By Contributing Author
Have you been receiving phone calls from unknown numbers? Does someone in your family have weird calls from unidentified callers? There is a myriad of reasons why this could be happening. These calls can be from telemarketers that want to offer some new product or service, or it might be the case that a survey company wants your replies to some questionnaire. There is also the chance that some fraudsters got your number and they might be trying to trick you or your family in some way. If you detect something weird going on, it cannot hurt to look into it and figure out who is on the other side of the line.
This is exactly what reverse phone lookup tools are designed to do: search the owner of a particular telephone number. In the old days (i.e. before the internet), the only way to find out who owned a number was by searching through the telephone books. This method was quite unreliable because people could opt-out of yellow pages and phone books. Of course, someone that has some dark intentions will be cautious enough to do this. Luckily, new technology has appeared in the past years that enable normal people to do reverse phone lookup searches for free. There are a variety of tools and methods out there. Here we present the top 5 solutions that will help you find the person (and in some cases extra information) about a number. The ideal tool will vary depending on the concrete scenario, this is why we selected a broad spectrum of tools to help in every situation.
The first thing you have to decide in order to select the right tool for you is the type of search and the amount of information you want to have. If you already have the number, the following tools can help you:
- Google & Social Media Platforms
The Google search and the most important social media platforms (for example, Facebook) are the perfect places to start your quest to figure out the identity of the caller. A lot of platforms ask for the mobile phone number as part of the registration process and some people choose to make it public. If the telephone number belongs to a company, there is a good chance that it will appear on their website or other related websites like directories that list the information of companies. Moreover, if a number has been repeatedly used to scam or in some way annoy people, there is also a good chance that you will find posts from other people complaining about it. If you do not get the exact information about the owner through these means, you might at least get an idea of more general information (for example, the country or zone the number belongs to). There is even a Chrome extension that you can add to the browser that will help you get easily get the information you need.
ReversePhoneLookup is a free website that helps people do a basic version of reverse phone lookup. It works both for landlines and cell phones (however, the latter are more difficult to identify). The information that they provide includes the first name and surname of the owner, the location where the number is registered, and the address of the owner. Whenever their search is not successful, this tool will still give you some useful information about the number (general location, the name of the service provider, and call complaints that this number has online).
Sometimes you want to detect or block numbers at the precise moment they are calling. This is particularly useful with cell phones. There are several apps both for iOS and Android that will help you know who is calling. Two of the best ones are:
This is a Taiwanese company that has developed a simple app that looks for numbers from its database of over 1 billion phone numbers (globally). They offer an instant caller ID service which will let you know the identity of the caller instantly. This is a very useful feature because you will be able to better react to an unwanted call (or even choose not to answer). This tool also offers services to block unwanted calls and SMSs. You also have the possibility to report numbers and help develop a reliable database for everyone else in the community. This app is available for Android and iOS systems.
Truecaller is a Swedish company that works as a smart global telephone directory. Together with the identity of the number that is calling you, it also provides information concerning reviews, ratings, and photos that are available online from this number. This app is available for Android and iOS systems.
Whenever you or your family are receiving weird calls, it is advisable to take the necessary measures to protect them. Directly calling back an unknown number is never advisable, since this is a very common tactic that fraudsters use to trick people into paying high toll rates. It is estimated that in 2017, around 25 million Americans lost $25 billion in spam calls. Depending on the exact situation, there are tools that will help you determine the identity of the caller and act accordingly. Whether this means doing extensive research of a possible stalker or simply blocking the number of a telemarketer that has gotten your number, this list contains the right tool for each situation.