Often, a call comes in with a number on your caller-ID that you’ve never seen before. At times, you may receive several calls each day from the same number, and while your curious as to who may be calling you, you’re hesitant to answer the call because you don’t know who it is.
It’s a common dilemma and one that many people face each day. But instead of wondering who that number belongs to, there’s an easy solution to find out who it is that’s calling: Reverse Phone Lookup. So what is a reverse phone lookup? It’s a search for more information about who is using or who actually owns the phone that’s calling you or texting you.
There are other uses for reverse phone lookups other than discovering who has been calling or texting your phone. For example, you can use the service to find a relative you haven’t heard from in a long time. Many people use the service to prevent fraud, by confirming the identity of a caller. And others use it to find people they’ve previously met but only have a phone instead of a name and address.
Whatever reason you have for using a reverse phone lookup, it’s easy to use. But how do you do a reverse lookup, and what is the best source to use?
Solution #1: Google
Google offers many different services to customers, including web email, a suite of productivity applications like spreadsheets and word documents, news aggregator, calendar software, cloud storage for customers and businesses, and many others. But Google is best known for its Internet search engine. After all, how many times do you hear people say, “Let’s Google that?”
What many people don’t realize is that Google also offers a reverse phone lookup service. It’s easy to use because Google has a wealth of information stored on its cloud. Once Google’s automatic bots have crawled a phone number, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll be able to get the information you’re looking for.
To use Google’s service, just go to Google like you would if you were looking up any information. Type in the area code and phone number and Google’s search engine will try to find the info you need.
The only issue with Google’s reverse phone lookup is that it generally can’t provide information that is associated with a mobile phone or a personal household phone number. But if the phone’s owner has ever placed that number on any social media site, Google’s reverse phone lookup can generally find it.
Solution #2: Online Tools
There are also a variety of online tools available to do a reverse phone lookup, and many of them do this at no charge. For example, there’s NumLookup, which will do a reverse phone search that includes name, background check, and other information. While it will display the information for “free,” it does require a trial membership to obtain the results. It also provides reverse lookup for India, OnAir, and other areas.
Nuwber is an online tool used by many people who are seeking accurate reverse phone lookup information to identify unknown callers or to help find people that they’d like to reunite with. That might include old friends, relatives, or colleagues. They also offer validation of information about neighbors, people on social media, neighbors, and others.
Nuwber offers subscription services that provide advanced searches and background information on people, locations and phone numbers.
Another online tool is Truecaller, which can be used as a reverse phone lookup tool as well as spam blocker. Many people find that it works well, but there are some privacy concerns as it collects data without the person providing permission. Because of this, the Truecaller app is banned in India and other countries.
READ: How to Hide Your Mobile Number While Calling Someone
Solution #3: Facebook
Did you know that Facebook offers a reverse phone lookup? They do, and all you need to access that service is a Facebook account. Once you log into your account, click on their search bar and type in the phone number you’re looking for. If that number is associated with any personal Facebook profile, their information will pop up for you to see. You’ll get the same results if a person has ever shared that phone number in anything they posted on Facebook.
Many people share phone numbers on Facebook. At the top of the list are businesses that run Facebook ads. Or perhaps someone is putting together an event that includes a “call for more information” tag on the post. Regardless of the reason, if a number has been posted on the service, Facebook will find the number’s information.
Solution #4: LinkedIn
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn has a reverse phone lookup service as well. The LinkedIn service is limited because it only shows information about the phone numbers of your 1st contacts on LinkedIn.
However, once you visit LinkedIn, a third-party reverse phone lookup service option will appear called “Checkmate.” Once you find the owner of a phone number, Checkmate also offers a background check option that reveals many types of personal information about the caller.
In addition to Checkmate, typing “reverse phone lookup” in LinkedIn’s search bar will bring up a list of LinkedIn member companies that perform reverse phone lookup services.
Solution #5: People Search Sites
Another way to find out who’s been calling you or texting you is to use people search sites like Whitepages, which has access to phone numbers found in the White Pages from phone directories (you remember phone books, don’t you?).
Whitepages will tell you whether the number you’re searching belongs to a landline phone, a cellphone or is simply a spam number at no charge. Landline phone number information is generally free of charge, but expect to pay for information related to a cell phone number. The reason is that cell phone searches require extensive computer processing time and Whitepages and others have to charge for that service.
Other available services include address lookup, background checks, a business locator feature and other options. But the primary purpose that people use these sites for is to do a reverse phone number search.
READ NEXT: How to Do a Quick Reverse Phone Lookup
Regardless of what service or tool you use, reverse phone lookup can provide peace-of-mind and help locate those people you’d like to connect with.