Phone calls from numbers you can’t identify can be really annoying. Prank calls and other unwanted calls are quite common and have on occasion brought a Federal agency to a standstill.
You may also be concerned that your child or partner is communicating with someone in secret and you would like to find out the identity of that person.
Well, this is where a reverse phone lookup comes in handy. A reverse phone lookup is essentially a search for the details associated with the owner of a phone number. These details include the name, address and other information.
Here are a number of ways to perform a reverse phone lookup.
Google Reverse Phone Lookup
There are lots of places online that say that you can do a reverse phone lookup using Google. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work very often. To be honest, if you were to put your own phone number into Google and search, would you get an accurate result? Try it out for yourself and you will understand why this method is overrated. However, there are a few search tips that may help you get an accurate search result if the number is published online and has been crawled by Google. In the search box, type allintext: “xxx-xxx-xxxx” where the “x” denotes the digits of the phone number you want to identify. Take note of the quotation marks. If you don’t get a result you can delete the dashes and retry. This requests Google to perform an exact match search. If the number is owned by an organization and is publicly available then you will likely get a hit. But, if it’s a private cell phone number, you are not likely to find out the owner of the number and you need to try other options.
Reverse Phone Lookup Using Truecaller App
Visit the Google Play Store if using Android or the App Store if using iPhone and search for TrueCaller. Install the application. After downloading, click the Open button and click Get Started. Make sure your Wifi or Data connection remains on. Click Continue and give the app the permissions it requests. Next, enter your phone number. The app will verify your phone number via an SMS or voice call. You will also need to create a TrueCaller account. This can be done by typing in your name and an email address or by signing in using your Google or Facebook account. Go through the instructions that follow to complete the setup. To find the identity of the person calling you with the strange number, copy the number from your call history and paste it into the TrueCaller search bar. TrueCaller will display the name and location of the owner of the number. Alternatively, you can dial the number and get the same results.
TrueCaller and other similar mobile apps such as Caller ID are able to achieve this through crowdsourcing. To understand how crowdsourcing works, assume there are only three people in the whole world and all of them install TrueCaller. TrueCaller scans the phone book contacts saved on the devices of all three people and then creates a separate database on their server. Now, when the first person calls the third person, s/he will know the number and name of person three because TrueCaller will display this information on his phone.
There currently over 500 million users spread around the world using apps like TrueCaller. However, there are still some places where these types of apps are not very common. So, if the caller hasn’t installed TrueCaller or a similar app then you’re out of luck finding out who has been calling you using this method.
Reverse Phone Lookup Using a People Search Service
Ultimately, there are only a few sources that have accurate information on landline and cell phone records, these are known as People Search Services. Some online People Search Services are not very reliable and you may end up paying for useless information. A good people search service will not provide you with this information for free. You will most likely need to part with a few dollars to find out the identity of a private cell phone or landline that has been calling you. A People Search Website such as Nuwber.com only charges a few dollars but the results are certainly worth it. In addition to getting the name and address of the caller, you also get a host of other information such as police records, lawsuits, property ownership, and much more.
You can also find out what information about you is publicly available and request the service to take it down. This is important because most unwanted callers get your information from publicly available sources.
There are other methods that are not very effective we can only mention them as a footnote in this article. For example, a few years ago, it used to be possible to type a phone number into Facebook and pull up the profile of the owner. This is still possible, however, people nowadays rarely make their phone numbers visible to the public due to the potential to receive a ton of spam calls and messages. In any event, if the strange caller doesn’t want you to find out who they are, they certainly aren’t going to make the amateur mistake of making their phone number on Facebook visible to the public.
And, finally, there is the issue of privacy. Some privacy advocates have argued that people search websites violate the privacy of citizens by allowing anyone to mine their databases for information about other people. This is certainly true, you should never use these services unless you have a genuine and legal right to do so. For example, if someone is calling your phone and you don’t know who they are, you have every right to find out who they are; in fact, if you have reason to fear for your personal safety, you have a right to all information about someone who is calling your phone.