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unknown numberPhone numbers are a little like fingerprints. They can reveal a lot about a person, for example their name or where they live.

If you have a missed call from an unknown phone number, you may want to identify the phone number of the person who tried to reach you before you dial that number. Chances are you’re hooking up with a telemarketer. Eventually some random person simply dialed the wrong number. Or it’s your long lost best friend who finally found you. You never know.

There are several free online tools to reverse lookup and identify a North American phone number. However, with cell phone numbers it’s almost impossible to find out the identity of the person behind the phone number. Unless you are willing to pay.

Sadly, most seemingly free services will redirect you to a paid option, even if it’s possible to find the information for free elsewhere. To avoid these pitfalls, I have compiled a list with services for reverse phone number search and how to use them.

1. WhoCallsMe? (Worldwide)

identify phone numberIf you suspect that a telemarketer called you, this is the service you should try. Enter the number in the search field and hit “Get Details“. If the number is not listed, no one has had complaints about it yet.

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The database at WhoCallsMe? is supplied by its users. So if you have been receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers, surveyors, charities or other organizations, help others avoid these people by entering their phone number and details into WhoCallsMe?’s database.

A similar page is Who Called Us.

2. Google PhoneBook (North America)

For North American landline numbers, Google is an excellent choice to identify a phone number. For listed US numbers, Google may return a phonebook result that looks like this:

identify phone number

It reveals the name and address of the person who owns the respective number. Using the convenient GoogleMaps link you can look up in what neighborhood they live.

identify phone number

For other numbers, Google may return links to local online phone books.

Now you could directly go to one of your local online phone books. Which one you choose of course depends on where you are. Unfortunately, I can’t list one for each country. Besides, reverse phone number search is restricted in and unavailable for several countries, including Australia and the UK.

The following four sites are for Canada and Germany. They basically all work the same – you find the reverse lookup option, enter the number, and hit search. So without further comments, here it goes…

3. 411 (Canada)

whose phone number is this

4. Canpages (Canada)

whose phone number is this

5. Das Telefonbuch (Germany)

whose phone number is this

6. Das Örtliche (Germany)

i need to know who a phone number belongs too

These were your options for landlines.

But what if you’re trying to identify a cell phone number? Honestly, I could not find a free tool for identifying the owner of a given number.

However, due to the nature of North American cell phone numbers, the prefix reveals the location of the caller. The most you can find out for free on top of that, is the name of the provider and when the number was registered.

7. Cell Phone Tracer (North America)

This website will find you the the phone carrier and the location of the given phone number. If you choose to continue to receive the entire available information, you will be asked to pay.

i need to know who a phone number belongs too

8. Cellphone Registry (North America)

The Cellphone Registry may be able to tell you when the phone number in question was registered. Unlike the previous website, it was not able to find the phone carrier. And all further information is available for cash only.

i need to know who a phone number belongs too

Did we miss an online phonebook for your country with reverse lookup option? Please feel free to request a link or provide us with the resource in the comments!

Image Credit: iprole

 

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  1. Joe
    July 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Try Phone-Trace.com
    It gives a lot of info for free. You can get more details if you pay a fee, but you will probably find what you need for free.

    • Tina Sieber
      July 11, 2016 at 11:10 pm

      Thank you for the resource, Joe.

  2. Allan Parker
    April 23, 2015 at 2:01 am

    The whole post sucks...........

    • coolboy
      May 20, 2016 at 5:32 am

      haha correct

  3. Anonymous
    February 2, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Get me the owner of this number in south africa 0824248243

    • Naomal Perera
      October 6, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Mxo Xulu

  4. Searchbug
    January 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Here is an eHow article on this topic:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5902691_identify-phone-number.html

    And a youtube Instructional Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amReiGC-Ky0

  5. Aditya
    January 8, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Can any one tell me about the services for Indian phone numbers.

  6. VIRAJ
    January 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    howdy :)
    above info pretty good,but penultimately useless stuff for Indians ..

    need to work on it..

  7. camilia Bates
    December 10, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Its much better if a business has a toll free number. Aside from mentioned above, costumers can easily remember a business if it has a Vanity toll free numbers at reasonable prices.

  8. Laura
    November 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm
  9. Sheldon Swartz
    November 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I wish Google Phonebook were real. The article's link simply takes you to Google itself; that page looks nothing like that shown in the article.

    • Tina
      November 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      Sheldon,

      as described in the article, the option only comes up when a number is found using the link I provided. There is no direct link to the phone book, at least I could not find one.

      • Sheldon Swartz
        November 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

        Well, I have read articles elsewhere and their info is just as incorrect. Yet the article posted here shows an actual Google page that, in the graphic, says "Google Phonebook."

        • Tina
          November 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm

          Yes it does, because that what comes up when there is an entry.

          Let me explain it again...
          You use the link I posted, yes the one you think is wrong, just use it. Search for a person or phone number in the US. If Google finds an entry, you will see the PhoneBook results as shown in the screenshot.

          As far as I know, that is the only way to it. If you know of another, e.g. a direct link, please share! I could not find one. Period. :)

  10. Robby
    November 4, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Useful! Thank you for the information and for that added by various commentors.

  11. mishkinj
    October 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Another good one for looking up land lines is AnyWho: anywho.com/rl.html

    • mike
      October 29, 2009 at 3:21 pm

      I've been using the anywho.com/rl for year and it's worked best for trying to figure out who was calling.

  12. Prepaid Tarife
    October 25, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Thank you, also we have in germany an other service klicktel.de and also rueckwaertssuche.

  13. Perditia
    October 25, 2009 at 6:18 am

    For Germany I always use Klicktel klicktel.de/inverssuche/ which is often better than Telefonbuch or Das Örtliche

  14. ben
    October 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    any ones for the uk

  15. Jones
    October 19, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I know everything google ... and missed their phonebook. Thanks for sharing

  16. marvin therobot
    October 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Input my cell number, several of these returned it as a LANDLINE. Why would I pay for more info from these folks?

    • Tina
      October 17, 2009 at 7:30 am

      I take it your own cell number is North American. The number I tested with returned correct information. Thank you for reporting that it may not be 100% reliable!

      On paying...
      I do not recommend paying for further information. You don't have to know everything after all. I compiled links to find out as much as possible for free.

  17. Cru Jones
    October 16, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Thie site is as helpful as the pay site links it provides!

  18. Kevin
    October 15, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    #7 doesn't work. Typed in my own cell phone number and it told me that it was a landline and that the carrier was something I've never heard of.

    • Tina
      October 17, 2009 at 7:27 am

      That's strange. Is your cell phone number North American? I tested it with a Canadian cell phone number, which worked fine.

  19. Nunuv Yerbiznezz
    October 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I use 800notes.com/. It's free, and it's a user-driven database like #1. Although the URL suggests it's for toll-free numbers, it reports on all calls. It even has an entry for 786-000-0000.

  20. neb
    October 14, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    useful

  21. Vikram
    October 14, 2009 at 8:24 am

    this is cool i have a tips on my site to locate mobile number.

  22. nishant
    October 14, 2009 at 5:50 am

    ne phone book for india???

    • Tina
      October 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

      Nishant,

      apparently Vikram (the following commenter) found a website that can locate mobile phone numbers in India. It doesn't seem to reveal the owner's name, though.

      Here is the link to Bharatiya Mobile:
      trace.bharatiyamobile.com/

      • ram
        November 8, 2009 at 6:34 am

        but it will not trace the mobile owner and address.
        pls let me know if u find any online traker to find the owner and the address of the number.

  23. John Green
    October 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

    A good US reverse look-up resource is the Verizon affiliate @
    whitepages.com/10866/reverse-lookup
    on commercial land lines it provides the business name/location plus the manager/CEO information

    • Tina
      October 15, 2009 at 1:58 am

      John,
      thank you for pointing this out! I missed the extra information for commercial numbers.

  24. deecee
    October 14, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I've had good luck for years using SearchBug: searchbug.com

  25. Rick
    October 14, 2009 at 3:20 am

    you should really include "http://www.free411.com"
    An excellent resource!

  26. MJ
    October 14, 2009 at 3:13 am

    The Swiss Phonebook http://tel.search.ch/

    • grappler
      October 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

      Yea it is good because it tels you also how many people there are with that name. great site!
      what about mobile fones this was for landlines.

    • grappler
      October 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm

      Great site, use it alot! 1 great feature tells you how many people there are in switzerland with the same name.

    • Tina
      October 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you for sharing MJ!

    • CSquared
      October 16, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      This will come in handy thanks! To bad you have to pay for the cell phones :( But when ever I need a number from Switzerland!

  27. Pleased as Pumpkin Pie
    October 13, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I found this article to be surprisingly useful and super convenient. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in compiling this list.

    • Tina
      October 14, 2009 at 2:37 am

      Thank you very much for the positive feedback!

  28. Sheldon Swartz
    October 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Too bad you have to pay for this information. I thought makeuseof was not about pay-for sites? Even the URL in the article was wrong.

    • Tina
      October 14, 2009 at 2:37 am

      Sheldon,

      MakeUseOf is all about free tools! We do not promote using pay options, but if there is no other option, we will point it out. People would come and ask for it anyhow.

      So in this case (cell phone numbers) only part information is available for free and I explained how to access it. I merely mentioned that finding the full information was not free.

      Which URL did you find to be wrong? Google PhoneBook? There is no direct link. As seen in the screenshot, the PhoneBook option comes up when Google finds an entry for a given number.

    • Aibek
      October 14, 2009 at 2:56 am

      Which site are you referring to? I am well familiar with most of the above sites and as far as I am aware they are free.

  29. Ishan@ILoveFreeSoftware
    October 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I was once trying to get this information last year, and wasn't able to find any free service which provides that. I wish I knew about Google providing this service for free at that time.

  30. Kevin
    October 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    this was a very useful page for me as i was gettin calls from this other number in Greece ta 4 helping me track it down Kev,Zimbabwe

  31. Elia Kernell
    October 13, 2009 at 9:48 am

    This Stinksand such a bore!

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