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3 Best Reverse Phone-Lookup Services of 2022: Mystery callers exposed

Wonder who's calling you? It's not hard or expensive to find out, and may be important to know.
Wonder who's calling you? It's not hard or expensive to find out, and may be important to know. [ Shutterstock ]
Published Nov. 22
Updated Nov. 24

If you’re not the type of person who likes to change their phone number every year and deal with the hassle of reaching out to your contacts so that they know what your new phone number is, then you’re probably used to getting unwanted phone calls. This could be anything from telemarketers to scammers to people from your past who are trying to reconnect with you when you want nothing to do with them.

When situations like these happen, you may be wise to ask: Who is this? However, not everyone will respond. Sometimes, people partake in prank texts and calls and bother you for no reason. Other times, it could be an honest mistake and the person will reveal who they are and let you know that it was a call or a text made in error. This could also be happening to someone that you know. Whether it’s your partner or your child, unwanted phone calls and text messages can make you really uneasy. Are you being lied to or are these genuine mis-dials? To find out, you can use a reverse phone lookup service online and assuage all your doubts. And if there is something fishy going on, you can find out right away. Below, we share the best reverse phone lookup services, so you know where to turn when this inevitably happens to you.

Top 4 Services for Reverse Lookup of a Phone Number

How Did We Choose These Services?

Reverse phone lookup services should be easy to use, should provide you with all the information you need, and should be well regarded by previous customers. Together, this is what we considered:

  • Easy to Use Reverse Lookup When a cellphone number you don’t recognize tries to contact you, it’s unsettling. We chose reverse phone number lookup services that make it easy for you to quickly hop online and figure out what is going on.
  • Comprehensive Reverse Lookup Reporting Along with understanding the person who’s contacting you from different phone numbers, you should also be able to access additional information, like where they’re located, what their social media profiles entail, and even their marital status.
  • Customer Feedback When there is a long list of happy customers, we know a reverse phone number lookup service provider is doing it right. We only selected companies that have an overwhelming number of positive reviews.
  • Affordability Reverse cellphone lookup should not just be easy, it should also be extremely affordable. You’ll require these types of services more than once in your life and you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to get the information you need right away. We selected services that are fairly priced and that offer unbeatable service.

1. Intelius - Editor’s Choice: Best Reverse Phone Lookup

Pros:

  • Look up anyone
  • Instant access
  • Unlimited reverse phone number lookup
  • Privacy guaranteed

Cons:

  • Additional details besides reverse phone lookup search available at extra cost

About Intelius

Intelius is a leading provider of public data that includes information not just about people, but also about their connections to others. They provide several different services, including people search, public records, background checks, reverse phone lookup, and reverse address lookup. They dive deep into criminal records, and work to protect identities by providing vast access to people and phone directories. They do this all while protecting your privacy. They never alert the person you searched that you have uncovered information about them.

How It Works

Intelius offers unlimited searches so that you can look up anyone. All you need to do is enter the first and last name of the person you’re looking for along with their city and state. You can also look them up just using their phone number or even their address. When you need answers right away, use their fast pass option to get to a report right away. They provide you with instant results you can trust because they mine their data using very specialized sources to instantly deliver valuable information in one comprehensive report. You can figure out who is calling you while checking criminal records and even looking up their potential relationships. If you feel like you recognize the number, you may be able to reconnect with old friends. When you enter a phone number into the website, they access over 20 billion available public records to provide the best access available online.

What Customers Say

Customers are happy to recommend Intelius because it’s easy to use and it immediately accesses an incredible number of records in a very short period of time. The results received are accurate and reliable, helping people from all over to understand who is trying to get a hold of them. Learn more at Intelius.com

2. Spokeo - Runner Up

Pros:

  • Identify spam callers
  • Quick and efficient reverse phone number lookup
  • Time-saving and hassle-free
  • Advanced filtering

Cons:

  • Limited criminal history features

About Spokeo

Spokeo is all about people intelligence. When you use the service, you are able to search, connect, and understand exactly who you’re dealing with. It’s possible that you use their service and it turns out that the person trying to connect with you is an old friend. However, it’s also possible that you’re able to prevent fraud. The only way to really know is to use the service and gain more knowledge about the person or persons who are trying to connect with you. Every month, Spokeo serves 20 million people with 12 billion records that uncover what they’re looking for. They have been working to innovate their service since 2006, listening to customer feedback, and continuing to improve their service with a high-quality approach.

How It Works

When you visit the Spokeo website, you can enter a phone number to begin your reverse phone lookup right away. Once you enter the 10 digit phone number, including the area code, Spokeo begins their lookup through millions of phone records, including both landline and cellphone numbers. Before committing to a full report, they provide you with free reverse phone lookup results in mere seconds, so that you know if they have found the right person.

What Customers Say

Customers have been using Spokeo to uncover people who have been trying to contact them. They find the website easy to use and the information received is provided in a timely manner. Overall, customers are very happy with the service, even when they have called to cancel after finding the information they needed. Learn more at Spokeo.com

3. PeopleFinders - Honorable Mention

Pros:

  • Find unknown phone numbers
  • Thorough results
  • Use any device
  • 250 million adults in the US

Cons:

  • Cannot cancel memberships online - must call customer service

About PeopleFinders

PeopleFinders is a company that has been active since 1999. With connections to a wide range of diverse web sources, their decades of experience ensures that each reverse phone lookup report is not only incredibly extensive but also entirely up to date. They place a premium on ease of use and excellent customer service, allowing you to quickly access billions of records and be happy with the final delivery of a full and accurate report.

How It Works

With PeopleFinders reverse phone lookup, you can identify unknown landline and cellphone numbers. Their reports go deep to provide you with information such as the person who owns the phone numbers, background information, as well as their full name. It’s a convenient way for you to get instant results and understand who has been trying to get in touch with you or one of your loved ones. When you access the PeopleFinders website, you’ll find that they use thousands of different data sources to provide you with up-to-date records quickly. Whether it’s a missed call with an unfamiliar number, an old contact in your cellphone that doesn’t have a name attached to it, or an ad that has a phone number you’d like to learn more about - they know what they’re doing.

What Customers Say

Customers love how easy PeopleFinders is to use. They find that the service performs well over other providers that are similar. Not only is their website exactly what they’re looking for, but their customer service is always sympathetic and kind. Overall, PeopleFinders is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. Learn more at PeopleFinders.com

4. BeenVerified

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Android app available
  • Intuitive design

Cons:

  • Results cannot be used for employment or tenancy decisions

About BeenVerified

BeenVerified has one primary mission and that’s to help people like you discover, understand, and use public data in your everyday life. They were founded in 2007 in New York City and have made information that was previously only available to large companies with deep pockets available to consumers like you. They’ve made reverse phone lookup through public records an easy process that gives you access to a variety of different data sources. It’s as easy as logging into your favorite social media profile. They offer a variety of affordable ways for you to gain access to public record information. They even focus on providing specials and limited-time pricing that can get you the access you need for unbeatable prices.

How It Works

To search any phone number on the BeenVerified website, just type it in, including the area code and click on the search button. As soon as you submit your search, you’ll be provided with information like the first and last name of the person associated with that phone number along with any aliases the person has used. You’ll also be provided with their age, any information available on their social media profiles, their current address and address history, and any numbers associated with that original phone number you enter. Additionally, you can expect to uncover any email addresses and possible relatives. The next time you receive a call from an unknown number, let it go to voicemail and hop on to BeenVerified to discover who is trying to get in touch with you.

What Customers Say

Customers who use BeenVerified are practical with their approach to unusual phone calls. They use the service as needed to find out who is calling. Other customers who use BeenVerified like to check into people they meet online. With the information provided, they know right away when they’re being lied to, which protects them as they make decisions for their future. Learn more at BeenVerified.com

Why Use a Reverse Phone Lookup Site?

These types of services can be used for a variety of different reasons. The simplest reason is to understand who is calling you from an unknown number. This could be a number that keeps calling at various times during the day without leaving any voicemail information. It could also be a phone number that texts you on a regular basis but doesn’t reveal who they are. Another example can be when you hurriedly write down a phone number on a napkin and forget to attach a name to that number. Using a service to look up a phone number allows you to save face so you can remember who you were trying to contact without having to ask them directly. Another popular reason people choose to use these types of services is to look up the phone numbers that appear on your family’s cellphone bill. Additionally, these types of services can help you understand which numbers belong to a telemarketer, a sales person, or any other type of company soliciting their services. Sometimes, the situation is more grave. This could be harassment or stalking behavior that requires you dig deeper.

How Does Reverse Phone Lookup Work?

To look up cellphones using one of these services, you just need that single piece of information. The phone number. It could be a cellphone number, it could be a landline, it could be a fax number, or it could be one of those texting apps that just assigns a random phone number so they can communicate with a variety of different people without revealing who they are. When you put the phone number into one of these websites, you’re immediately provided with the information that answers your questions. Go ahead and enter the area code along with the phone number, and just click on the search button. It’s very much like using a search engine! The same way you look for a recipe online is the way these websites work; you enter what you’re looking for and they do the rest.

The data that is provided by the service may be different depending on each of the providers but basically, you can expect to get the name, their location, and any other personal details, including social media data. It’s a simple process that only takes a few minutes and the services that we list in this article are the best of the best because they make it easy, they are extremely affordable, and they help remove the doubts and worries that linger in your mind when you receive unusual calls and messages.

What Information Can You Get from Reverse Phone Lookup?

Lookup services provide you with several pieces of information. The phone number owner’s data is not as detailed as, say, if you hire a service to do a full background check, and there are certain times when you can’t use the information such as making employment decisions (per the Fair Credit Reporting Act). But when you’re just trying to figure out who keeps calling and texting, the information provided is more than enough. Below is what you can expect to discover:

Full Name

Most of the time when you are looking for the person who is texting or calling, all you really want to know is what their first and last name is. This way, you can figure out if it’s somebody you know that’s trying to get in touch with you, just trying to pull a prank on you or bother you intentionally, or if it’s a complete stranger that’s worth looking into.

Location History

Location history is another helpful piece of data that is included in your report because it lets you know if the person who is trying to contact you is in your nearby vicinity. If this is the case, you know to be on alert and to run a background check and look further into their true intentions.

Email Addresses

A reverse phone lookup report can also include any known email addresses. With this information, you can hop into your own email account and figure out if you have ever corresponded with that person.

Social Media Links

Social media profiles are a fantastic way to peek into the life of a person who is contacting you. For example, if it’s a teenager that’s just pranking random phone numbers, you can immediately recognize that they’re just a child trying to have some fun. However, if you recognize the person from your social media profile or if you see that they have a shady history, that’s a cause for concern and you can take any necessary action to protect yourself.

Marital Status

Marital status can be an extremely important piece of information if you are seeing someone new and they text you from an unusual phone number. Learning their marital status can help you find out if they’re actually single and who they say they are.

Job Information

You’ll also be provided with employment history and any current job that they hold. This could be helpful when it comes to understanding who the person is that’s trying to contact you and what their intentions might be.

Education History

You even get a deeper dive and get to understand their education history. Is it someone from high school you attended many years ago? Is it someone from college? All these pieces of information, once put together, create a whole picture for you to understand.

FAQ

Can you use a free reverse phone lookup service?

Yes, there are certainly many ways that you can search for a phone number online. You can just pop that phone number into a search engine and see what comes up. Or you can look at any free reverse phone lookup services that allow you to add the phone number and that may reveal some limited information. Feel free to try it and you’ll see that the information is so limited, it’s as if you didn’t search the phone number at all. You might get some feedback like the location of the phone number but that can usually be figured out based on the area code anyway. What these free lookup services primarily do is pique your interest further. Let’s say, for example, that you reside in Chicago, Illinois. You look up a phone number and it tells you that the phone number is from Chicago, Illinois. Okay, you could have guessed that based on the area code. But who is actually trying to reach you? And if they’re in the same city as you, do they know you? Have they been stalking you? These are the pieces of information that paid phone number lookup services help you find out.

When you use a paid service, the search runs deeper. You can glean a significant amount of information when you’re willing to pay for a service that actually dives deep into the net to discover the details surrounding that phone number. Additionally, some of these services that advertise as free aren’t actually free. They use the word free to lure you in and then they request your payment information to deliver tidbits of information that aren’t helpful. When you’re serious about finding out who has been trying to call you, text you, or get in touch with members of your family, choose a service that does what it advertises. No gimmicks, no false promises, just a service that’s clear and upfront about what they can do for you.

Does the person get notified you searched their number?

Never. When you use a reputable service, you can trust that your privacy is protected. Although the person with the phone number trying to reach you may be harmless, there are occasions when you may be facing a dangerous person on the other side of the line. To make sure that you stay safe while you look into that phone number, these services make sure that person is never alerted that you’ve inquired about them. You’ll find that most of the time, you can make sense of the person who’s been trying to contact you. However, there are instances where predators find your phone number and begin to stalk you or somebody that you love. In those instances, your privacy is extra important.

In other situations, you may be looking to learn more about a person who has been texting your partner or your child. As you begin an investigation into a situation like that, stealth is of the utmost importance while you gather the data you need. You can trust that your privacy is always protected when you use one of the reputable service providers we list in this article. You’ll be able to do your research, get the answers you need, and then move forward with making the best decisions to protect yourself, to protect your family, and to keep anyone who is trying to damage your family unit away.

Why use reverse phone lookup instead of blocking unwanted numbers?

Your instinct when you receive an unwanted phone call or a text message may be to just block the number and forget about it. While that seems like the best course of action to take in most cases, it could actually be detrimental. This is because if you don’t know who’s texting you or calling you, you don’t know where they’re located or what other information they may have about you. You don’t know if they’re connected to you in some way. For example, if it’s somebody at work who has developed an obsession with you, you’ll want to know what their name is, where they’re located, and what their social media data states. Reverse lookup is necessary in some cases. If you just block the number, you’re cutting yourself off from crucial information that can keep you safe. Whenever you get a call or a text from a weird cellphone number, it’s always best to investigate first and block later.

Conclusion

Free reverse phone lookup can always serve as a starting point when you’re looking into understanding unusual and unwanted calls. These reverse lookup services can help you track down phone numbers, including both cellphones and landlines, to give you a better understanding of who is trying to contact you. Don’t waste time the next time a call or text reaches your phone or the phone of a loved one. Take action right away using any of the services we listed above - you’ll thank yourself later.

If you are the type of person who likes to keep your phone number fresh to keep unwanted calls at bay, you could actually be dealing with a different set of problems. For example, you may be getting unwanted phone calls and text messages from people who think they are texting the person who previously owned your phone number. In today’s day and age, it’s pretty difficult to keep your phone calls pristine; you’re bound to get an unusual call on occasion or worse - a text message from a stranger that could get you in trouble!