Find Out Who Called With a Reverse Phone Lookup

Oct 11, 2022 - By Ariana Manikas

It’s happened to everyone; you get a call late at night from a number you don’t recognize, and you let it go to voicemail. Unfortunately they don’t leave one, and you’re left wondering whether you missed a call from someone important or just another scammer. 60% of all calls made in 2021 were linked to spam call centers, and calling a scammer back could result in dozens more calls coming in. Luckily, there is a simple way to check who called you: by running a reverse phone lookup.

What is Reverse Phone Lookup?

A reverse phone lookup allows you to see caller information using only their phone number. Depending on the search service you use, you can see valuable data like full legal name, current address, and other details. You can retrieve an unknown phone number from several sources, including a text, call, or a phone number you’ve simply lost the name for. Reverse phone lookups work for residential, business, and cell phone numbers.

How are Reverse Phone Searches Done?

Looking online, it would seem there are several free options to getting a reverse phone search done. Unfortunately, many of these services do not offer accurate information and ask for personal information like your email address or phone number. Once they have your info, they’ll flood your inbox with bogus offers without providing you with the details you need.

Once you find a trustworthy site, likely one that requires a small fee, you simply enter the full 10-digit phone number you’ve retrieved and click search. Depending on the service you chose, you’ll then be provided with a full report with the phone's identification information.

What is Included in Phone Search Results?

What you receive in your report depends on which third-party search service you choose. Make sure to read through what the service offers, and check closely to see whether they charge any monthly subscriptions, recurring fees, or minimum payments. If the service is offering high-quality data, you should be able to find details like:

  • Individual or company name
  • Current address with area code
  • Photos of the residence or business
  • Type of phone

Why Is Reverse Phone Lookup Important?

A reverse phone lookup can help you identify calls from unrecognized sources, allowing you to discern whether you need to return the call, ignore it, or block the number entirely. With the high volume of spam calls being received across the U.S., you want to avoid calling a scammer back at all costs.

You also may only have the phone number for a business or individual you need to contact, but not their name. Numbers get written down, papers get damaged, and it's easy to find yourself with 10 mysterious digits and no idea who or what is associated with them. With a reverse phone lookup, you can find out the person or company you need to contact in a matter of seconds.

How to Spot a Fake Phone Number?

Some reverse phone lookup services can help you identify whether a number is fake or from a false number; always check what features a service offers to see if phone validation is included. You can also search a phone number on google and see if a person or company comes up as its owner.

Occasionally a phone will be tied to social media accounts, which can also help you determine who called you from that number. If all else fails, you can call the number and see if anyone picks up. If the number is inactive, you can be certain you were called from a spoofed or faked line.

Reverse Phone Lookup Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  •  How Do I Block Spam Calls?

If you receive a call from a spam or fake number, you can initially try blocking it. This will sometimes fix the problem, as some smaller scammers or call centers don’t have the ability to continually spoof new fake numbers. Blocking a number will also show that you aren’t likely to comply with a scam and therefore aren’t worth their time. You can also register your number on the national Do Not Call List by calling 1-888-382-1222. This will put you on a government list making it illegal to call you with unwarranted solicitations. Unfortunately many scammers ignore this list, but it is worth a try.

  •  Can I Track a Location with a Phone Number?

Reverse phone lookup services will often offer location tracking as a feature, though they will only show you the general area the number owner is located within. Free services may give you inaccurate location data, so make sure to research your reverse phone lookup service closely before acting upon the provided information. For more accurate location tracking you would need to use a Find My Phone service, which usually only allows the owner of a phone to utilize tracking functionality.

  •  How Can I Find Out Who Called Me?

The best way to find out who called you is by using a reverse phone lookup service. By entering the phone number of the person or business who called you, you can see their full name, address, and the city they reside in. You can also try Googling the phone number, checking the phone book, or calling the number back, but these generally yield less useful results than a reverse phone lookup.

  •  Is There a Public Phone Directory for Reverse Search?

There are several public directories that contain phone numbers; reverse search services usually draw their data from these and other record databases. The issue with using a public phone directory is you have to manually search through each number. With a reverse phone lookup, this can be accomplished in seconds and yields information not generally included in a public directory.

  •  Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal?

In most areas, a reverse phone lookup is 100% legal. There are currently no federal laws banning reverse phone lookups, though there may be restrictions if you are using the service in relation to your business. Certain terms of service establish specific guidelines related to callers or customer information, and a violation of these terms could result in fines or prohibit you from conducting business at all.

  •  Is There a Free Reverse Phone Lookup Service?

There are several free options that allow you to conduct a reverse phone lookup; unfortunately, many of these services require personal information in exchange for access to their search engine. Free services also rarely have access to the same high-level data as paid services, and you are very likely to get out-of-date or inaccurate information when you try your search.

  •  What is Caller ID Spoofing?

Phone spoofing involves a caller obscuring their identification through spoofing software, allowing them to appear as though they are calling from a recognizable phone number or area code. This is commonly used by scammers to get you to answer the phone, as most would simply ignore a number they did not recognize. These spoofers will sometimes choose numbers your phone frequently receives calls from like loved ones, coworkers, or neighbors. They can even spoof the numbers of government agencies to further establish trust.

  •  Is Caller ID Spoofing Legal?

According to the Truth in Caller ID Act, the Federal Communications Commision or FTC prohibits anyone from transmitting inaccurate or misleading caller identification information with the express intent to cause harm, defraud, or wrongly obtain anything of value from the called number. If someone is found guilty of illegally spoofing their caller ID they can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each individual violation.

There are perfectly legal reasons to spoof a phone number; one example is when spoof services are used by medical professionals. Some doctors or physicians may call a patient from their personal phone, but would rather that patient not have their contact information. In that case, they would use a spoofing service to appear as though they are calling from their office.

  •  How Can I Find Out the Real Phone Number of a Fake Caller?

If you believe you’ve been called by a fake or spoofed number, you should first try to confirm their identity with a reverse phone lookup or phone number validator. These services have access to millions of phone numbers and associated identification data. You should also report the number if possible; the more people report the scam number the higher chance the call center can be located and shut down.

What is the Best Reverse Phone Lookup Service?

If you are looking for accurate and up-to-date information, the best reverse phone lookup search can be found on the Public Index. We provide our users with a comprehensive report on phone numbers, helping you find out the business or individual’s name, address, and much more.

The Public Index can help you identify whether a call is coming from someone you want to call back, or if it's a scammer, someone you should ignore. There’s no reason to search through endless directories to try to find out who called. Let us help you find them instantly; try the Public Index today!