Reverse phone lookup
Reverse phone lookup

It can be very annoying to receive a phone call from an unknown number. This annoyance can become quite stressful if these calls do tend to repeat at the wrong time of the day. However, the annoyance has been greatly reduced by reverse phone lookup, which is now easily possible thanks to a plethora of apps. These apps will be able to reveal quickly if a call from an unknown number is actually worth taking or not. They can also help identify robocalls, telemarketers, or even prank calls without even picking up the call.

Process Behind Reverse Call Lookup

Each phone number has a specific identity, as they are made up of several components. In the case of a United States phone number, there are three components:

  • Area Code – This number is used to denote the state of origin or region within a state where the call originates from, and it is controlled by the NANPA (North American Number Plan Administration). For example, the area code in the number 323-555-4567 happens to be ‘323’ which would be the city of Los Angeles.
  • Prefix – This number was used to denote the specific section of the operator’s switching system, but it is now used to identify the number’s location more precisely.
  • Line Number – These are the final four digits that happen to be associated uniquely with that number. In the aforementioned example, ‘4567’ is the actual number of the person or business.

Free Reverse Call Lookup Services

A handful of free services and apps will look up numbers to identify the originating location of a phone number. The area code and prefix will have a larger role to play in the identification, but free services may not offer much info beyond this aspect. These free services also work best when a landline number is provided rather than a mobile number. Since the landline numbers are made up of an interlocking system, their identities are issued out whereas it is not the case with a mobile number.

Before the advent of the Internet, there used to be the case of reverse phone directories that were actually published by the phone operators. Today, some of the popular free services happen to be Google, whitepages.com, addresses.com, and anywho.com.

There are shady sites that do claim to offer free reverse phone lookup services, but their identification abilities are either way off the mark or they are unlikely to offer their services for cheap.

Legality of Reverse Call Lookup

The process of a reverse call Lookup is legal in the United States. It is possible to access a wide range of free reverse call lookup services that are available online. Outside the United States, each country has different restrictions while some do not have any limitations. There are also countries that do not have the option of a reverse call lookup.

The public availability of mobile phone numbers is not legal in many parts of the world. Intelius tried to open up a directory for mobile phone numbers before the project was ultimately closed due to privacy complaints and the possibility of a lawsuit.