Why Don’t Free Reverse Phone Lookup Services Exist? via Searchbug.com

Why Don’t Free Reverse Phone Lookup Services Exist?

Although your search for “free reverse phone lookup service” undoubtedly generates a number of results online, it’s really just a facade. Sure, there are free promotions and free trials that you have to remember to cancel. But that is not a long-term solution to your data and research needs.

So why is the service never really free? Let’s consider other services that you’d be hard-pressed to find for free: delivery services, therapy, and resume builders. 

Some Services You Just Can’t Get for Free


Whether you’re ordering food or shopping ecommerce, there’s almost inevitably a delivery or shipping charge. Sure, you’ll find promotions or coupons, but it’s pretty widely accepted that delivery or shipping services are not free (and if they’re advertised as such, you can guarantee that the cost is built into other products or services).

Why? Well, consider what it costs to conduct the service. There’s fuel cost for delivery services, insurance and liability coverage, and man-hours. Shipping is similar. Someone has to pay for postage!


When it comes to free therapy, you have to wonder what the quality of a free therapy service looks like. Because therapists undergo extensive education, training, and certification to be able to provide valuable service to those who need it most, no one expects to receive professional help for free.

Say, however, you do stumble upon some free therapy. How many sessions do you get? Do you have to sign a contract? How effective is the service? Does it only work if you pay to continue the service?

Resume Builder

There may be free versions of resume builders, but again, to get valuable results you’re going to have to fork over some money. You can get outlines, templates, suggestions, etc. for free. But an actual analysis, something tailored to a specific position, something designed to get you the job, that kind of value, and those kinds of results cost money. 

You might also find resume builders where you fill in all of the information, and then have to pay to download the final result. Or for an additional feature you assumed would be included. You’ll find that with reverse phone lookup services, too. Free to use, but you have to pay to get the results. And maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll know before you pay how accurate the results are. 

Instead of taking the risk of paying for unreliable data, or the stress of trying to find a truly free reverse phone lookup service, you could just pay for accurate results. And to help you feel better about paying for it, below are some things you might not know about what actually goes into retrieving accurate phone data.

How Available is Phone Data?

It can be quite easy to reverse lookup a landline number. Many businesses and residences register their phone numbers and list them online. So with a simple internet search of the phone number in question, there’s a chance you could get the results you seek. 

Landline numbers are also listed in phone books. Phone books used to be delivered yearly to consumers and contain names, addresses, and phone numbers. This is a great way to find information for someone you know and would like to contact. But there’s no way to find out who a number belongs to if you don’t already know the name of the owner.

The point is, with the Internet, digital phone books can easily be searched using any piece of information you might have. However, this only works for landlines. Cell phone numbers are a bit trickier and therefore come at a cost. 

First of all, there’s no central database for phone number information for cell phone numbers like there is for landlines. Cell phone numbers are owned by carriers and can be ported, or transferred from one carrier to another. (Check out the lifecycle of a phone number here.) 

Second, there’s no central database for unlisted, fax, or VOIP numbers either. Like cell phone numbers, the phone information is owned by a variety of entities. Therefore, you have to check a number of different places not only to locate the information but to verify it and ensure its accuracy as well. 

How Accurate is Phone Data?

Whether you use a search engine, social media profile, or “free” reverse phone lookup to locate phone number information, you have to question how recent the information is. 

Landlines can transfer from phone company to cell carrier to be used with a cell phone. Cell phone numbers can be ported to other carriers for better cost and service offers. And people change numbers when they move, sometimes when they switch carriers, and often if they want to prevent spam calls and avoid being found.

Keep in mind, trying to verify an unknown number for a company or business via search engine can be dangerous. There are phone scammers who impersonate well known and trusted businesses to elicit sensitive information from consumers. You could search a number online and find a result that identifies it as a customer service number when really it leads to an imposter.

Caller ID cannot always be trusted either. Phone numbers can be spoofed. When a person or company registers a number, they can decide how they want it to be presented on caller ID! So you might think your bank is calling you, when really it’s an impersonator.

In addition to using a reliable reverse phone lookup service to identify the owner of a phone number, learn more about how to protect yourself from phone scams here

If there’s no central database for cell and other phone numbers, where can name and address data for these numbers be found? Phone numbers are registered with name and address when they are entered on forms for billing, subscriptions, and legal documents. 

Paid reverse phone lookup services check multiple sources to verify and guarantee accurate data. Here’s how it works: 

Why it Costs Companies to Manage, Store, Maintain, and Update Data

Here’s what the reverse phone lookup process looks like:

  1. Locate caller ID name for the phone number
  2. Search public records within the number’s area code
  3. Match address to the first and last name on the caller ID within the area code

There are a number of different databases that have to be accessed and searched in order to find that information. That access costs money. Since there is no way to access that information for free, companies cannot offer a reverse phone lookup service for free. 

Some companies purchase access to one database and offer free or discounted access to search that database, but in order for that to be cost effective for the company, they likely won’t invest in updating that database. So any free information you receive could be outdated and incorrect. 

Searchbug’s reverse phone lookup tool searches public records, phone books, vital records, real estate records, subscription lists, voter registrations, and other proprietary sources to locate phone data, so you can be sure that it’s verified and accurate.

What Information is Available for Which Numbers? 

When you search for the owner of a phone number, you can usually get the name, address, and email address as long as the owner has registered that information somewhere with the phone number. 

Owners of prepaid numbers can be found this way as well. Prepaid numbers enter databases when they are entered on forms online, at stores, for subscriptions, and on social media profiles. If that’s the case, they can be searched and tracked.

Trac phones, however, are almost impossible to identify. This is because their intended purposes are temporary. It’s rare that a trac phone would be used for regular contact and therefore entered on a form. Additionally, these phones are typically discarded not too long after activation. So even if the number was registered somewhere, it probably wouldn’t be valid for long. 


So if you can’t get accurate phone data for free, what’s the next best thing? You already know that Searchbug’s reverse phone lookup tool provides consistently accurate data because it checks a number of different sources to verify the information. But the service is also easy and cost effective.

There is no subscription to remember to cancel. You pay a dollar per search and only if accurate results are generated for you. If you have a lot of numbers to identify, there’s a batch service as well.

So whether you’re trying to identify an unknown caller, verify an old number you found lying around, or updating a list of leads to append contact information for marketing purposes, Searchbug’s reverse phone lookup tool is a fair and friendly way to get the most for your money.

Remember, you get what you pay for.

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