Have a phone number but don’t know who it is? Maybe you’ve seen strange numbers showing up on your teenager’s cell phone bill. Or maybe you picked up a number to call about an investment – but you suspect a scam. Or maybe you found a mysterious number in your wife or husband’s things. For dozens of reasons, we find ourselves with a telephone number – but no name. You’re itching to find out who it is. Not just for curiosity’s sake. The safety of your family or the security of your bank account could be at stake. You need a way to discover just whose phone number you have.
What is a “Reverse Phone Lookup”?
A Reverse Search allows you to enter in a phone number, whether landline or cell, and then provides you with information concerning the individual whose number it is. Information such as the individual’s name and location will be provided to you instantly. If you want additional premium information such as address history, property records on that individual, you can find it on US Search.
Now that you know what this type of reverse number lookup is, you may be asking if they are as useful as they seem.
Why Run a Reverse Lookup?
Learn who is calling you and your family. From researching a phone bill, to tracing an unwanted caller, or verifying an address, this type of search allows you to:
- Find out who is calling your home, your cell or mobile device, or your child
- Identify repeated calls from unknown number on your caller ID
- Identify prank callers
- Verify someone’s name and location
Call the Number
It’s the simplest thing you can do. Pick up and call the number. But pretend to be someone else to avoid recognition. When they answer, ask for a person with an unusual name not likely to be there. Say something like “Hello, is Lilly Becky there? No? Are you absolutely sure? Well, who am I talking to then?” Be a little forceful. Even sound angry, as if you think they’re lying to you. This approach can rattle the other person and make them reveal their identity. Avoid this one if you’re not comfortable acting. And make sure you don’t call from a number that can be traced back to you!
Look in a White Pages Directory
Crisscross Directories have been around since the late 1800’s. They’re like phone directories. But they organize their listings by number, or street address, instead of name. These directories are still available in print form even though most of the information is also now available by computer.
Such cross-references are primarily designed for business use. Usually, sales departments rely on them to conduct direct marketing, build lists of sales leads and gather business intelligence.
The drawback is that they’re expensive, costing in the hundreds of dollars or more. Still, you can usually find copies in your library, especially for the local area you live in. If you’re looking beyond your own town, you probably won’t be able to use the free version in the library.
Get an Inside Connection
Having a buddy on the inside of the phone company was classic approach for TV detectives. If you recall the Rockford Files or Mannix or any other old private eye show, they were forever pulling over to a pay phone and calling their friend, Ginger or Susie or Maggie, at the telephone company. The friend would dutifully give them whatever information the PI needed to pursue the case.
Interestingly, this method actually works – even if it’s a little on the shady side. If you know someone at the company, you can probably talk them into helping.
Unfortunately, they probably won’t help you once a week like on the TV shows. At some point your friend’s better judgment will take over. You’ll be left with nothing but numbers again. (Makes you wonder, doesn’t it, just what the detective had that you don’t)
21st Century Answers – The Internet Search Solution
When it comes to finding out who’s hiding behind a phone number, the best way I’ve found is online search. Yet, search takes time. And not finding what you want quickly gets very frustrating.
To help, a number of businesses exist to make reverse phone searching quicker and easier. These businesses have already found the best sources for reverse searching. They take you directly to the databases that have the information you need. You can find out names, addresses, and much more, starting with just a number.
Some of these services are free. The better ones cost a little. Quality always does, in my experience. If, in your case, it’s not that important to get accurate information fast, then give the free services a shot. They’re mostly supported by pay for performance advertising, like Adsense, which doesn’t earn them much. That means the free services rarely have the money to invest either in buying data access or in creating more usable interfaces. In my case, as a professional, getting quality information quickly is important. I pay the small fee and get reliable information. But, even if I didn’t write for a living and were just casually looking up phone numbers from time to time, I’d still go with a paid database service. The cost is minimal. Often a small, one-time fee covers one to three years or even longer. If I only looked up a number once or twice a year, it would still be worth it in time saved. As important as it can be, finding out personal information with just a number used to be nearly impossible. Today it can be quick and easy. I’ve found four approaches that work, but one proved the simplest and most effective. It’s using a quality, reverse-phone-search service online.
Are you seeing an unknown number on your caller ID on your cell, mobile or home phone? Did the monthly bill come in and there are calls made to a number that is unfamiliar? Intelius can provide you with answers to these kind of questions, and more, with a Reverse Phone Number Search.
This search report provides you with the name and location behind that mysterious number. Intelius access to premium public records that goes beyond the “white pages” and therefore are able to provide you with contact information behind a number that other sites cannot. And if we can’t find it in our database immediately, we’ll take an extra step and run an expert search and return phone lookup results within 48 hours at no additional charge. Your search is 100% confidential.
Intelius, the leading provider of People Search and Background Check reports. Intelius has an extensive selection of people search reports, background checks, criminal records, court records, real estate and financial reports. Run a Search now.
A reverse telephone number search directory is a database of numbers and associated customer details such as mailing addresses, city, state and zip code. A reverse directory allows users to search by a number to retrieve the details associated with that number (owner name, address, etc.).
Such directories are used by law enforcement, emergency services, skip tracers, and private detectives to determine the origin or owner of a phone number. Some of these systems use both listed and unlisted telephone number sources. However, most of the free lookup tools on the internet will search only listed, non-private numbers.
Search Tools and Lookup Websites
The following websites provide the ability to conduct address searches, email searches, telephone number lookups and more. Some sites include other types of search tools as well that may be helpful to a private detective such as area code and zip code lookups.
- Run a Reverse Phone Number Search – Get the registered name and current address related to the number. This investigative report includes the full name registered, the full address (when available), online matches available. If no associated match is found, expert search results can be provided within twenty four hours.
- Reverse Phone Directory – Find numbers and address, also includes White Pages, Area Codes, Zip Codes, Yellow Pages, and the ability to track shipping packages
- Reverse Street Address Lookup – Find the address associated with a number using a street lookup search tool.
- Spokeo People Search – Spokeo is a search engine that specializes in aggregating and organizing vast quantities of people-related information from a large variety of public sources. The public data is amassed with lightning speed, and presented almost instantly in an integrated, coherent, and easy-to-follow format. It is a great research tool for private detectives.
- Switchboard Search – Find numbers, area codes, email, and more. Used to offer the option to search for an unlisted number and a cell phone lookup tool.
- Reverse Phone Search – How to Find Anyone’s Telephone Number – An article that provides suggestions for uncovering numbers from a variety of resources.
- Reverse Cell Phone Search – How-to article that Explains how to conduct a reverse cell search or cell lookup.