Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
If an unfamiliar number has called, it may be possible to find out who the number belongs to using a reverse phone lookup. Along those same lines, if the number is suspected to be a cell phone, it may also be possible to find who the caller is, although this can be a little more difficult than with a residential number.
Technically speaking, reversing the owner of a cell phone is the same as a residential phone, however, it is often more difficult to obtain accurate information on a cell phone compared to a residential phone. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, fewer companies offer a reverse lookup service for cell phones compared to residential phone numbers, making it a little more difficult to find a company with information on the phone you are looking for. Second, those that offer a reverse cell phone lookup can't locate certain types of numbers. Some numbers such as those belonging to disposable prepaid phones or newly registered numbers simple can't be found. This is because these services typically aggregate their own data and that data rarely comes directly form the cell phone service provider.
How do companies aggregate this information?
Today, cell phones are used as contact numbers when completing surveys online, applying for credit, and even property deeds. Occasionally, this information is resold to aggregators, however more frequently, aggregators are able to collect the information from public sources. Some of these sites use this information to help people reverse cell phone numbers.
Typically the longer someone owns a cell phone and the more frequently they make references to that phone number, the more likely it is that a reverse lookup will find information on that number. This is why it can be so difficult to find information on newly registered phones or prepaid phones (which users typically maintain for shorter periods of time).
What type of information can be found?
Using a reverse phone lookup, a person can obtain information varying from a name to an address. Information on the telephone's service provider is sometimes available.
But is this legal? If so why would this be allowed?
Before we look at legality, let's try looking at a few of the more common reasons to use a reverse lookup and why the case could be made for their use:
- Someone is making harassing or threatening phone calls. Using a reverse lookup you may be able to search the number, find out who owns it and report them to the proper authorities.
- Searches can be used to locate the residence of an old acquaintance or even the whereabouts of a family member.
- If someone suspects a significant other of improper behavior, a reverse lookup may help to find out who has been calling or texting them.
- Likewise, parents can use a lookup to find additional information about someone their child is communicating with, helping to protect them from possible danger.
These are just a few of the common reasons for someone using a reverse lookup, but as for the legality, it depends on where you are located. Currently, using a reverse phone to find information on a residential, cellular, or business phone is legal in all 50 US states. However, if you live outside of the United States it may be prohibited by law (as the case in the United Kingdom). So you may need to check with your local government depending on where you are located.
Where do I find sites offering a reverse lookup for cell phones?
There are a number of sites that offer a reverse cell phone lookup service. Most of them charge a fee for the information. We had attempted to build a completely free reverse cell phone service for the public to use and access here in our telephone directory. While the lookup is still currently available we've had to restrict some results after repeated complaints from one of the large cell phone service providers. While we offer this for free, we are aware that coverage may not be as wide as some of the fee based sites that specialize in reverse phone lookups.
Another private telephone directory that offers users some information on cell phone number is WhitePages.com. This site charges $1.95 to lookup a cell phone, and if information is found it is texted to you (requiring you to enter your own cell phone number).
People search companies have made a reputation in recent years for buying personal data, farming it and then selling it to the public. Nowadays, a people search site can help with everything from finding someone online to finding criminal records about someone. Most of them offer some sort of reverse phone lookup, and many of those lookups will include cell phone numbers. These types of companies are almost always paid and they will price the information one of two ways: for a single search or for "unlimited" searches over a defined period usually a monthly or year. Be prepared to pay more for sites offering unlimited searches.
Two of the most widely recognized single search companies are Intelius.com and PeopleFinders.com. One of the newer companies to begin offering "unlimited" access packages is PeopleSmart.com. The two sites offering single lookups typically charge around $5 per search, the other charges around $40 a year for unlimited access.
Believe it or not, in many cases finding an address associated with a number can be easier than accurately identifying the owner's name. This being the case, if you are willing to put in a little extra leg work in, you may be able to use a number to find an address and then use that address to find information on names associated with the address.
We hope you found this article helpful. While finding the owner of a cell phone is often not as easy as finding the owner of a landline, with a little patience you may be able to find the information you are looking for, possibly even for free.