A nuisance call or a phone number on a piece of paper with no name attached to it can be a source of headache for many people. But, with the current technological capabilities, the solution is an easy one. All you need is a reverse phone lookup. However, with so many reverse phone lookup sites offering the service, finding the best company to obtain a membership with might be challenging.
Our article simplifies this situation by identifying the best reverse phone lookup providers on the market. We have thoroughly researched each company and reviewed them, including the positives and negatives, to make the selection process that much easier. Now all you need to do is read and click to find that phone number that’s annoying you.
3 Best Reverse Phone Lookup Sites
What Factors Did We Consider to Choose These 3 Sites?
To ensure we presented our readers with the three best reverse phone lookup providers, we have carefully scrutinized important factors influencing a user’s journey while utilizing the service. The factors we have chosen are as follows.
- Information Type – We know that every reverse phone lookup service is not the same. Individuals searching for specific forms of information can often find themselves disappointed when the type of data they are looking for isn’t available in the results they receive. To minimize these cases of disappointment, we have included only phone number search providers who provide their client base with a wide range of data. In addition, we have provided a brief snapshot of the type of data each provider offers, further simplifying our reader’s decision.
- Cost – The reasons behind the need for a reverse phone number lookup might vary from benign in the case of a call from a friend’s new number, to grave in the case of fraudulent representatives trying to take advantage of the elderly. The urgency of the request will affect how much an individual is willing to pay for a reverse phone lookup service. Unfortunately, unscrupulous reverse phone lookup services are aware of this and are more than willing to take advantage of someone’s need. To combat this approach, we have carefully scrutinized the prices of all the providers we have recommended. We have also tried to include only service providers willing to provide savings opportunities.
- Database Size – We know that the accuracy and speed of a reverse phone lookup depends heavily on a provider’s ability to obtain records. We also know that not every provider is willing to exert the effort or the time to maintain an appropriate database, further complicating a consumer’s journey. To combat this issue, we have included only reverse phone lookup services with extensive databases. We have also tested the databases of the providers we have recommended as the best reverse phone lookup services to ensure that the information they provide is as accurate as possible.
- User Experience – We are aware that member experience recollections provide a wealth of information and are good indicators of a well-rounded reverse phone lookup provider. As such, we have trawled through numerous reviews, finding rating averages and including user recollections that we have judged as necessary, whether negative or positive.
3 Best Reverse Phone Lookup Service Providers – Reviews
1. Intelius – Editor’s Choice
- Unlimited searches
- Easy-to-use site
- Searching anonymity
- Fast Pass feature
- Affordable prices
Why Use Intelius’ Services?
Intelius boasts access to more than 20 billion public records, allowing the company to produce some of the most detailed results for reverse phone lookups put through their system. With the valuable experience that comes from being in business since 2003, Intelius provides information that clients can use to reconnect with old friends or research potential partners using cell phone numbers and landline numbers. One of the first advantages that members will experience is the company’s easy-to-use website. New visitors to the site are presented with a search bar for the number of their choice. Then, after entering the number and clicking search, users are presented with the opportunity to gather information about the phone number owner, including:
- Social media profiles
A full search takes less than a minute to complete, and users can access their results after entering their name and an email address. People looking for near immediate results can also take advantage of Intelius’ Fast Pass opportunity, allowing them to skip the line and get right to their reverse lookup. In addition, Intelius promises members that by using its encryption program, its reverse phone lookup service is entirely anonymous. The company also offers unlimited phone number search opportunities, including cell phones, and a dedicated, helpful service team who are more than willing to deal with any consumer query. The company is so assured of its services that it offers a 30-day refund policy, where in the unlikely case that a customer isn’t satisfied, a refund can be arranged via email.
Are Intelius’ Services Worth The Price?
Along with its accurate and fast phone lookup results, Intelius also offers several savings opportunities for visitors to take advantage of when using the site. For example, those individuals who are unsure whether they would like to bond themselves into a monthly contract with Intelius can take advantage of the company’s 5-day trial available at only a fraction of a total membership price. In addition, readers seeking to run a single report or unlock a report instantly can do so under the company’s special offer plan. Finally, clients looking for unlimited access to Intelius’ reverse phone lookup services will pay monthly, with the opportunity to cancel their contract at any time.
What Do Customers Think Of Intelius’ Services?
Intelius currently holds an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. In addition, the company has a 3.6-star average on TrustPilot with numerous raving consumer reviews. Past and current members have commended the company for the accessibility of cancellation when customers no longer need the service. Regular users have also praised the company’s service team for being patient, kind, and helpful regardless of the problems presented. Finally, consumers have praised the accuracy of the company’s searches, accrediting the extensive database for the reunions of family and friends.
Intelius has made its mark as the overall best reverse phone lookup service on our list through a combination of speed, accuracy, and affordable price packages. These factors added to high customer ratings, and the attentive nature of the company’s service team has more than earned Intelius a place as the Editor’s Choice on our list.
2. PeopleFinders – Runner Up
- Large database
- Highly rated service
- Introductory offer
- Multiple devices supported
- Limited payment options
Why Use PeopleFinders’ Services?
PeopleFinders assures potential clients that the company’s reverse phone lookup services have access to information on over 250 million adults in the United States. The company also boasts that the results provided by its reverse phone lookup searches are both accurate and thorough. In addition, with PeopleFinders’ multiple devices platforms, readers can conduct a reverse cell phone lookup or search for a landline number from the comfort of their home or while on the move. PeopleFinders presents its regular users with reports that include:
- Email addresses
- Criminal records
Reverse phone lookup searches conducted using PeopleFinders’ extensive database take less than three minutes to complete after a 10-digit number is entered into the company’s search bar. The company also offers a wealth of information about the ins and outs of the people search industry that new and existing clients can browse by accessing the company’s blog. In addition, the company offers an in-depth look at the processes behind as well as the reasons why customers should use reverse phone lookup services.
Are PeopleFinders’ Services Worth The Price?
PeopleFinders offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, assuring potential clients that whatever payment plan they decide on will be secure in the unlikely case they are displeased with the service. Unfortunately, you can only pay by card, but this is barely an issue with the company’s discount offers. New visitors to the site can take advantage of the company’s introductory offer, wherein they will receive a whole month’s service for less than half the cost of a complete membership plan. Those looking for a full membership plan can choose between the company’s standard program or a PeopleFinders’ premium membership.
What Do Customers Think of PeopleFinders’ Services?
PeopleFinders has achieved an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, where it boasts more than 30 years of service. The company has also earned a 4.8-star rating on Trustpilot, earned from almost 1,600 reviews. Past users have praised the company’s service team for their quick response time and ability to resolve payment issues. In addition, members have noted the accuracy and thoroughness of the reports received as reasons why they will continue their membership with PeopleFinders.
While perhaps not quite as impressive as Intelius’ unlimited reverse phone lookup opportunities, the discounts and database offered by PeopleFinders have earned it a solid place as Runner Up. These factors, combined with the company’s high ratings and satisfaction guarantee, have more than earned PeopleFinders a spot on our best reverse phone lookup list and made the company one to watch for in the future.
3. Spokeo – Worthy Mention
- Wealth of information
- Featured services
- Area code directory
- Numerous data types
- Website can be overwhelming
Why Use Spokeo’s Services?
One of the first advantages of Spokeo’s approach to reverse phone lookup searches is the sheer amount of information that the company provides for its regular users and visitors. Spokeo provides concise instructions on how to conduct a reverse phone lookup using either a cell phone number or a landline. The company also offers advice regarding the limitations and expectations of the service. Spokeo even gives visitors a chance to run a free reverse phone lookup on the site. Using this free reverse phone lookup, visitors can also leave comments that may help other customers.
Spokeo boasts access to more than 12 billion public records, and a search conducted through the company’s site can provide users with information including:
- Location history
- Birth year
- Email addresses
In addition, Spokeo assures users that privacy is one of its main features. Any search conducted through the site will be kept entirely private, and the subject of your search will not be notified. Spokeo also operates with a satisfaction guarantee, allowing dissatisfied consumers to contact their representative team, who are available seven days a week and can be reached by phone or email. Spokeo also provides updates on past reports, allowing past users to gain any information their first search might have missed.
Are Spokeo’s Services Worth The Price?
While Spokeo does offer a free service, the information received will be limited; this is because the maintenance of the company’s database does require upkeep, and this is expensive. However, the company does offer other free services, including its Telemarketers and Area Code databases that users can browse freely. In addition, Spokeo provides a three-month membership trial at a reduced price. Visitors looking for full membership can further save by taking advantage of Spokeo’s sitewide discount.
What Do Customers Think Of Spokeo’s Services?
Spokeo has been featured on CNN, ABC, and CBS. The company has achieved an A rating on the Better Business Bureau and has fifteen years in the people search industry. In addition, the company has gained a 3.1-star rating on the ConsumerAffairs.com site, calculated from more than 800 customer reviews. Clients have noted that the reverse phone lookup offered by Spokeo is easy to use and that results are obtained promptly. Users have also noted the ease with which Spokeo’s representative team was able to address and rectify issues brought to the company’s attention.
Spokeo fully deserves its position on our list, a fact proven by the company’s popularity and approach to members’ needs. When combined with Spokeo’s extensive database, speedy search results, and affordable prices, it should come as no surprise that we have chosen the company as one of our best reverse phone lookup services.
What Is Reverse Phone Lookup?
In simple terms, a reverse phone lookup refers to the practice of obtaining information linked to a particular landline number or cell phone number. Before current technology, the ability to look up phone numbers was limited to old-fashioned paper phone books or rudimentary online phone searches. Worried homeowners also had access to reverse phone directories published by specific companies and directory assistance. However, the accuracy of such information was constantly in flux due to changing numbers and no opportunity for searchers to update their records. This frustrating experience continued for years until the emergence of reverse phone lookup sites.
By creating an extensive collection of public records material, these providers were able to simplify and speed up the process of linking a cell phone number or a landline to a person. Though the procedure might seem simple on the surface, reverse phone lookup providers must first create a fully functioning database of cell phone numbers and landlines to ensure that reports are received promptly. In addition, these databases require regular upkeep so that clients are assured that the information they are receiving is as accurate as possible.
Reverse phone lookup providers such as Intelius that boast extensive databases obtain their material from numerous public record sources. The information used on these sites is obtained from public records and can include the owner’s name, relatives, occupation, education history, location history, phone carrier, and even the type of machine being used along with its carrier.
Public and archival data may also produce much more sensitive information, such as criminal records that can be obtained from courts and records of bankruptcy. Some companies even go the extra mile, gathering free, legal information from sources like the dark web. In truth, there are few records in the public domain that reverse phone lookup services cannot access. At present, the only sources of information that a reverse phone lookup cannot share are:
- Records that are part of any open police investigation.
- Records that could affect national security.
- Records containing sensitive information about individuals who have not broken any law.
While it might seem like trying a reverse phone lookup for yourself should be easy due to the law providing access to these records, the truth is that the information collection process is a challenging and often financially draining one. Specific government agencies and companies can, if not stop a curious searcher from obtaining the information they require, then delay it until the quest is no longer financially viable.
Operating under the Freedom of Information Act, reverse phone lookup sites can preempt these issues by requesting and gathering information long before a potential client needs it. For example, individuals using Intelius’ reverse phone lookup search engines can gain knowledge from more than 20 billion public records simply by inputting a single number. The company’s systems will run this number through its extensive database, collecting all the linked public records and compiling them into an easy-to-use report in minutes. When compared with the hours of research and cross-checking of information you would have to do on your own, it should come as no surprise why reverse phone lookup services are so popular.
When To Use Reverse Phone Lookup Services?
The number of reasons why and when worried clients should use a reverse phone number lookup is almost impossible to quantify. So instead, we have identified the most popular occasions when reverse lookups can provide a user with peace of mind and, in some cases, safety.
- Vulnerable People – We have all heard horror stories of the elderly and other vulnerable people being targeted by unscrupulous individuals. Whether it is the case of scam artists looking to make a quick buck or pushy telemarketers who are unwilling to take ‘no’ for an answer, protecting loved ones can be difficult. With these fraudulent characters switching area codes and numbers often, it is easy for a vulnerable person to be fooled by a missed call from an area they don’t know or one they believe might belong to family or friends. However, by using the services on our list, such as those provided by Intelius or PeopleFinder, you can quickly identify the location and identity of that missed call. This knowledge allows users to block the number, preventing the chances of it ringing in the future.
- Harassment – Unfortunately, most homeowners and tenants have experienced harassment in one form or another. One of the most prevalent forms of harassment for adults and children is by phone, especially using an unknown number. The perpetrators of this offense are often secure in the knowledge that most people would not be able to track them down. But this is not the case for users of a reverse lookup service. By using one of the three services we have recommended, you can have all the information you need to confront your harasser or take the matter further if required.
- Reunions – Losing touch with a relative or friend due to relocation or a new number can be a challenging situation for anyone. This separation is especially complicated if you cannot reach out via social media. However, using information such as that provided by quality reverse phone lookup sites, users can gain full access to locations and new numbers or even emails just by using the phone number they have.
- New Person Check – Meeting someone new can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. When a quick search of social media turns up nothing about your new friend or potential partner, then this is when it is time to turn to a reverse phone lookup. With the ability to access criminal records and even details about family and friends, the services can tell you whether to keep the relationship going or allow it to fizzle out to keep yourself safe.
- Infidelity – The ringing of your partner’s phone late at night with an unknown number displayed is something that can ruin anyone’s day. However, with confrontation possibly leading to hurt feelings, potential clients can bypass this step and get the information they need with the click of a button.
- Address Lookup – Sometimes, phone lookups can be used for more superficial matters, such as tracking down the address of the new take-out food restaurant that doesn’t have a website. By entering the number on the paper menu you used, you can head on over in only a few minutes.
- Employer Verification – Seeking a new job can be stressful and leave readers running for the phone each time it rings. Missed calls might seem like the end of the world, especially when unsure who contacted you. Using a phone number lookup can put your mind at ease by quickly identifying your caller and letting you know if you should ring back or ignore the caller.
What Information Can You Get From Reverse Phone Lookup?
Reverse phone number lookup services provide users with a wide variety of information gathered from numerous public records and government agency sources. While there are limitations to the reports provided, the data collected is usually more than enough to meet most queries. Some of the types of information supplied by the providers on our list are listed below.
Past and Current Location – By linking a number to a particular person or business, service providers can create detailed reports that include areas individuals had lived in prior and where they are now. This information can often be verified by social media accounts and property records attached to the individual in question.
Marriage Records and Family Details – Due to the fact that marriage records are regarded as a form of a public document, phone number search providers can quickly obtain this information for their databases. The data can also be cross-referenced with data gathered from accounts on social media and through genealogy records, which can provide further insight via birth and death records.
Type of Call – Some reverse number search providers can identify the type of machine that the caller used with only the phone number. These companies can differentiate between a mobile number, a landline, and even a business number. Companies can also provide information about the carrier of the number.
Photos – By trawling social media accounts and online resources such as yearbooks, service providers can even offer a visual representation of the owner of a number. These photos are beneficial in cases of harassment where the reader might know the person in question and simply need confirmation.
Name of Owner – The name of the person behind an unknown number is just one piece of information that a phone number lookup can easily find and verify using public records. Reports might also contain aliases, previous names, and changed names due to marriage where required.
Education Records – Some of the more manageable pieces of public records to obtain once the potential owner of a number has been identified, is the person’s education history. While these records might not seem important when simply trying to identify an unknown number, they can prove beneficial when users are trying to verify the descriptions of a lost friend or family member.
Emails and Other Contact Information – By creating a report that links a number to a person providing contact information such as emails or other numbers, service providers allow their users to do some digging of their own. In some cases where an unknown number is simply the updated information of a friend or colleague, this added data can make the search for the right person easier by being able to check past communication records.
Criminal Records – Due to public access, court proceedings and records make up a large part of the databases of service providers. This information is particularly beneficial when users meet potential partners or when they are worried about the behavior of someone they thought they knew. While users can access some of the records available from service providers by themselves, some of the information available might not be correct due to dismissals and acquittals. In such cases, using a provider with an updating database is the best way to obtain accurate representations of those around you.
Social Media Accounts – One of the best places to find a wealth of information about a person is using the social media accounts that have become so popular in our technologically progressive era. However, these accounts are also easy to duplicate and create using fake information. The databases of phone number search providers can link these accounts together, providing customers with all the pieces of the puzzle to help them verify if the person identified is the one they are looking to find.
Employment Records – Using a phone number to verify the employment history of a potential partner or friend is a quick job using the extensive databases created by phone number lookup providers. Not only can this data protect readers in the case of scammers, but it can also help you find lost colleagues and relatives.
Is There A Way To Look Up A Phone Number For Free?
It is possible to get a report from a free reverse phone lookup. However, the quality of the information will often not be as reliable as it would be if a reader were paying for the service. Companies such as Spokeo even offer a free reverse phone lookup opportunity that runs alongside its standard paid services. However, users should be aware that the information they are able to obtain will be a fraction of what could be acquired in a full report. To better explain this issue, we have identified the ways in which free reverse phone lookup search systems and regular searches differ and the reasons behind each factor.
- Database Maintenance – While the vast majority of information obtained with a free reverse phone lookup does come from the same public records as the services that clients pay for, there are numerous ways that a free service will not be up to the standard of a paid one. For example, free services cannot access the funds necessary to fight government and business rejections of requests for information. This lack of funding often leads to smaller databases and less accurate reports. In addition, the maintenance of a free site’s database is not always possible due to a lack of funding and employees. This poor maintenance and updating can often lead to missed information or the use of previously correct but now obsolete records and data that might not solve a client’s query.
- Client Anonymity – In cases that involve reader safety, the anonymity of a number lookup search is essential. Paid services ensure the privacy of their clients through the use of encryption programs, as seen in the services offered by Intelius. However, free sites often make no promise of anonymity as they once again usually do not have the staff or funding to support the maintenance of encryption programs. This issue is particularly dangerous for users facing harassment and stalking, as having the subject of your search be notified is the last thing anyone would want in that situation.
- Report Production Speed – Database maintenance can also have an immense effect on the speed with which a report is produced. When compared to the services of Intelius, PeopleFinders, and Spokeo, which can navigate their extensive collection of records in minutes, free searches are usually lackluster in their approach. In some cases, these delayed results might still not be accurate, meaning the investigation was a waste of time.
- Spam Promotion – Sometimes, the free number lookup sites that are easy to find are simply fronts for other organizations and potential virus carriers, so readers must be careful about what website they use. It is usually best to avoid free sites with numerous ads and popup requests at all costs. Similarly, any site that requests that a client download files that security systems have flagged should not be trusted.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are phone lookup searches legal?
The legality of reverse phone lookup searches depends entirely on what the information gathered from the search is being used to do. As outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), customers cannot use the data collected from a phone lookup search for cases of credit, employment, and insurance matters. However, for issues such as tracking down old friends, checking who has called your phone, or researching a new acquaintance, reverse phone lookup services are entirely legal.
- Are reverse phone lookup searches accurate?
Whether or not the search you have conducted is accurate depends on your provider and their database. In some cases, inaccuracy can be caused by out-of-date information or indicate that the provider you are using is less than honorable. In addition, as the data used in some forms of public records may cost money to obtain and keep updated, some providers might try to slip incorrect information under a customer’s radar. Therefore, it is essential that customers carefully research the providers they use, much as we have done with those on our list.
- Can I use a reverse phone lookup on a cell phone number?
While it is more likely that information on cell phones might be sparse due to the ability to purchase prepaid devices, providers can still use cell phone numbers for reverse phone lookups. In fact, cell phones linked to social media accounts and specific addresses upon registration can be a source of a wealth of information for reverse lookup providers.
- Will the person I’m searching for know?
Due to advances in technology that allow for encryption while searches are being conducted, it is doubtful that the subject of your search will ever know of your intentions. However, this reverse lookup anonymity does still depend on your provider, and as such, you must select one that ensures your privacy, such as Intelius.
- Can I use data from a phone number lookup if I’m a landlord and need tenant information?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. You cannot. A tenant’s information is protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act means that providers of a phone lookup service cannot legally provide consumer reports as outlined by federal law. All three of our best reverse phone lookup sites will warn visitors of this legal restriction, and any service that does not make users aware of this should be avoided.
- How can a reverse number lookup protect my data?
Many providers of phone number lookup services utilize the dark web. This practice is less to gather information and more to indicate if a member’s information is being sold on the platform. By running a search on your own number, you might unearth misuse of your information.
- Can I get a refund if I don’t think the service is up to par?
One of the best ways to know if a service provider has its clientele at the forefront of its service is whether or not they have a refund policy. Companies like Intelius understand that while their information is accurate, they might not be able to provide everything a customer is looking for due to restrictions. As such, the company offers an open refund policy. Conversely, fraudulent companies that claim to find any information requested present potential members with a red flag when they avoid accountability by omitting a refund policy.
With such a wide variety of reverse phone lookup search providers available on today’s market, choosing the right one for you might be difficult. However, using our brief, unbiased review, you can quickly select the provider for you. Not only do you have the capabilities of these providers at your fingertips, but you also know what it will cost you for a bit of peace of mind the next time your phone rings. With nothing to do but read and click, the solution is at your fingertips.
This article has been supplied by Green Living, a paid advertiser. Content has not been independently verified by Los Angeles magazine.