What Exactly is ‘Reverse Phone Lookup’?

Sep 28, 2012 caller id, cell phone, reverse phone, 2 Comments
Reverse Phone Lookup


A “reverse phone lookup” helps people find out who owns a phone number and the city and state where it originated. This is particularly useful when your caller ID shows a number without a name or when there are phone numbers on your bill that you don’t recognize and do not remember calling.

A standard reverse lookup can give you the owner’s name and a generalized location, such as a city or state. They will also often tell you if the number is a mobile or land line. Some of the premium searches will also give you information such as address, neighbors, business names, or other numbers registered to the same address. Information is not always available when doing a reverse search, as some companies and individuals refuse to release it. Cell phone information is rarely available.

A reverse phone number lookup works best when it is applied to a landline, as these numbers are typically available to the public through phone directories. The information available through a reverse lookup would be the same, as that through any published phone book. They would not have information on fax numbers or unlisted phone numbers.

Using the Internet

There are many ways to find the source of a phone number on the Internet. The most common and easiest way to find source of a number is to simply enter it, as a properly written phone number, into a search engine. The search results should produce the owner’s name and address as well as any websites related to that phone number.

A search engine can sometimes produce results for unlisted numbers, if the owner has used the number on a publicly available area. You can also use a search engine to find listings of websites that specialize in reverse number lookups by typing “reverse phone lookup” into the search bar. This will provide you with several options. Many of these sites require payment before they will give you any detailed information.

Free Websites

There are several free sites that have reverse number search capability. Some of the best and most popular of these sites are:

WhitePages.com – Perhaps the largest phone directory in North America. They allow you to search by name, address, or phone number. This site will also give you information on who the neighbors are as well as their phone numbers and addresses. It will give you the basic information of names, addresses and phone numbers. You can trace cell phone numbers through this site, but the only information typically given is the provider’s address and name.

Anywho.com – This is another large directory that provides you with the basic information. They will also allow you to look up locations for zip codes and area codes. You can not trace cell phones through this site.

Freephonetracer.com – This site is a little different in that it instantly provides you a map showing you the location. It also provides the owner information and address including latitude and longitude. You can trace cell phone numbers, however, you will only be given the provider’s information, not the real owner of the phone.

Cell Phones

If you are looking for the owner of a cell phone number you are going to need to use a pay site. There are a lot of reverse number searches that claim they do cell phones, but all they will manage to pull up is information on the provider. Unless someone has put their cell phone information out there for the search engines to pull from, it will not be free. These are typically treated as private, unlisted numbers.

The best way to find the current top reverse number search engines is by doing a web search and entering “reverse cell phone lookup.” These pay sites typically start at around $10 and go up from there. Some sites charge per number, others have a subscription fee that allows you to look up several numbers per month. Before you commit yourself to a fee read the fine print carefully, any reputable company will not charge you if they do not produce results.

Reverse phone lookup is a valuable tool that allows you to return missed calls, ignore telemarketers and correct phone bill errors. It can also be used as a tool to gather information on companies as it allows you to find locations that may not be listed on their website. It is usually a good idea to have at least one of these sites bookmarked for quick and easy reference.


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A lost Canadian that woke up one morning and found herself in the U.S. with a husband, child and a mortgage. April is a gear head and a geek that loves tinkering with cars and computers; but strangely the two never meet as she likes to keep her 1940 Oldsmobile in its all original state and her computer updated and running sweet.

2 Comments

  • phone look up service

    That’s exactly what a reverse loop up service is., but much more besides. I have used this service previously and it does a pretty darn good job!

  • Grace Kurt

    Nice post. It is indeed a great help to use reverse phone lookup to find the owner of a number. I am personally using http://www.thecalleridentity.com/ to find the owner of a spam number. It sure helped me resolve issues about prank and harassing callers.

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