Having someone’s mobile number is already a huge step to getting in touch with a person. Still, it’s not enough — what’s good of a number if you don’t know to whom it belongs or how you got it? A mobile phone on its own won’t provide you with enough information, but it’s a reliable lead.
Types Of Phone Lookup
There are two possible ways to get ahold with personal information, connected to a phone number. It all depends on the kind of information you already have — let’s see how this works.
Basic phone lookup — finding the name of a person and want to get a mobile number. You can also get additional information about the number holder.
Reverse phone lookup — looking for the name of a person and basic information based on number alone.
Here, we focus mostly on reverse lookup, although you can use all described methods for basic phone lookup as well.
Why Do Phone Lookup?
Phone lookup doesn’t equal tracking or stalking. You are using public data, freely available in online and offline sources. It’s perfectly legal to use white papers, online databases, social media catalogs, and dedicated services
There are many scenarios when reverse phone lookup is the only way to contact a person or assure your safety — here are just a few main ones.
You have missed a call and have no idea who is the number owner. Knowing contact details before calling back makes further conversation more personal and productive, both for personal and networking purposes.
You found a number on your desk or phone, but there are no details. Do you need this number? Does it belong to someone you know? You can find out with a phone lookup.
You need to make a call to a potential client or partner, and you’d like to know more about a lead.
You received a suspicious text or call, and have no idea who was the initiator. Naturally, there is no way to feel safe unless you can get at least essential insights on the situation, starting with the caller’s data.
Your date or an acquaintance gave you a phone number, but you forgot the name. Phone lookup is an excellent way to save face and get details independently.
These were just a couple of scenarios from the top of our head — possible uses of mobile lookup are unlimited. Often, it’s not merely a convenience matter, but a security solution.
Is Phone Lookup Legal?
Legally speaking, there is no distinction between traditional and reverse lookup — it’s perfectly legitimate to look for people’s mobile phones by their names as well as searching personal data from a phone number. In the United States, users can use any numbers for search — residential, mobile, business, private.
For users outside of the United States, the situation is different. In the UK, phone directories are legally obliged to remove all personal numbers from their lists. In Europe, after a new data protection policy, storing a user’s phone without permission is a criminal offense, punished with multi-million euro fines.
Can All Numbers Be Looked Up?
All numbers of a North American Numbering Plan format can be reversed. An ideal lookup number consists of an area code and seven-digit number. Looking for business phones, residential and fax numbers is easier than for mobile ones, but it’s gotten easier.
Now, mobile numbers are collected by social media websites and email providers. The majority of these services keep an accessible database. It’s also perfectly legal, as soon as the information is public.
How Does Phone Lookup Work?
There are six common methods of phone lookup based on public online services and sources.
Mobile phone books
The most apparent method unsurprisingly results to be a proven one. White pages services and call providers databases were go-to places for phone lookup from the beginning of the 2000s, and they still get millions of daily traffic. This is definitely the destination where you should start the search.
WhitePages — the oldest mobile phone database with 85% of American numbers as well as 5 million+ international numbers. The free version allows checking the owner’s age, name, address. The holders of paid subscriptions get access to a detailed profile.
AnyWho.com — AT&T-founded service, the website collects private and business numbers of all service users. The site also has a business version — Yellow Pages — for tracking corporate contacts and getting business data on the number’s owner. Here, you can get the user’s address, map, name on a free plan. The website receives approximately 3.3 million users per month, which makes it one of the most popular contact platform.
Adresses.com — the services specialize in name and address search, but it also supports the phone and reverses phone lookup. The website attracts 11 million monthly visitors and supports a 10 million user database.
The advantages of phone book lookup are apparent — it’s free and global. These services collect millions of numbers and personal profiles, providing critical data for free. On the other hand, the open possibilities are somewhat limited; you only get a map, name, and sometimes an age.
2. Using Google for phone lookup
Google can find anything — and mobile numbers are not an exception. It’s not a sure method — you need to go through dozens of pages. However, you get access to dozens of databases, not just one, so your chances of finding a profile grow.
Google phone number search is incredibly easy — paste the number to the search tab and press “Enter”. However, there are details underneath. Sometimes, number owners add tags that mark the information private. So, not all numbers can be found with Google, but the good news is, people rarely mark online data with additional tags.
To increase the likelihood of finding a name, put the mobile phone or the name of the person in quotes — the search engine will look for a precise character combination, entered in your search;
If you need to find a number, start by entering a person’s name and ZIP — this way, you segment the results by the location;
Google works better with business phones than with personal ones. These days almost each business has a website with contact data — phone, mobile number, email.
If you know the profession and possible location of a person, try combining those in a single search query like “New York developers”. You might find a professional database or an Upwork account.
Google is the second go-to destination for reverse number lookup. You will have to put it more work, but as a return, you get access to more information.
3. Facebook phone lookup
The social media owns a public database where you can legally find the entire social media profile based on a phone number. Last year, Facebook introduced a mandatory two-step notification. The official reason was to prevent the stream of a fake account, but also to target users with ads based on their number and area code.
Facebook has become the largest international mobile database — all users’ phones are publicly visible in the lookup feature. Users can’t hide their numbers from the database — it’s a mandatory information collection.
Facebook doesn’t offer a standalone phone lookup service — you can enter the number in the public search and choose the “People” tab. The website will show you the profile of a user to whom the number belongs.
4. Email services phone search
The easiest way to use email for a phone search is by using mail carriers. Most American mail providers collect necessary contact information of their users in a public database. You can enter the mobile phone in the search, and the mail carrier will automatically show you a profile with a name and email.
Also, you can email users with their mobile number instead of an ID. T-Mobile users can be emailed by [number]@twomail.net, a Verizon user with [number]@vtext.com — these texts will be delivered to their connected email addresses. Sure, you won’t get a detailed profile from this one, but this method works for establishing connections and networking.
5. Phone reverse phone number lookup services
We saved the best method for later — and here it is. The reason why using a dedicated phone lookup service is a favorite way to get personal information is because it’s the only way to get a detailed profile.
For one thing, dedicated services regularly update their databases, delete bots, and check the authenticity of published numbers. Compared to white books, where you get millions of outdated entries, you don’t have to browse through inactive profiles and deleted numbers.
Also, such services have a free demo version where you get unlimited feature access for a limited period. For free, you can get a person’s name, location, age, profession, even education.
Who can use a phone lookup?
Number databases and services are accessible to anyone. Usually, these services are used for networking, email communication, safety reasons.
How to do reverse phone lookup?
You need to have a person’s mobile number and access to at least five of our described methods.
How to use white pages for phone lookup?
You can use the online white page database. These services have an online search — all you have to do is paste the number and press “Enter”.
Can I do a free reverse phone lookup?
Yes. Online databases and services have free versions and trial periods. Some put limitations on the amount of accessible information for free users.
Where to find a full reverse phone directory?
You can use services like Everyjoe.com with an updated database or official white paper libraries, found by organizations and mobile communication providers.
Is phone search legal?
Yes, it’s legal in the United States. You can use publicly available services like white papers, phone lookup websites, Facebook number search, and email address database.
The bottom line
Phone lookup and reverse lookup is the simplest way to get personal data in less than an hour. Often, it’s the only resort you have to ensure your safety or building a business connection.
Social media, email services, and digital databases of communication companies give unlimited access to any personal information. It’s all one or two clicks away and completely free. Most importantly, it’s an entirely legal practice — as long as you don’t use the obtained data for stalking and criminal activities.