How to Look Up Phone Numbers [Free and Paid Options]

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How to Look up Phone Numbers

Let’s face it; you’re more likely to fall for a phone scam if you don’t know how to look up phone numbers.

You’ll surely get spam calls and text messages regardless of how cautious you are with your personal data. But a lookup can save you a lot of headaches.

So, how’s it done? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Reverse Phone Lookup?

A reverse phone lookup is a service that allows you to search and get information about another individual just by having their phone number.

The type of information you’ll get differs depending on the service you use.

The same goes for the depth, which depends on how vast the service’s database is, coupled with privacy laws and regulations guiding data collection.

However, the most common information you can get with any phone lookup service includes:

  • The person’s full name and address (name and address linked to the phone number).
  • Carrier information showing the telecommunications company that provides network service for the number.
  • Location: information regarding the geographical area where the phone number was registered.
  • Social media profiles: You’ll get information about the social media profiles linked to the number.
  • Alternate contact information, such as email addresses and phone numbers.

You can also get information about how the call was placed. Whether through a landline, cellphone, VoIP, etc.

However, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, regardless of the benefits of using reverse phone lookup services, they can’t be used for pre-employment background checks or other professional uses if they’re not FCRA-accredited Consumer Reporting Agencies.

But, you can still use them to verify the identity of unknown callers, attempt a reconnection with old contacts, and look up businesses and companies.

How to Look Up Phone Numbers?

There are different ways of looking up phone numbers, but for this article, I’ll mention 2 methods you can apply on your own without paying for a lookup service.

1. Through Web Search Engines

This is a free method of looking up a phone number using a search engine to verify the identity of an unknown caller.

All you need to do is input the number into the search engine, and places where the number has been posted will pop up. By places, I mean blogs, websites, people’s search engines, and more.

You can then proceed to dig deeper to find out the owner of the number and other information like their email, address, etc.

2. Through Social Media

Another way you can do a free reverse phone lookup is on social media platforms.

Keep in mind that this method may not work if the person is actively trying to hide their identity. But regardless, you can do the following:

  1. Save the strange number you want to look up in your contacts.
  2. Open Whatsapp and search for the contact you just saved.
  3. If the number has been used to create a profile on the app, you’ll see details like a display picture, username, business URL, and more.
  4. Repeat the same step for Telegram, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform you want to search.
  5. Please remember that you must grant these platforms access to your phone’s contact list and allow it to suggest contacts’ profiles for this strategy to work.

Like I said, this method is a hit or miss but it’s still worth a shot.

Do Reverse Phone Lookups Work?

Yes, reverse phone lookups work. However, the details and depth of the information you get may differ based on the service used.

Moreover, it’s best to note that when choosing a reverse phone lookup service, opting for a free one may not get you the best results.

This is because many of these services use their free tiers to upsell you on their premium subscriptions. As such, the information you’ll get for free may not be as detailed or accurate.

On the other hand, if you use a reputable lookup company, you can expect to get all the info you need. Let me show you some great options:

Where Can You Run a Reverse Phone Lookup?

You can use different reverse phone lookup websites to uncover the identity behind any phone number. But here are a few of the best websites I’d recommend:

1. Whitepages

Whitepages - Reverse phone lookup sites

This free reverse phone lookup website has a huge database of over 300 million phone and address records for people in the United States.

Whitepages allows you to search for local and international numbers, providing information like the owner’s name, location, and address. Additionally, you get the estimated or approximated age of the phone number owner.

2. Intelius

Intelius - reverse phone lookup website

With Intelius, you can access a massive database of 20 billion records to quickly get a phone number’s past and current locations, phone type, and the owner’s name.

It has been active since 2003, making it one of the most established people search websites. Intelius’ 5-day trial costs $0.95 with unlimited phone number search access. However, it requires full payment before you can access more detailed information.

3. TruthFinder

Truthfinder - reverse phone lookup website

TruthFinder offers one of the best paid reverse phone number lookup services with a database of 350 million records.

Apart from allowing you to get detailed information about a phone number, it also has a dark web search feature that can help you identify suspicious callers and scammers. TruthFinder costs $4.99 per month, and it comes with an unlimited number of lookups.

4. BeenVerified

BeenVerified - reverse phone lookup site

BeenVerified offers a huge 1 billion+ records database.

All you need to do is input any number into the website’s search bar, and it will provide a comprehensive report about the phone number. BeenVerified offers a pay-as-you-use service, which means you pay for every search you run.

5. Spokeo

Spokeo caters to over 23 million users monthly, providing access to a database of 12 billion+ records.

By entering the phone number into the search bar, you get details about the owner, including the address, full name, social media profiles, and more. Spokeo’s paid plans range from $14.95 to $69.95 monthly, but you can get started with its 7-day trial plan, which costs $0.95.

6. Truecaller

Truecaller - reverse phone lookup site

Truecaller is a popular international phone number directory that functions as a spam blocker and caller ID service. It has over 300 million phone numbers in its database.

All you need to do is install its mobile app and enjoy on-the-spot caller identification without the need to configure any settings. Tuecaller is free for the most part, but it has a premium plan that costs $10.99 a month.


Reverse phone lookups help to identify the people behind strange phone numbers easily.

Platforms that offer the service often come with different levels of information, so picking one from my recommended solutions will be your best bet for the most accurate results.

In any case, knowing how to look up phone numbers can help you discover and avoid spammers, making it a handy tool to safeguard your privacy.


Is There a Free Way to Look Up a Phone Number?

Yes, you can look up a phone number for free using Google and other search engines or opting for a free phone number lookup service like Truecaller.

The requirements for both options are similar as you only need to input the phone number into the search box, and you’ll get your desired information.

How Can I Find Out Who a Number Belongs To?

You can find out who a number belongs to by using a reverse phone lookup service. This makes it easy to reveal the identity behind a phone number, detailing their names, home and email addresses, and other identifiable information.

Is There a Legit Way to Look Up a Phone Number?

Yes! The best way to look up a phone number is by using a reverse phone lookup service. It’s simple and it provides you with identifiable information about the owner of a particular phone number.

There are different phone number lookup services like Intelius, TruthFinder, WhitePages, Spokeo, BeenVerified, and lots more.

More about the topics: people search sites, reverse phone lookup