Phone 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)
If 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.
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:
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.
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)
4. Canpages (Canada)
5. Das Telefonbuch (Germany)
6. Das Ã–rtliche (Germany)
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.
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.
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!
Latest Article: Twitter: Best Practices and Tips [PDF Guide]