in question. Then, there’s the matter of looking for service providers that offer reverse phone lookup tools. Generally, persons looking to do a free search have three main options:
Free Reverse Phone Search Sites
Many sites let users do free reverse phone searches. However, these sites usually won’t give detailed information. A searcher can expect to see basic details like the cell phone number owner’s name, general location (city or county), and their service provider. It’s rare for a free reverse phone search site to provide more. However, many free reverse phone search sites will also include whether the phone number is a landline or mobile phone.
Social Media Platforms
Another way to do a free reverse phone search is using social media platforms. These platforms have powerful search engines that can scour the network for mentions of the phone number in question. The searcher may then go through the most relevant results, i.e., the posts or accounts affiliated with the phone number. There is a good chance that the account bears the full name on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, this is less likely on platforms like Twitter or TikTok.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo can also help do a reverse phone search for free. These search engines are always crawling the web and filing the information away. So, odds are they have filed the records of instances where the cell phone number of interest appears on the web.
However, despite their extensive reach, search engines do not specialize in reverse phone number searches. So, the searcher will most likely have to filter the search results, which can run into tens of web pages. Also, there is no guarantee of seeing the information sought.
Benefits of Our PhoneNumbers.org Service over a Free Reverse Phone Lookup?
There are a number of benefits that a paid reverse phone search service can offer over a free reverse phone lookup. Paid phone lookup services typically have access to a larger and more accurate database of phone numbers than free reverse phone lookup services. This means that they are more likely to be able to provide users with accurate information about who owns a particular phone number.
Another benefit of using a paid phone search service is that they often offer additional features that free reverse phone lookup services do not. For example, some paid services allow users to do a reverse cell phone lookup, which can be helpful for trying to track down someone who has an unlisted or private cell phone number. Additionally, some paid services offer reverse address lookup, which can be useful for searching for someone's address based on their phone number.
How to Reverse Lookup a Phone Number
The process of reverse phone lookup is similar across service providers. Generally, this requires the searcher to:
- Find a trustworthy tool
- Make sure the tool will give the info needed
- Type in the phone number and click ‘Search’
- Copy or print the information on the number
Find a Trustworthy Tool
There are many service providers on the web offering reverse phone search services, and even for free. However, it is important to watch out for shady websites that collect user information for targeted ads.
Make Sure the Tool Will Give the Info Needed
Most reverse phone search tools will display a list of details searchers can expect to find with their service. At the very least, a free reverse phone search tool should provide a name and address. Some also include the type of phone (cell or landline) and information about the carrier.
On the other hand, paid reverse phone search sites will provide detailed information like the phone number owner’s personal details (name, age, and date of birth), their picture (which is great if the searcher knows what the person looks like already), and other public records (mentioned earlier).
Enter the Phone Number and Click Search
After finding a trustworthy tool and confirming the availability of the information sought, the next step is to enter the phone number. Most sites provide a field where searchers can enter the numbers.
Generally, a searcher must start by entering the three-digit area code, the three-digit prefix code, and the four-digit line number. The international dialing code is unnecessary if the reverse phone search is on a US cell phone number. Then, click the “search” button to run the reverse phone search. The location of this button will be beside the input field, but it is also common for sites to put it below the input field.
Clicking search directs the site’s algorithm to run a search through its database, checking for records of the phone number provided. Then, it’ll start to compile available information in a readable format. The entire process should take a few seconds.
Save the Search Result
Upon getting the information sought, the next step is to save the search results. To do this: take screenshots, save the webpage as a PDF, or print a hard copy. Saving the search results is especially important when using a free reverse phone search site or using a paid service for a trial period. Many paid reverse phone search services also let customers save search results or send a copy to the customer’s email for future reference.
3 Other Ways to Reverse Phone Lookup
A reverse phone lookup by phone number is only one of several ways to find information about a person. Reverse lookup sites are now interconnected and advanced that users can lookup information in several other ways:
- Reverse phone lookup by name
- Reverse phone lookup by address
- Reverse phone lookup by email address
Reverse Phone Lookup by Name
This method involves searching for the phone numbers associated with a person’s name. The search requires a person’s full name, especially their first name and last name. Providing middle names can help narrow down this search too. A reverse phone lookup by name is a good option if users know a person’s name but don’t have their phone number. However, this search is less specific because several unrelated people can have the same first and last name.
Reverse Phone Lookup by Address
Here, the search uses a person’s address to look up details about them. A reverse phone lookup by address is more accurate because it is easier to narrow down a registered user to their address than using their name alone. The search accuracy is even higher when the phone number is a business line.
Reverse Phone Lookup by Email
Many reverse lookup sites also support email searches. This method is more accurate than a reverse phone lookup by address. The main reason is that emails are generally more specific for registered users. So, the odds of two people using the same email address are low.
5 Reasons to Use a Reverse Phone Number Lookup and How it Can Help You
Five common reasons people do a reverse phone number lookup include:
- Find out who called or texted
- Identify spam callers
- Avoid phone scams and scammers
- Keep loved ones safe
- Verify identity
Find Out Who Called or Texted
Getting a call from an unknown or unsaved phone number is common. It’s also alright to want to know the person before calling - it could be an ex, a sales rep on a cold call. In any way, it doesn’t matter. A reverse phone search can quickly provide the information needed to find out the identity of someone who called you. This information can help you avoid and report phone scams to the authorities. Consider reporting scam calls to the local Sheriff’s Office or directly to the Federal Trade Commission.
Identify Spam Callers
A reverse phone search can help interested persons avoid spam calls, robocalls, and texts, or even pull a reverse uno on pranksters. Now that the caller’s identity is known, the call recipient can decide to ignore calls from that number, play along with the prank, or prank the prankster. Deciding to block the spam caller altogether is an equally valid option.
Alternatively, consider listing your phone number on the DoNotCall Registry. Federal laws prevent telemarketers from contacting persons whose phone numbers appear on this registry. Many states also have similar laws to protect residents from scam calls within their jurisdiction.
Avoid Phone Scams and Scammers
Scammers routinely impersonate law enforcement to scare unsuspecting victims into sending them money or vital financial data. There’s also the case of IRS scams around tax season or the grandchild scam that scammers pull on senior citizens. Anyone can fall for scams. But it is possible to avoid phone scams and scammers.
A reverse phone number lookup can provide information about a cell phone number owner. For example, many people use the search tool to find out information about someone they met online. Others have used it to uncover the identity of scammers claiming to be from tech support or public officers.
So, if the information gotten from the search is different from who a caller claims to be, chances are the caller is a scammer. Also, be wary of caller ID spoofing, a technique scammers can use to mask the number or name that shows up when they call. As a rule of thumb, remember that real public officials will not solicit or pressure you to send them money or share sensitive private information over the phone.
Keep Loved Ones Safe
A reverse phone search can provide public records about a stranger contacting or pestering a loved one. So, if they have a criminal record or have been flagged as a sex offender in the past, users can identify them and keep loved ones safe.
Interested persons can also use the reverse phone search tool to verify the identity of a new online friend or prospective business partner. After all, if they are who they claim to be, their personal details, employment records, and public records will show a consistent story.
How Do Reverse Phone Lookup Services Work?
Reverse phone lookup tools get their data from several sources. The most common sources are public records, private databases, and user-submitted information on social media platforms. Furthermore, reverse phone search services may purchase data from third-party data brokers.
Because obtaining accurate information from these sources costs money, many sites charge an access fee for their data. Of course, this does not mean that free reverse phone search is impossible. However, many free sites collect user data that they can monetize in some other way to cover the free service. Nevertheless, it is possible to opt-out of this data collection.
How to Lookup a Cell Phone Number
The process of reverse phone lookup for cell phone numbers is similar across service providers. The available information will include the cell phone number owner’s personal details and publicly available records. Generally, this process requires the searcher to:
- Find a trustworthy tool
- Make sure the tool will give the info needed
- Type in the phone number and click ‘Search’
- Copy or print the information on the number