How to Find Someone's Phone Number
Finding someone's phone number could be the
easiest thing to do with this site because there are many tools
that you can use. If you already have the phone number, you can
use these tools to find the owner's name, street address and
possibly an email address.
Most of the phone book sites create their
own databases of phone numbers, addresses and email addresses.
They do this by buying the information from phone companies,
direct marketing companies and in some cases, by asking you to
register your own information. People who value their privacy
will go to all of the sites and check if they are listed. If
they are, they ask the web site to take them out of the database.
If you want to do this, you will have to look for their privacy
statement to learn how to get off the list.
One common gotcha when trying to call an old
friend is the explosion of area codes. If you have an old phone
number that used to work and doesn't now, the area code may have
changed. Use the area code decoders to find the new area code.
If you can't find the number you are looking
for using the free web sites, you may be looking for an unlisted
phone number. Unlisted phone numbers are much harder to come
by. The best approach for finding unlisted phone numbers is to
pay a professional to search his/her fee based databases to find
that unlisted number. You can find a listing of professional
at my professional page.
Below is an explanation of each of these tools:
Reverse Directories (Use a reverse directory when you have the phone
Reverse directories are phone books that are
listed by phone number. I have them noted as "Reverse Lookup"
or "Reverse Directory". All you need to do is go to
the site and input the phone number. Hopefully the database contains
the name. Be sure to try all the reverse directories until you
find what you are looking for. It is very important that you
use the right area code. The sites with an area code decoder
will help you find the right area code. If you don't know the
city for the phone number, you can use the area code decoder
to find out where the phone number is and then ask for other
area codes in the same city. Try out all the area codes in the
reverse directory search if you are not sure that the number
is up to date.
If that does not work, you may have to pay
a professional, or if it is a
long distance number, you can ask your phone company billing
office who the phone number belongs to. The phone company is
not supposed to give that information out, but if you use a story
such as you are trying to confirm "which one of my children
made the call and is going to pay for the call", the operator
just may tell you or at least give you some of the information.
Last but not least, you could call the number yourself and ask.
;-) (Why didn't I think of that?)
Phone Books (If you have a name or an address, you can find the
The online phone books will help you to find
a phone number when you provide a name and/or address of the
person you are looking for. It is always worth trying all of
the online phone books if you don't find the information you
are looking for. I may sound repetitive, but it is worth noting
that they don't share the same database.
I have listed the web site links by the information
you have to provide. You will see them noted as "find by
name" and "find by address" when the site has
specialized pages. The other sites use a generalized page that
allows multiple types of searches.
When entering names and addresses, it is important
to consider how a persons name could be listed. Some people use
only their first initial. Married couples could be listed using
their spouse's first name. When you enter a name, it is best
to start with the full name and if that fails to provide the
correct match, to reduce the information you provide. For example,
if you were trying to find the phone number for John Smith, you
could look up John Smith in Redmond, Washington. If that didn't
work, you could look up J. Smith in Redmond, Washington. Next,
you could try J. Smith in Washington. The point is that when
you search using the full name and address, you may be providing
too much information and create a mismatch with the database.
When you search using less information, you will get more matches
which will at least give you some options.
If you are unable to find the phone number
using using these techniques, the next step is to use a professional.
They pay for access to databases you can't get for free online.