A reverse phone search is the act of looking up a phone number in an attempt to find out who it belongs to. You may be familiar with searching someone's name in a phone directory to find their number—this is the opposite.
While internet search engines may be able to reveal some of the information you're seeking, a dedicated reverse phone number search tool is often able to provide not just a name, but more information about the person as well.
The biggest advantage of running a reverse phone search is peace of mind—knowing who may have called could help you decide whether you should return the call. But it could also help you connect with old friends, find family members and satisfy your curiosity.
Invite a friend to your wedding
Maybe you and your friend text and chat often, but you want the invitation to be a surprise. A reverse cell phone lookup could reveal their address so you can send it in secret.
Find out who's selling something
Many online commerce listings will only direct you to call or text a number for more information. Before you do, a search may help confirm that the number belongs to a real person.
Flag number spoofing
Hackers, scammers and telemarketers sometimes send false information to your caller ID, making it appear as though a call is local—and thus tricking you into answering. A reverse phone search could help confirm your suspicions that number spoofing is at play.
Research an online date
Online daters often move from a dating app to seamlessly exchanging texts. But how well do you really know a dating match? A reverse phone number search may reveal much more about your potential date, helping you decide if you feel comfortable meeting in person.
Making safer online transactions
Before agreeing to meet in person to make an exchange, an address search may give you greater confidence in whether to move forward with an in-person meeting.
Find a relative's new number
Maybe you want to share some good news, but the number in your contacts no longer works. A reverse phone search could help you find their new number, or put you in touch with another relative who may be able to help.
A reverse phone search is as simple as typing a phone number into the PeopleLooker search bar and tapping "search." You've probably tried a Google reverse phone lookup before, with mixed results. A PeopleLooker Reverse Phone Search taps into a database of millions of public records to potentially deliver so much more information about the person behind a phone number.
A PeopleLooker Reverse Phone Search is capable of returning information that's on a public record. When PeopleLooker identifies a phone number, we then scour millions of public records in an attempt to gather as much information as possible. Some potential search returns include:
Even if your phone indicates that the number may be a business instead of an individual, it's still worth running a reverse phone number search to try to learn more about who's trying to contact you.
Ignoring calls and trusting your caller ID aren't enough. Scammers can and do manipulate the name and number that appears on your caller ID, often appearing as a government agency or as a local call. They're effective, too: The FTC received 3.2 million complaints in 2019, and the median amount lost by victims was $1,000. Some common phone scams include:
Imposter scams. Whether it's a government agency like the IRS or the lawyer for a deceased loved one, the scammer is pretending to impersonate someone you'd ordinarily trust.
Free trials. The scammer may call with an attractive offer for a free trial of a product or service, but there may be hidden fees and charges passed on to you until you cancel.
Student loan forgiveness. These scammers prey on the financial hardship of people managing crushing amounts of student debt, but it's typically just an attempt to trick you into handing over sensitive information.
Lottery/sweepstakes scams. A scam to convince you that you've won a lottery you don't remember playing. These end with you losing money, not claiming any jackpot winnings.
Charity scams. They'll tug at your heart strings and take advantage of your giving nature, but in reality they either don't actually represent the charity in question, or it doesn't exist at all.
Travel scams. If a free vacation sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The "free" vacation may not be free at all, if it even exists in the first place.
Number of Phone Fraud Complaints by Year
2010 - 2019
2012 - 2019
By screening your calls and running a reverse phone lookup on suspicious numbers, you may avoid getting tricked by robocalls and other scams. If you answer an unknown number and are greeted with a recorded message, that's a robocall. Robocalls are illegal with few exceptions, and any you receive are likely scams.
If a number seems suspicious, never answer it. Instead, run a PeopleLooker reverse phone number Search to try to learn more about it. If all signs point to it being fraudulent, report it to the FTC.