Are reverse phone lookups always accurate?

An incoming call with a new number or no caller ID can lead people to assume the worst - but there are ways to check 

It’s normal to be apprehensive when an unknown phone number calls you. On one hand, it could be someone you know who’s changed their number… or it could be a cold caller trying to scam you. Of course, there are also times when the same unknown number calls over and over again, and this can be a little frightening. Situations like these are why free number lookup sites are so popular. They give you the opportunity to find out who’s behind that unknown number and get some peace of mind.

But are they actually reliable? How accurate are the results and why are some sites so respected while others have terrible reputations? We have the answers you’re looking for.

How Do Reverse Lookup Sites Get Information?

To understand how number lookup sites work, why they can often be correct, and how they may sometimes get things wrong, you need to know where they get their information. Reverse number search sites are only allowed to draw from publicly available records; this is a legal restriction put in place to protect people’s privacy.

Number lookup sites can legally gather information from:

  • Search engine indexes

  • White pages

  • Yellow pages

  • Census data and records

  • Public criminal records

  • Public employment records

  • Social media platforms (e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)

Are Reverse Number Lookup Sites Accurate?

There are plenty of phone number reverse websites people can use
There are plenty of phone number reverse websites people can use

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. While there are free sites out there, sites that charge often have more information and higher accuracy rates. This is simply because they have the money to invest in making business partnerships with archives and databases. They have more data, which means they are more likely to have information relevant to a specific number.

No phone number lookup site is 100% accurate all of the time, but if you invest in better quality services, they will be more likely to have access to the information you need. All legitimate sites will indicate where there is uncertainty around their results.

Possible reasons for inaccuracy include:

  • Lack of public information associated with the number

  • Outdated database entries associated with that number

  • Whether or not software has been used to disguise the number

This is why it is always a good idea to double-check the results of a search.

Are Reverse Number Lookup Sites Safe?

Alongside questions of accuracy, there are concerns around safety and privacy for many people when it comes to number lookup services. It’s important to note that most reverse number lookup sites are safe, legitimate and legal. If you are diligent in working with only respected companies, whether their services are free or not, you will not be scammed.

However, there are privacy concerns beyond this. For example, some sites will require you to make an account in order to use their services. While their reasons for doing so are legitimate - for example, they may need an email address to send your reports to - it does mean that you are connected to your searches in some way. If you have concerns about your personal information being connected to your searches, it is best to opt for free services that do not require you to provide any information. But do such services exist?

Free Reverse Phone Lookup Sites

There are free phone number lookup sites that do not ask for any information from you. You just need to know where to find them. However, you need to keep in mind that they may not have access to the high-quality databases that paid sites do. As such, it is a good idea to double-check the results of your search. If you’re looking for a reliable, free reverse phone number lookup service, start with these options:

1.      USPhoneLookup

USPhoneLookup is entirely free and has a good, up-to-date database as well as a powerful, search-engine-esque interface. They provide extensive reports and their site is smartphone-compatible.

2.      NumLooker

NumLooker has a quick, reliable website that can search for any type of phone number. They also have strict security features and ensure that user IP addresses and data are kept private. This is a massive benefit if you want to search numbers discreetly.

3.      CocoFinder

CocoFinder is one of the most trusted names in this field because they have a great record when it comes to accuracy and a real dedication to user privacy. They have no recorded data leaks.

These are just some of the companies out there, but they are three of the most highly regarded and safe.