How to Find out Who Owns a Phone Number

Reverse Phone Lookup

Have you ever received a call from an unknown number and wondered who it was? Maybe you missed the call or wanted to know who it was before you called back. We all have those unknown calls that we just don’t want to answer, but sometimes we’re just curious about who was on the other line.

Most of us have used a site such as Yellowpages or whitepages to search company or residential phone numbers by name, but what about the various reverse phone lookup sites? Do they work? Are they accurate, and what are the costs?

How Can I Find Who Owns a Number?

The popular search term that often comes up in Google instant search when you start typing reverse phone, is known as “reverse phone lookup”. This enables users searching the internet to find a website that can get a phone trace performed.

Generally, results include the owner name, address, phone issuing location, phone carrier, and line type. Sometimes social networks, emails, and more are also added to results. Sites promise accurate, up-to-date information to instantly show after a search. This is what reverse phone lookup sites promise, but do they deliver?

The majority of the time, after a search is done, a reverse phone lookup site will excitedly tell you that they have found information for the phone number you have entered. The “read report” button, when clicked, displays a free trial offer, or full report purchase option. The most a phone number search site will give is the original a phone carrier or location (typically called the “rate center”) which has nothing really to do with where the phone actually is used. More often than not, you’re looking for a name and often, this information falls short. And, even more often, many sites try to sell you information that is available from phone books or free reverse phone lookup sites.

White pages search results display the area code, carrier, phone number, city, state, zip, and time zone of the phone number. You probably already know the area code and full number which you most likely entered in the search bar. The city and state is a given because you most likely have the area code. The helpful information here that can help narrow down your search is the carrier. Sites like and Yellow Pages display a note below the search bar saying “cell phone numbers are not available.” This drastically narrows down the search ability.

In this day and age, even some businesses are run from cell phones. So what is the best way to find information on your missed phone call? Sometimes searches on sites like Google, Yahoo, or Bing turn up better results than most reverse phone lookup sites. A quick search for a random cell phone number entered into the search bar can sometimes find information including social media accounts and email addresses. These results all depend on how much information someone has placed online and if they’ve included their phone number. This search tactic can be a hit or miss, but when it works you’ve got the information you’re looking for.

Should I Pay to have a Number Researched?

Maybe you’re thinking about paying the fee, (which can sometimes be as low as $0.99) that some sites ask for, promising they have more information on the number you searched. These fees are often promoted as discounted, unmatched, or special one-time prices. If you’re willing to take the gamble then it may pay off, but if you want to save yourself some frustration, pass up the special offer. Chances are it will not be money well spent and you’ll end up having to cancel future charges from fine print trial offers.

In reality, most numbers these days are unlisted or non-published. These numbers don’t show up in any published phone directory or phone book. It wouldn’t be smart for a business to have an unlisted number so this only pertains to residential numbers. Anyone can request that their number be unlisted and since the rise in popularity of phone solicitors, many people don’t want their number published.

Because of this, standard reverse phone lookup databases can’t offer detailed information on phone numbers. They simply have no way of retrieving that data for themselves, let alone for others.  If you really want to find out who owns a phone number, our recommendation is to pass up the “special offer” sites, do a little digging on the search engines; try a couple of different free reverse phone lookup sites and if your searches don’t turn up anything, remember that the reality is, it’s most likely not available for free.

Keep in mind that some websites, especially SearchBug use a multitude of databases including LNP, CNAM, public records, private data feeds with phone records, plus a variety of “premium phone records” and combine them with algorithms to try and locate the most reliable information possible.  If information is not available via all these online databases, then SearchBug offers advanced assisted searches where private investigators can dig even deeper to get accurate results.

Wireless, Landline, and VoIP Services: What is a Carrier?

Wireless, Landline, and VoIP Services

Not to be confused with other definitions of “carrier,” a wireless, landline, or VoIP carrier is the company that provides service to such a line for a customer’s use. In some cases, a carrier can provide both voice and data services.

Some services that these companies provide might include only landlines, and some might offer a combination of services for cell, land, and VoIP lines. You might also hear service providers referred to as “network carriers” or “wireless carriers.”

What is the Difference in Carrier Services?

  • Wireless service is considered to be used with devices such as, cell phone, handheld computers, tablets, satellite television, and internet service. The way these carriers operate is by transmitting radio signals to wireless devices. Some of the more popular companies that offer wireless service are Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Wireless carrier services have their own NANPA (North American Number Plan Administrator).
  • Landlines are not as common as they used to be; however, there are still providers offering the service. This type of phone line operates by transmitting through wires. A metal wire or more commonly used today, a fiber optic cable carry the signal. AT&T, Time Warner, and Century Link are examples of providers offering landline service.  Landline carriers also have their own NANPA (North American Number Plan Administrator).
  • VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This type of phone service uses the internet connection when placing calls. These services are generally less expensive than other options and sometimes free, such as Skype or Google Talk. VoIP services DO NOT have their own NANPA (North American Number Plan Administrator) and are not really considered a carrier. VoIP providers typically get their numbers from other CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carriers) verses RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) since VoIP numbers can not be regional.

How Can You Determine which Carrier a Phone Number is With?

Sometimes an individual will want to find out if a friend’s number or a number they commonly dial is with their same wireless carrier. Many service providers offer free mobile-to-mobile minutes when calling within the same network so it is beneficial to check the carrier of a phone number. This could potentially save a person a hefty phone bill at the end of the month. SearchBug offers individuals a free way identify the carrier for up to 5 numbers daily and have professional batch and API service for those needing to clean hundreds or millions of numbers daily.

Businesses gather and sometimes purchase lists of phone numbers for potential marketing purposes. It is important for them to determine if they are calling a landline or a cell phone. It is currently illegal for a company to solicit business with you via your cell phone number unless they have your explicit consent. Such as the exception is if you have inquired or have on-going business with the company.

A business must determine what type of carrier and line they are calling. SearchBug offers a feature whereby you can determine the line type and carrier for up to 120,000 numbers at a time for a very low cost. The results from SearchBug include phone type (landline, cell, or VoIP), an Operating Company Number (OCN) or also known as the Carrier ID, the original carrier’s name, and the general location of the phone number.

With these services, there is never a need to question a carrier of a phone line again. Using these services can potentially be a money saver on a monthly phone bill and also a money saver from a business perspective; considering there could be a potential law suit if a cell phone number is mistakenly dialed.

Investors Should Capitalize on Private Investigator Services

SearchBug Private Investigator Services

Before making an investment into a company or individual you should consider hiring a private investigator. Get a good idea of the person or people you are putting your faith and money into. Investing money into a business or individual with a lot of potential can seem promising, but there is always a chance that they are not telling you the truth. You could be getting hustled or the people could just flat out be unreliable. There are a lot of people giving out false promises, so be careful with where you put your money.

Where Can I Find a Private Investigator?

SearchBug has the solution to help you invest your money wisely. Take advantage of the new private investigator services and allow someone to look into a business or individual that wants you to invest money into them. A private investigator can help you learn things about their past that they might not inform you about. You do not want to invest into a business that has a bad public relations record. Stay away from people that have lied about their work experience in the past.

The first thing you want to investigate is the criminal record of anyone you plan on investing money into. Have your private investigator look into a person’s past to bring out any skeletons in his or her closet. If you find out that they have committed a crime in the past that involved stealing a person’s money then stay away from this person. There are a lot of people that appear confident and trusting, but they are just out to get your money.

How Does the Business or the Person You Plan on Investing into Handle their Finances?

Look at the credit history of a business or individual that wants an investment from you. Someone that does not know how to manage money properly is not where you want to make an investment. A good credit score is a sign that you can trust this investment and that it will pay you back in the end. This is a very important factor that a private investigator looks into thoroughly.

Someone could say that he or she has an extensive background in a particular field but they may not be telling the truth. A private investigator can look into a person’s work experience to make sure he or she is honest with you. You may think that you are investing money into a person that can establish and grow a company in a certain area of expertise, but in truth they are not as reliable as you thought. An investigator can check both work experience and education credentials to learn about a person’s ability to follow through with the business they pitch to you.

Every investment you make with your money should be well thought out and a decision you feel very confident about. After you hire a private investigator to look into an individual or business, weigh out the good and bad things you find. An investigation can help save you a lot of time and money. You do not need the headache of investing into someone that is only going to lose or steal your money. There are a lot of promising businesses and individuals that just need financial backing to create a profitable business; but there are also people out there that just want to take your money. Take precaution when investing and all of your investments should have a high success rate.


Learn About a Potential Business Partner

Learn About a Potential Business Partner with Private Investigator Services

The decision to enter into business with other people is a big commitment. Both you and your business partners are counting on each other to create a profitable company.

What if someone is not telling you something you should know?

Before you enter into business with any individual or group of people it is wise to conduct a background check. Learn about a potential business partner with private investigator services offered from SearchBug. This service was added to the website to help people in your position make informed decisions before committing to establish a relationship with an individual.

You may want to check into a potential business partner’s bank account and credit score. Figure out if he or she actually has enough money to invest; or if the investment might put them at financial risk.

It’s not a good idea to enter business with someone that has a lot to lose. Try to start a business with someone that can financially manage to lose from the initial business investment and commit to seeing results. A good indicator of a person’s ability to commit is his or her credit score. Credit scores say a lot about how a person manages money and paying bills on time.

Never enter business with someone that has a poor credit score. This means they do not know how to manage funds and pay bills on time. You could put your own credit score and finances at risk if you decide to enter into business with a person that is not responsible. A private investigator can figure these types of things out about one of your potential business partners and help save you time from committing to someone that is only going to cause you headaches.

Criminal records are also a big indicator of the character of a person. Private investigators can search into an individual’s past and check to see if any criminal records exist. Depending on the severity of a crime might make you rethink whether or not you want to proceed to work with someone.

You may want to hear what they have to say about the crime, but chances are if it is something serious you want nothing to do with him or her. A private investigator can check all sorts of things and bring to light something that could change the way you view a person.

Finding someone with business experience that wants to become your partner sounds like a good idea, but what if they are not telling the truth? Have an investigator verify a person’s place of employment and previous employment history. Check to see if they have all their cards on the table. In addition to work history, have an investigator look into education as well. Both of these subjects can prove to inform you on the credibility of any potential business partner.

Search Bug allows you to figure out good information to start, a private investigator just takes it a step further. There is nothing wrong with hiring someone to do a little research on someone you might call a business partner one day. A private investigator will help you determine the credibility of an individual. Hire investigation services so that you do not commit to someone that is not reliable.