Flip's Search Resources
Flip's Phone Resources - How To Find Someone's Phone Number Address
Below is a description of some of the tools available for finding people's phone numbers or finding someone through their phone number. Please tell me about any other items you think belong on this page.
 
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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 number.)

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 phone number)

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. Happy hunting!

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Email Flip Flip Seymour, Last Updated January 9th, 2011. First published 1995