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Reverse Phone Lookup: What Can You Learn From One?

Ever had a missed call from a number you don’t recognize and wanted to know who was calling? Or have you ever wanted to know who your partner or kids are messaging and calling all the time, but they just won’t tell you? Perhaps you have come across a random phone number and are wondering who it is for. This is where a reverse phone lookup can help. It is a confidential service that can give you a remarkable amount of information just from the ten digits of a cell phone or landline number.

Performing reverse phone lookups is just one of the services offered by public records research companies. These are businesses which offer a research service that allows users to access publicly available information about people quickly and easily. They offer various types of services including background checking, people searching as well as reverse phone lookups. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about reverse phone lookups, including exactly what information you can expect to learn. We will also recommend the very best public records research companies to carry out your reverse phone lookup.

How to run a reverse phone lookup

There are different ways to carry out a reverse phone lookup. One simple way is simply to enter the phone number into a search engine and see what comes up. If it is a company calling you, it is quite likely that this will tell you who it is. But if it is an individual’s landline or a cell phone number, you might not have quite so much luck.

In this instance, the easiest way to run a reverse phone lookup is to use a public records research companies to do the job for you. These companies which specialize in carrying our background checks and other searches of publically available information use the latest technology to quickly scour multiple sources and dig out all the information that is available on any given number. They will then provide all of the information to you in an easily-digestible report which can be accessed online or on your smartphone or tablet. There are lots of companies that offer this service, but we have picked out the top three further up this article.

Best reverse phone lookup providers

A quick Google search for public records research companies and background checking sites will reveal that there is no shortage of providers around. And while not all of them offer a reverse phone lookup service, a large majority do. So, choosing which reverse phone lookup provider to use can be a difficult decision.

We have done the legwork you and tested the reverse phone lookup service on all of the main sites to try and identify which providers do the job best. As part of this process, we have also identified the core criteria that most users are looking for from a reverse phone lookup provider based on both our own testing experiences and feedback from users of these services. The core criteria that we have used in making our final decision were:

  • Proper research –There are a few charlatans who will basically just Google a number and then tell you what they find. You can do this for free, so we have only identified providers which go the extra mile and have carried out as much research as possible.
  • Accurate and comprehensible reports –There is no point using a site to carry out a reverse phone lookup if the information makes no sense to you when it comes back. We have therefore identified those companies which offer easy-to-understand, accurate, and readable reports.
  • Minimal Information Requirements – The best reverse phone lookup sites will be able to provide you with information regardless of how much or how little information you give them to start with. We have identified sites that can deliver comprehensive reports based only on a phone number, with no more information needing to be provided.
  • Ease-of-Use – Some of the sites that offer reverse phone lookups can be easier to use than others. Most will offer a dashboard to enable you to access the information they have found easily. But some of these dashboards are easier to navigate around than others, so we have tried to only pick out those sites with an easy-to-use user interface.
  • Good Customer Support –The best reverse phone lookup sites will offer all clients an effective customer support service and reliable customer communication.
  • Mobile apps –Many users tell us that they value the ability to access data on the go highly. So, we have ensured that all our recommended providers offer mobile apps as standard.

It is important to be clear to all readers that performing reverse phone lookups is not a precise science. We cannot absolutely guarantee that the sites we have recommended in this article will get everything right all of the time. Having said that, a phone number is a definite piece of information and as long as you enter it correctly into the site, there is no reason why the site should make a mistake given the advanced technology they bring to these searches. There are three sites we have identified which our testing suggests offer a consistently reliable reverse phone lookup service that meets all of the core criteria we have identified above. Those three sites are:

1 — Instant CheckMate

Another provider of reverse phone lookup service which we have no hesitation to recommend is Instant CheckMate. They offer a similar service to Intelius, and actually claim to be able to link a phone number to even more information. As well as an address and personal information about the individual, they also claim to be able to find out about criminal records from a phone number too. In practice, we only found this information came back once or twice, but it was impressive none-the-less when it did.

CheckMate also runs one of the most comprehensive social media searches too, with all the latest new sites searched in addition to all the old favourites. Checkmate is a little more expensive than the market average for reverse phone lookups, but with a great dashboard and well-designed reports, they do deliver a great service for their customers. This a help service which is available around the clock by phone or email, and which we were really impressed with. They do however only offer a mobile app for Android devices at the moment, which is a shame.

2 — TruthFinder

While we have ranked Truthfinder third on this list, they still offer a superb reverse phone lookup service which both our testing and reader feedback has shown to be every bit a match for the other providers on this list. Their reverse phone lookup service can offer all the usual information, plus a few extras that none of their rivals claim to offer. This includes details of other people who might be associated with the number, possible pictures linked to the phone, details about the owner’s education and employment, and much more.

This is all delivered in a report which is also easy-to-navigate and pretty comprehensive. They are a bit too keen to try and push users to upgrade to their full background checking service for our liking, but that shouldn’t take away from what they deliver in their standard reverse phone lookup service. Truthfinder’s pricing is around average in our experience, but they also only have an Android app available at the moment. However, they do also offer round the clock customer support, which is provided on a toll-free number and delivers impressive results.

3 — Intelius

If there is any site on the market at the moment which runs ICM a close second, then it has to be Intelius. Both our testing and the feedback we have received from users suggests that Intelius offers the best reverse phone lookup service around at the moment. They don’t need a lot of information to get going. Just a phone number will do. Intelius will then search through hundreds of different data sources to find out as much information as they can about the number.

Their results are impressive. As well as the name behind the number, Intelius can also find details about the type of cellphone being used, the carrier serving the phone, the name, address, and location of the owner, and even such details as their address history, age, relatives, and more. The Intelius online dashboard is available to all users and it is a nicely designed and easy-to-use tool. Intelius also offer mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices too. Perhaps the best features of Intelius is the way it delivers its information. No matter how much information they have unearthed, the Intelius reports are always accurate and easy-to-read. Their customer service is pretty impressive too and can be contacted via email, on the phone, or through their online troubleshooter service.

What is a reverse phone lookup?

The concept of a reverse phone lookup is remarkably simple. It is a method to find out who the person or organization behind a random phone number is. There was a time when we could use a telephone directory for this purpose. But the advent of the cell phone and the decline of landlines means that, while directories do still exist, they are far less common and not nearly as comprehensive as they once were. That is because they do not carry cell phone numbers.

A reverse phone lookup is a modern way to do the job. public records research companies such as the ones we have recommended above, have access to millions of different sources of publically available information. They can use the latest technology to scour these data sources for information about any phone number. And while there are no cast-iron guarantees, there are very few occasions when they cannot tell who is behind a number. Often, they can give you a great deal more information on top of just a name.

What information can you get from a reverse phone lookup?

A lot of the time, all people want to know from a reverse phone lookup is who is behind the number. Whether it is an individual or a company, once you know who is calling you, you can make a quick decision about whether you want to speak to them or not, and whether it is a junk call or something more important. But there are some situations, such as if you are trying to find out who it is your partner or child keeps calling, that you may want to know a bit more.

If you need it to, a reverse phone lookup is able to reveal a great deal more information than just a name. Because most public records research companies will search through all available data, they will often uncover a lot more information. This can include such things as addresses, address history, email addresses, social media accounts, marital status, occupation, relatives, and much more. There are no guarantees of course and each number will throw up different information, but it is quite common for a full reverse phone lookup to be able to paint quite a clear picture of an individual just from their phone number.

Why run a reverse phone lookup?

There could be any number of different reasons you might want to run a reverse phone lookup. They can be run on both landline and cellphone numbers which means that there are various different motivations depending on how you have come across the number. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Receiving a missed call or multiple missed calls from a number you don’t recognize.
  • Your partner or child is making multiple calls to the same number and you want to know who they are talking to and why they are running up such a big bill.
  • You find a reference to a telephone number somewhere but have no recollection of what it is.
  • You are expecting an important call, and have a missed call, but are not sure if it is the call you are waiting for.
  • You have been receiving harassing phone calls / prank calls / silent calls and want to track down the culprit.


Reverse phone lookup is a useful service for a number of different reasons. They can provide you with not only the name behind the number, but a wide variety of additional information as well. There are a lot of online sites which offer a reverse phone lookup service, but some are much better at it than others. In this article, we have highlighted the best three reverse phone lookup providers on the market at the moment.

Have you ever carried out a reverse phone lookup? How successful was the experience for you? Did you use one of our recommended providers? If so, is there any feedback on your experience that you would like to share with our readers. We always welcome comments and opinions from all of our readers, so why not share them with us using the comment boxes below.

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