Did you know that telephone calls are the most popular way of contacting someone for financial scams? The Federal Trade Commission reports that 70% of all fraudulent incidents were initiated over the phone – from the lottery, sweepstakes, and bank fraud to fake IRS calls and fake kidnap scams. This doesn’t come as a surprise when you look at the news. Over 60,000 victims lost more than $38 million during one year from the infamous Jamaican Lottery Scams that target especially elderly victims over the phone.
The importance of being cautious when you pick up the next call from an unrecognizable number cannot be stressed more. Knowing who is on the other side of that call could save you millions and even your life.
But phone scams are not the only reasons why you would want to find out who is behind that unknown number. Have you ever received prank, nuisance or obscene calls? Has a missed call from an unknown number made you think twice about returning it (while hoping that it’s not another telemarketer)? Have you ever wondered what some of those numbers are on your phone bill and whether you’ve really made those calls?
There are many instances that you would want to find out the identity of an unrecognizable caller, whether it is to avoid the hassle, ensure your safety or verify the information. Gone are the days of painfully rummaging through the bulky Yellow Pages, as over 320 million mobile phones infiltrate the lives of today’s Americans.
With technology in the fore, now there are many ways to carry out a reverse phone lookup with varying degrees of efficiency and accuracy. Here are the top 5 methods that have worked for us to help you get started.
Most phone companies like AT&T and T-Mobile provide free directory search services to trace unknown phone numbers from their network.
Directory assistance services are usually available 24/7 and only available to customers. Therefore, if the unknown number is from the same mobile network that you are using, you can call up your mobile operator to look up the number. This is a good place to start if you are trying to avoid those annoying prank calls or want to figure out an unrecognizable number on your phone bill.
Many people cannot imagine living without Google anymore as online search engines seem to provide an answer to all their everyday queries and problems. So why not use it to trace that unknown number?
A basic online search was, therefore, one of the first things we tried. It was simple, accessible and of course free, and yielded better results than most other commonly used free tools. Google pulls up publicly available data from all complex corners of the internet and will display based on the level of relevance.
This is especially useful if your reasons for checking the number have to do with scams, spams or general harassment. Today, people often tend to speak up about such incidents that have been experienced personally by them or someone close to them. And if the phone number you are searching is related to any such previous incident, a Google search can get you all the reports, reviews, comments and warnings that are available online.
While you can, of course, try any search engine you prefer, this is a good place to start if you want to gain access to more than just a name relating to that mysterious phone number.
Background Search Sites
There are many sites in the market providing reverse phone lookup services. Out of the few that we tried Nuwber was our favorite for a few reasons. It was very user-friendly and fast, and the information provided was surprisingly comprehensive. With the input of a phone number, it was able to provide us with not only the registered name of the user but a whole other details such as a home address, date of birth, marital status, email address, a list of social media pages and even details of neighbors and associates. It could even dig deeper and provide you with details such as credit ratings, assets, bankruptcy filings, evictions, and any criminal records.
Background search websites can provide more detailed, accurate and comprehensive records by connecting to a wide range of databases, online platforms, and public records. They also assure the anonymity of the user and provides all details in a simple and straight forward format. The convenience factor also cannot be overlooked, as it completely eliminates the need for hours of searching to get hold of different pieces of information. All this would explain why people search sites like Nuwber have become popular in recent times for reverse phone lookups as well as background screenings.
Social media platforms provide a slightly less intrusive means to look up phone numbers since you will simply be sifting through publicly available data. While the effectiveness of the search will depend on the users’ personal page settings, it provides you with the added advantage of getting access to a whole lot of personal information and insights.
This is especially a great option if the caller number is attached to previous frauds or incidents of harassment since you might be able to connect with others who have had similar experiences.
While this is a bit of an extreme option, you can resort to this in the event of a more serious incident such as threats or harassment. Although it can be expensive, a PI will use both technology and their skills to trace your unknown number and get you a reliable and accurate set of information to identify the culprit, so that you can determine the next course of action.
So if you are trying to avoid a prank call, or protect yourself from those phone scams that are plaguing the news or simply want to find out more about your new neighbor, technology has simplified how you can gain access to a myriad of information. As much as the dangers of scams, frauds, harassment, and manipulation have escalated over the years, you can also protect yourself better now with a range of reliable options available for reverse phone lookup.