How Reverse Phone Lookup Works (2023)

By: Diane Dannenfeldt & Talon Homer|Updated: Jan 13, 2022

How Reverse Phone Lookup Works (1)

If you've ever looked at a phone number on caller ID and wondered whose number it is, you can try using reverse phone lookup to find out. There are a few free ways to go about this on the internet, and some options will provide you with the person's name and address.

While finding phone numbers via reverse lookup is easier — and cheaper — for landline numbers, you also can get information about cellphone numbers, as well.


Consider a few likely scenarios:

  • When you check caller ID on your phone, you see you missed a call from John Rogers at 513-555-1771. Who is he, and where is the 513 area code?
  • You're cleaning off your desk and find a scrap of paper with a scrawled phone number on it — no name, just the number. You know you wrote it down quickly while you were on the phone, but you don't remember whose number it is. Save and add to your contact list, or just toss?
  • Your cellphone shows a call from a number you don't recognize. Should you call it back, or is it a wrong number or sales call?
  • Your primary physician refers you to a specialist and provides the doctor's name and a phone number to call. Where is the new doctor located, and how do you get there?
  • You see several calls on your phone bill to an unknown number. Did you make these calls and don't remember Have you forgotten making the calls, or are they in error?

These are just a few of the situations in which reverse phone lookup can help you.



  1. Free Reverse Phone Lookup
  2. Reverse Phone Lookup Sites

Free Reverse Phone Lookup

How Reverse Phone Lookup Works (2)

Reverse phone lookup works best if you start with a landline number for a business or residence. Before the internet, phone companies published reverse phone directories, or reverse white pages, by specific towns or area and made them available to the police, libraries and others. These books listed businesses and residences, but they didn't include unlisted, fax or cellphone numbers. The internet's speed and convenience brought an end to paper directories and made reverse phone number lookup digital.

Many options are available online for free reverse phone lookup of landline numbers. Here are two:


  • Google and other search engines index the phone numbers of registered businesses, along with addresses and other contact info. Start your reverse lookup by typing the full phone number into the search field. If that number belongs to a business, it will probably be listed at the top of the page, with any corresponding map sheets and website links. If the number belongs to a residential address, however, then search engines aren't going to index it. If your search site doesn't point you on the right track, then a dedicated reverse lookup service will have to be used.
  • Type "reverse phone lookup" in the search field. Hit "enter," and you'll see listings for sites that provide reverse phone lookup. Go to the site, and type in the number. As with a search engine, you'll usually be given the person's name, street address and a link to a map for driving directions. You may see a "for more information" or "advanced search" function. These usually are paid functions that can provide unlisted and cellphone numbers for the person, as well as other personal information. If you want these services, you can pay for each search individually or pay an annual fee for an unlimited number of lookups.

Reverse Phone Lookup Sites

How Reverse Phone Lookup Works (3)

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

  • This site receives more than 30 million unique monthly visitors in North America. At the start of 2008,'s database covered more than 180 million Americans, or more than 80 percent of U.S. adults. International numbers also can be searched. Besides name, address and map, the site provides the phone number owner's approximate age. It also provides similar information for neighbors. For a fee, you also can get background information on the phone owner.
  • Operated by Intellius, works off a database of information from local phone companies. Unlisted numbers aren't available, but international numbers are. Searches provide names, addresses and maps, plus additional information for a fee. Accessing free info will also require an account sign-up with an email address. receives an estimated 3.3 million U.S. unique monthly visitors.
  • provides much of the same info as the previous two sites for free. For a small fee, users can get additional features like full names, address history, and public records, and monthly subscription plans also available.

If you're being inundated with many spam calls or rings from automated "robocallers," then a reverse lookup service probably won't help you to find the origin of that number. That's because spam callers often use a basic hacking technique called "spoofing," which replaces the original ID with a random residential number that belongs to someone else.


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

The largest provider for reverse cellphone number lookup is Intelius Inc. Intelius calls its service "Cellphone Caller ID" and provides available information for each number that may include name and address, as well as unlisted, VoIP (voice over internet protocol) and business numbers for the phone user.


Originally Published: Feb 7, 2008

Reverse Phone Lookup FAQ

How can I look up a phone number for free?

There are a few ways to look up a phone number, but whether it's free depends on how much information you want and whether it's a landline or cell phone number. Reverse cell phone lookup isn't is one of the most accurate options for landlines, but not all the information is free. Go to to see your options for a reverse address search or reverse lookup on a phone number. and are two other sites that do free reverse phone number searches for landlines.

Can you Google search a phone number?

Using Google, type the phone number in the search field with the numbers separated by hyphens (for example, 012-555-6789). Hit enter and you'll see results showing the phone owner's name and address. However, don't have high expectations. Information may be outdated or incorrect and numbers that belong to a private household will likely not appear.

What is the most accurate reverse cell phone lookup?

The most accurate provider for reverse cell phone number lookup is Intelius Inc., which offers a service called "Cell Phone Caller ID". A lookup provides available information for each number that may include name and address, as well as unlisted, VoIP, and business numbers for the user. The service offers a 7-day free trial and then charges $29.95 per 30 days.

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How accurate are reverse phone lookup? ›

Yes and no. It depends on several factors, including how long a person has owned their phone number. Research shows that between 60 and 80 percent of cell phone numbers searched by reverse phone lookup services were accurate.

Are there any legitimate reverse phone lookup? ›

Yes — there are plenty of sites that offer free reverse phone lookups. First, here's a look at exactly what a reverse phone lookup is and how it works, then you can get started finding numbers on your own.

Why is it so hard to do a reverse phone lookup? ›

Reverse phone lookup is hard because it's difficult to get a hold of all the information necessary to identify the number. To do a reverse phone lookup, you need the person's name and address. Without this information, it's impossible to determine the number associated with that name and address.

What does reverse phone lookup tell you? ›

Upon entering the phone number, users can access important information such as criminal records, personal details, court records, and social media information about a particular person. Reverse phone number lookup sites help people access this service and find information about people from a vast database.

Is there a 100% free reverse phone lookup? ›

USPhoneLookup provides free reverse phone lookups on any phone number, whether it's a cell phone,or a traditional landline. Thanks to its powerful search engine and easy-to-use interface, it only takes seconds to check a phone number. You can also look up a phone number by its area code in the US.

What is the most accurate reverse address lookup? ›

Best Reverse Address Lookup Services
  • Intelius – Best Overall Reverse Address Lookup and Online Address Search.
  • Truthfinder – Best for for Personal Data.
  • Instant Checkmate – Best for Mobile Use.
  • Spokeo – Best for Value.
  • US Search – Best for Ease of Use.
Feb 6, 2023

Can you look up someone's phone number without paying for it? ›

AnyWho is a free phone number lookup service. With it, you can search the White Pages for someone's phone numbers. You can also find out who owns a phone number via reverse lookup. AnyWho is great if you want a free service for local lead generation in the United States.

How do I find out the owner of a phone number? ›

The best way is to use a reverse phone lookup service. These services maintain databases of phone numbers and their owners. You can usually find a reputable service by searching on Google. Once you've found a service, enter the cell phone number into the search box.

Does * 67 still work? ›

Based on our tests in April of 2022, this still works. If you dial *67 then the recipient's full ten-digit phone number, your call will ring through. The recipient's caller ID will say 'Unknown Caller' or something similar.

Can your phone carrier see what you search up? ›

Yes. In order to connect you to the internet and allow you to visit websites, your data must pass through your ISP's gateway servers. This can allow your ISP to track the websites you visit and any downloads you make.

Can someone see what you look up on your phone? ›

Regardless of whether you use an iPhone or an Android smartphone, it is possible for someone to install spyware onto your phone that secretly tracks and reports on your activity. It's even possible for someone to monitor your cell phone's activity without ever even touching it.

Does Google have a free reverse phone lookup? ›

To utilize Google search as a free reverse number lookup tool, put the number in question into the search bar along with the area code (e.g., (123)456-7890) and hit enter or select "Google Search." The initial results may come from reverse lookup firms, with many of them requiring you to use your credit card to obtain ...

How do you find out who a number is registered to? ›

One option is to use reverse lookup services, which will provide you with the owner's name and address. Another option is to use an online search engine, such as Google or Bing, which will allow you to input the phone number and see who owns it.

How do I look up an accurate phone number? › is one of the most accurate options for landlines, but not all the information is free. Go to to see your options for a reverse address search or reverse lookup on a phone number. and are two other sites that do free reverse phone number searches for landlines.

Is there a completely free reverse email lookup? ›

There are some different ways to conduct a free reverse email search. The most popular method is to use a search engine like Google or Bing. Enter the email address into the search bar and see what comes up. You can also try using a people search site like or

How do I reverse search someone's number? ›

TruthFinder or Intelius are trustworthy reverse phone lookup sites. To look up a phone number, simply enter the full 10-digit number and click Search. You should see the results soon, which may include the business or individual's name, address and phone type (cellphone or landline).

Can you actually find someone by their phone number? ›

Thanks to today's advanced technology, tracking a person's location by phone number is not only possible; it is pretty simple, and there are many ways to do it. Many phone tracking services and spy apps will help you locate a person's exact location just by using their phone number.

Can you find the owner of a phone by the IMEI number? ›

For locked phones, there are a few ways to get them back to their owners. The best method is to get the Internet Mobile Equipment Identity, or IMEI, number. The IMEI number can uniquely identify the owner of the phone.

How can I get personal details from mobile number? ›

Sometimes Google is the best way to find information about a phone number!
Go to in a web browser.
  1. Click Phone at the top of the page to go to the Reverse Phone Lookup page.
  2. Enter a mobile or landline phone number, starting with the area code.
  3. Click Search to find all available information.
Jul 19, 2022

What does * 82 mean on a cell phone? ›

*82 - Unblocks Caller ID on one outbound call

This star code will unblock your caller ID for a single outgoing call if you have previously used *61 to block caller ID for all outbound calls.

What happens when you dial * 57? ›

Activate Call Trace

Pick up the phone and press *57 (touch tone) or 1157 (rotary). You'll hear a confirmation tone and message will be heard If the trace is successful. You must keep a written log of the date and time of harassing calls to retrieve Call Trace information.

Does 141 hide your number on a mobile? ›

If you don't want to withhold your number permanently, only before making a particular call, it's very straight forward to do. Simply type the numbers 141 before the phone number you plan to dial. This is the same system used on landlines but it also works on mobiles.

Can police recover deleted internet history? ›

The answer is yes—by using special tools, they can find data that hasn't been overwritten yet. However, by using encryption methods, you can ensure your data is kept private, even after deletion.

Can your phone company see your text messages? ›

Your provider or "carrier" keeps records of your cellphone use, including calls and text messages, and even pictures sent from your phone. Almost all cellphone carriers give detailed information about a phone's use in billing statements sent to the owner.

Can someone see your search history through WiFi? ›

Anyone with access to the Wi-Fi router's admin panel can check your browsing history. It doesn't matter if it's at home, school, or public Wi-Fi zones. Most modern routers keep a log of connected devices, event timestamps, bandwidth used, and visited website URLs and/or IP addresses.

What is code *# 62 for? ›

*#62# - With this, you can know if any of your calls - voice, data, fax, SMS etc, has been forwarded or diverted without your knowledge.

How do I block my phone from being tracked? ›

Turn off location services (iOS and Android)
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy and tap Location Services.
  2. You can toggle off Location Services for all apps or scroll down and turn off location services only for specific apps.
  3. Go to Settings > Location, and toggle the location button to Off.
Nov 4, 2022

What is the 3 digit number to see if your phone is tapped? ›

Code to check if phone is tapped: *#21#

How accurate are cell phone locators? ›

In rural areas tracking accuracy can vary from 0.25 mile to several miles, depending upon how many obstacles could be blocking the tower's signal.

What is the most accurate phone tracker? ›

#1. mSpy — Best Phone Tracking App Overall
  • It is 100% undetectable on the targeted phone, meaning the person you track will never know about it.
  • It is easy to set up on both iOS and android devices.
  • It is user-friendly, and you do not need to know much about technology to use it.
Jul 5, 2022

Can police track a phone that is turned off? ›

Can a phone be tracked if it's turned off? A phone that is turned off is difficult to track because it stops sending signals to cell towers. However, the service provider or internet provider can show the last location once it's switched back on.

How do police triangulate a cell phone? ›

Can Police Track Your Phone? The police won't track your phone without reason, but they can access your device's location history in an emergency or if they suspect criminal activity. Once they have a warrant, the police can access a phone's GPS data through a cell provider and view its current or last known location.

How can I lookup a phone number totally free? ›

10 Best Completely Free Reverse Phone Number Lookup Sites
  1. NumLooker – Best Overall Phone Number Lookup Service.
  2. CocoFinder - Completely Free Reverse Phone Lookup Site.
  3. USPhoneLookup - Advanced Profile Lookup and Report Generation.
  4. USPhoneSearch - Quick Free Phone Number Search.
Oct 27, 2022

Can I find out who belongs to a phone number? ›

Use reverse lookups

There are a fair few websites that offer reverse lookup services. All you need to do is type in the number and it will provide you with the details if they have them. While some of these sites are free to use, the vast majority of useful ones you will have to pay for.


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