It’s a common scenario: you get a phone call from an unknown number and don’t answer. Maybe they called several times but never left a message. But who was the mystery caller? It could have been an important business call, a friend with a new number, a spam call, or something more sinister. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find out who just called. Some methods go so far as to give a complete overview of the caller’s identity, including their social media accounts, dating profiles, and in some cases even their picture. Here, we take a look at four of the best ways to look up unknown phone numbers.
The easiest way to look up a phone number is by using an ordinary search engine – Google is the best at this. Simply type in the number and you’ll find results if it appears on any websites, blogs, social media posts, or anything else. For spam calls, you’ll no doubt quickly discover that you’re not the first person to search for the number, and there are various websites where people report nuisance calls. The only problem with using a search engine is that results are limited, and if the phone number isn’t out there in public there’s no way of finding it.
We all know that social media and privacy don’t always go hand in hand. That’s certainly true with Facebook – unless users change the default privacy settings, pretty much everything on their profile is public. So, if that user (or business) has added their phone number to their profile it’s easy to find – you can just enter the number in the Facebook search bar to find them.
However, you have to rely on a person putting their number on their profile in the first place, keeping it up to date, and having their privacy settings open enough for you to find it. If someone is making harassing phone calls, they’re not likely to publicly display their phone number.
Reverse Lookup Services
Enough people look up phone numbers that an entire industry has been made out of it. Reverse lookup services aim to provide even more detailed information about a phone number. What makes these services worthwhile is that they can give you far more information than what you’ll get from a regular online search – even when using the best search engines. For example, reverse lookup services will not only be able to tell you if the number is a personal or business number, but you’ll also know if it’s a cell, landline, or virtual number.
On the flip side, reverse lookup services are rarely free. You can expect to pay a fee of about $5 for a one-time report, although some services offer monthly subscriptions. But if you are prepared to spend money on information then it might be worth looking at a service that can give you more bang for your buck.
Background Check Services
For the most comprehensive reverse phone lookup, it’s worth using a background check service. Most background check services, like Intelius and Instant Checkmate, have their own reverse phone lookup tool included. But since they use the same data the service uses for more in-depth checks, you’re likely to get more thorough results.
By using a background check service you can also expect to see more than just the caller’s name and address. You may also find out their known relatives, aliases, social media profiles, and dating profiles. The service might even give you pictures of the caller.
Of course, background check services are useful for more than just reverse phone lookups. They’re ideal safety measures for dating, as well as for landlords when choosing a new tenant and employers making sure they hire the right person for the job.
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