How Reverse Phone Lookup Works

These three popular reverse lookup sites will provide basic contact information for free:

  • White This site receives more than 30 million monthly unique visitors in North America. At the start of 2008, the database covered more than 180 million Americans, or more than 80% of American adults. International numbers can also be searched. Besides the name, address and map, the site provides the approximate age of the owner of the phone number. It also provides similar information for neighbors. For a fee, you can also get general information about the owner of the phone.
  • Operated by Intellius, operates from a database of information from local telephone companies. Unlisted numbers are not available, but international numbers are. Searches provide names, addresses, and maps, as well as additional information for a fee. Access to free information will also require creating an account with an email address. receives approximately 3.3 million unique US visitors per month.
  • provides much of the same information as the two previous sites for free. For a small fee, users can get additional features such as full names, address history, and public records, with monthly subscription plans also available.

If you’re inundated with lots of spam calls or ringtones from automated “robocallers”, a reverse lookup service probably won’t help you find the origin of that number. This is because unwanted callers often use a basic hacking technique called “spoofing”, which replaces the original caller ID with a random home number belonging to someone else.

Spammers can also choose to spoof a phone number in your area code, making it appear local, when the real source could be anywhere in the world. While reverse lookup won’t provide much relief for these types of calls, many phone providers now offer methods to automatically block communications from suspected spammers.

The largest reverse cell phone number lookup provider is Intelius Inc. Intelius calls its service “Cellphone Caller ID” and provides available information for each number which may include name and address, as well as unlisted numbers, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and professionals. for the phone user.

Originally published: February 7, 2008

About Geraldine Higgins

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