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What is a Reverse Phone Lookup?

by Akilah Summerlin (2018-08-15)

If you have a telephone number, you can find out who owns it and what their address is.

Some local telephone directories include a section for reverse phone lookups. This usually a thinner section, as the only information is a list of local numbers and the names of the owners, addresses are not normally included in this section. The publishers of these directories figure that if you can get the name that goes with a number, you can then look up the name and get the rest of the information.
If your phone directory does not have a reverse phone lookup section, or if you are curious about a long distance number, there are a vast number of web sites on the internet that provide this type of service. You can type in the key words "reverse phone lookup" in any search engine and get a list of sites to visit to perform one.

When reverse phone lookup was first considered, it was only possible to get information on residential phones. If one had someone's home number, they could do a reverse phone lookup and get that person's name and address. As this technology has become more popular, it has grown to include business' numbers and even toll free numbers. Some sites claim to be able to perform reverse phone lookups on cellular phones as well.

Having reverse phone lookup capability has several advantages. Parents can use reverse phone lookups to learn who owns phone numbers that are used to call their teens or children. While some might consider this an invasion of the children's privacy, most parents are likely to feel that their children are more secure if they are familiar with who is calling them. There are times when it may be necessary for a parent to forbid certain callers or report inappropriate callers to the police.

Another advantage of reverse phone lookup is the ability to trace back calls from a business that have been missed and no message was left. A person can perform the reverse phone lookup and find out the name of the business and its location. He/she can then decide whether to return the call or not. Often, calls from local businesses are important enough to warrant a return call. Of course, with no message, the person will probably not even know that it is a business number until after performing the reverse phone lookup.

A reverse phone lookup is very similar to looking up a phone number in a directory. The difference is that people normally have a name or an address when looking up a phone number and they have a phone number they do not recognize when performing a reverse phone lookup.