How to Check If a Phone Number Is Real via

How to Check If a Phone Number is Real

If you need to check if a phone number is real right now, use the Searchbug Phone Validator.

If you’re here, you understand that people give out fake phone numbers all the time. And, customers give fake phone numbers to businesses all the time.

People want to get free stuff. But, they don’t want to get marketing calls. So, they use a fake phone number on the lead form. This happens more often than you might think.

Look at the numbers: gets over 5,500 visitors each month.

Burner, an app that generates a fake phone number for you, gets about 2,900 visitors to their site each month.

Hushed, another fake phone number app, gets over 1,700 visitors each month.

The term, “fake phone number,” gets over 18,000 searches a month. These searches are people trying to get a fake phone number. They’re not there to learn how to tell if a phone number is fake.

So, when your sales teams call a disconnected phone number or reach the wrong person, that’s no accident. It’s probable that you have a lot of fake phone numbers in your customer database.

Let’s talk about why people do that and what you can do about it.

Why do people use fake phone numbers?

Usually, people use fake phone numbers because they don’t want to be contacted, or they have concerns about personal data privacy. But, what is a fake phone number, exactly?

If you invent a phone number in your head, it’s probably a valid phone number. If you gave that number out, you could be giving out someone else’s phone number.

A fake phone number is a phone number that’s guaranteed not to be in service. People use fake phone numbers to avoid giving out their phone number, without unintentionally giving out someone else’s phone number.

Can you trace a fake number?

Unfortunately, no.

A fake phone number isn’t assigned to anyone. So, tracing the phone number would only reveal that it’s unassigned.

An easy way to find out if a phone number is fake is to call it. The phone number is often a fake if it’s disconnected. This works well if you’re getting calls or texts from a phone number you suspect is fake. Block the phone number if you get a message that it’s disconnected when you call. 

However, calling fake phone numbers is exactly the sort of inefficiency that you need to avoid in your business. So, testing phone numbers by calling them isn’t an option for businesses.

But, there’s a better way.

How to tell if a phone number is fake

One important thing to understand is that caller ID is not reliable for identifying fake phone numbers. The caller ID name is easy to fake.

Phone numbers were invented to route calls through the phone system. Phone numbers were never intended to be a method of identifying callers. Caller ID was created for convenience. Unfortunately, it won’t help you know if a phone number is fake.

But, what about Google? Can you Google search a phone number?

You sure can. But, Google is not designed to be a free phone lookup tool. It’s also not designed to spot fake phone numbers. So, the phone lookup information you find on Google is very unreliable.

How to spot fake phone numbers fast

If you want to find out if a phone number is fake without calling it, use a phone validator. It’s the fastest and most reliable method of identifying fake phone numbers.

It cost a few cents, yes. But, a phone validator checks public and proprietary databases and retrieves the most current and accurate information about a phone number. And, a phone number validator works just as fast as calling the phone number, maybe faster.

And, you can check phone numbers in bulk. You can clean all the fake phone numbers out of your customer phone lists in a matter of minutes, which will save your sales teams tens or hundreds of hours in the long run.

All you have to do is export your phone list to an Excel, .csv, or .txt file. Then upload that file through our simple web interface. We’ll process the list and deliver your results in a few minutes (depending on the size of the list).

Searchbug Batch Phone Validator

Reload your list into your customer data management software and hit the phones!

Searchbug bulk phone number validation costs literally pennies per phone number to check every phone number in your customer database.

Can you check phone numbers for free?

There are free phone validators on the market (, TextMagic, Validito, etc.). We’ve written about them before.

So, here’s the short answer:

You can do a free phone number lookup. But, a free phone validator usually delivers unreliable results. There’s just no way to get up-to-date phone number information at a low enough cost to offer the service for free.

Most free phone validation services use static databases that they purchase and reference for their searches. This means that the data is often out of date, and therefore incorrect.

A paid phone validator like Searchbug, gets phone number data from live data streams, which means the data is retrieved in real time. So, the information is as current and reliable as possible.

And, for pennies per search, the Searchbug phone validator easily pays for itself in time saved (we know your time is worth more than a few pennies).

In the end, it’s just not worth the time and hassle of trying to find out if a phone number is fake for free. You’ll spend a lot less time and money with a reliable phone validator that spots fake phone numbers the first time.

What to do now

If you need to check if a phone number is real, skip the free phone validators and wasted phone calls. Use a phone validator that will get you dependable data. You’ll be glad you did.

Need to check a phone number now? Use the Searchbug phone validator.

Have a whole list of phone numbers to check? Upload your list to the Searchbug bulk phone validator.