Background of Reverse Phone Number Lookup
Reverse phone number lookup- To avoid prank calls and to stay in anonymous or to avoid to be tracked by phone number, more and more people are opting out from being listed in the directories for their land line phone numbers. Anybody in USA can opt out from being listed in the directories paying a small fee. These are called the unlisted land line phone numbers and cannot be found at free directories. Whereas, other phone numbers could be found in the free directories in both off line or online. Anybody can track a phone number or name from these directories.
In case of cell phone numbers, it is a bit different. Cell phone numbers cannot be listed in free directories. It is prohibited by federal and other laws of the country. Cell phone number and the identity information of a cell number owner is the property of individual private cell operating companies, like Verizon.
In the context of this reality, it is surprising that many websites claim to provide free reverse phone and cell phone directory search and free unlisted phone number search. These website claims anybody can track a phone number for free using their database of reverse phone number lookup.
Introduction To Reverse Phone Number Lookup
A comprehensive study has been carried out on few free reverse phone number lookup and reverse cell phone directories online, to measure the extent and quality of their services and to justify their claims. The study has been carried out online on Sunday, May, 22, 2011. The study has been carried out on those sites that claimed to provide the free phone lookup and free reverse cell phone number lookup and claims that anyone can track a phone number using their database of reverse phone number lookup for free.
An USA land line number and a cell phone number has been taken as the samples in this study. Full identity data has been collected of the owners of both the phone numbers prior to carrying out the study. The identity data has been collected to compare the results after tracking phone numbers using the sample sites. The sample phone numbers and the owner’s identities are not mentioned here to maintain their privacy and as these would not make any impact on the outcome of this study.
In this study, three plus three sites picked up from the 1st page of Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP), which returned by Google while searching for the search string “free reverse phone number lookup” and “free reverse cell phone number lookup” respectively. “Free reverse phone number lookup” result sites used for land line phone number sample and “free reverse cell phone number lookup” search results used for cell phone number sample.
The Three sites randomly picked up from the 1st ten results of the 1st page returned by Google search engine. Identity of the sites is not revealed here, as it would not make any impact on the outcome of this study in any ways.
The Comprehensive Study On Reverse Phone Number Lookup
(1) Sample Land line Number- First Website
The first phone number was taken as the sample was the land line number sample. The number was inserted in the search box provided by the first sample site. After hitting the search button the database came up with some data.
Among the data returned were, name of the owner, city and state of residence of the owner. No particular address like house number was provided apart from the name. The name of the owner associated with the land line number was correct, so was the city and the state. Age given against the name was ridiculously incorrect.
Digging deep through the name appeared a table with 9 heads. These were: Age, Address, Location, Possible relatives, Name Appears as, Phone number, Email address, Criminal history and Social networks. Only 4 heads out of 9 were furnished with some data. They were, Age: incorrect data; Location: Correct data, City and State: Correct data, Possible relatives: fractional but correct data and Name appear as: Correct and full data.
There was no data against other 5 heads, i.e. Address, Phone numbers (all others), Email address, Criminal history and Social networks. Instead of data against these 5 heads, there were clickable links.
Clicking any of the 5 links has taken to a page where it was mention of payment to get data. Three types of payment options were available for three types of services. The first one was, A comprehensive report (one report) for $ 39.95. The comprehensive report included following (when available):
1. Up-to-date contact information and address history
2. Relatives, household members, and neighbors
3. Nationwide criminal check and offenses
4. Bankruptcies, liens, and judgments
5. Age and DOB
6. Property and real estate records Business ownership and professional listings
The second option was mentioned to get the Contact information only for a payment of $1.95 and the third option was an offer of one year unlimited number of search options (Unlimited people searches, basic phone lookups, and public records access ) with seven day free trial with a yearly payment of $ 35.40.
There were tick-able boxes against the three options to pick any one of the options. At the bottom of the three payment options, there was a button mentioned “check out”, which leads to a payment processor. The only payment option available was payment by credit card.
(2) Sample Land line Number- Second Website
The same land line number was inserted at the search box of the second website. After hitting the search button the site straight forwardly returned the following message, “Sorry, we looked, but couldn’t find the name or address for this phone number in our free directory. The information may be available at XXX (clickable link) for a small fee.”
However, there were also two result boxes below the page. The first one containing heads of “Name” and “Area”. There was no name against the Name field, instead, there was a clickable text link as “Private number”. Against the ‘area’ head, a city area was mentioned, and it was a correct data for the owner of the land line number.
In the other result box, some general information on the land line number was given like, Area Code (NPA), Exchange (NXX), Original Service Provider, Zip Code Coverage, Original Service Type, Land line Carrier Type, Original Coverage Area and VAS witch CLLI Code. All of this general information regarding the sample land line number were correct. Apart from the two tables, a Google map indicating the area was also at the page.
All the clickable links (XXX and “Private number” mentioned above) from this page leads to another site with completely different url. This page mentioned that the sample “phone owner detail” and “Additional Information” is available with a small fee. The page guaranteed following information for a payment of $ 4.99, Name, Carrier, Other Cellular Numbers, Unlisted phone Numbers, Non-Published Numbers, the Internet & VOIP, Historical Info, Current Info, Avg. Income, and Avg. Home Value.
The site also offered a pack of (5 any phone numbers) search with $ 19.95 that must be used within 30 days. Both the offer has “add to cart” buttons that lead to the terms and conditions page of the service and from there to a payment processor, to be paid by the credit cards.
(3) Sample Land line Number- Third Website
After inserting the sample land line in the phone number search box and hitting the search button, a page returned a result box containing, Carrier: Not Found, Location: Not Found, Full Result: Premier Listing (“Premier listing” was a clickable link). Clicking at the link has taken to the second web site mentioned earlier. It was unnecessary to dig deeper presuming the results would be as same as mentioned above at “(2) Sample Land line Number- Second Website”.
(4) Sample Cell Phone Number- First Website
The first website picked up from Google 1st result page for “free reverse cell number lookup” had no option to insert the sample cell number in any kind of search box. Rather the page had few services mentioned, like “VIP Cell Phone Number Lookup”, “Instant Reverse Lookup Results” and “Search Name and Billing Address by Cell Phone Number”, all three were clickable links.
Clicking on the link “VIP Cell Phone Number Lookup” has taken to a page where following information was available:
“Search for Name and Billing Address by active Cell Phone Number VIP for $ 69 each.
You provide: an active Cell Phone Number
We Return: Name & Billing Address direct from any Cellular Phone company.
No Information – No Charge – Accuracy GUARANTEED
We Guarantee you the Name and Billing Address that we supply you; is the same as the cell phone company has for any Active Cell Phone Number or 100% of your money refunded!
Use your credit card with confidence – information returned on any active cell phone or your money back.”
It was needed to fill up an application form providing full details of the searcher to use this site for searching the owner of the sample cell phone number. Submission of the application made it possible to reach the payment processor page to be paid by credit cards.
(5) Sample Cell Phone Number- Second Website
The second website had a cell phone search box in the home page, mentioning: this is a free internal database search. After inserting the sample cell number and hitting the search button took to a page that says, “Sorry, no results were found.” There was another search box with the “ click below for complete results” message in the page. Eventually, that leads to the website mention at “Sample Land line Number- Second Website” above.
(6) Sample Cell Phone Number- Third Website
In the third website, there were adverts of as many as five different reverse phone service sites. Obviously, it was an affiliate marketing site, though there was a search box for cell phone numbers. After inserting the sample cell phone number and hitting the search button, a page of different url returned as expected. A result table was presented. The seven heads of the table were, Name, Address, Public Records, Location, Type of line, Registered Date and Phone Carrier. Results of the first three heads were mention as “available”, correct data of the rest of the heads were provided. Two payment packages also offered in this page to get the full information. A one time payment of $ 14.95 to get the full information of the sample cell number and a one year subscription paying $ 39.95 to carry out an unlimited number of searches during the period.
Discussion On The Study
In this study, six different sites that claim anybody can track a phone number for free using their websites, were examined. Only one of the sites came up with the specific information like the name of the owner of the sample land line owner and “relative” information of the owner (partially) for free. Some sites came up with the general information like location, type of the phone line, carrier, etc. for free. However, this information would be no use for the searcher without the definite particulars of the phone number owner. No sites revealed name (except one), address and address history other telephone numbers the person uses, email address, full relative information, date of birth, criminal records, neighbors, etc. for free. However, all the six sites mentioned they are capable of providing all the particulars with some kind of payment.
The results of this study show that no websites could come up with complete information data for free. The minimum data offered by the sites for free cannot satisfy the need of the searchers by any means, but it could make the searchers curious, that could lure them to get the full information by taking payment options. Nobody can track a phone number for free and get full information from the six websites. Hence, we can come to the conclusion that, the word “free”, in case of reverse phone number lookup and reverse phone number lookup is used by different websites only to attract the searchers to their sites, which will eventually lead them to a payment option.