Over a century ago, long-distance communication was possible only via telegraph, passenger pigeon or Pony Express. Fortunately, the invention of both landlines and cell phones have allowed us to communicate with each other in real-time, all over the world. All it takes is a country code, calling prefix/area code and the phone number.
But what if you don’t actually know the person’s digits? How do you find someone’s cell phone number? You could ask mutual friends, family members — even run a Google search on the person’s name to see if maybe their information appears. These strategies may (eventually) get you the results but what if they don’t work either? What if time is of the essence?
Enter: The people search engine.
People search engines, like Spokeo, exist to help users look up contact information of individuals living in the United States. Their people-related data is extensive, making it easier to search for info than using Google. Spokeo specifically designed their search engine to make it more helpful to find people’s phone numbers, email addresses, social media accounts and other information.
How to Find Someone’s Cell Phone Number Using People Search
The easiest way to find someone’s cell phone number is by using a dedicated people search engine like Spokeo. These platforms use advanced search technology to comb through public records (both online and offline sources) relating to the person in question. Once data is found, the service combines all the relevant info into one easy-to-understand report. It could include the person’s full name, phone number, address, social media profiles and much more.
Here’s how to use Spokeo to find someone’s cell phone number:
- Start by selecting the right search tool based on the information you already have about the person. If you only have their name, type it into the search bar and press “Search.”
- Then, scroll through the results to find the person you are looking for. If they have a common name, you may need to look for other identifying factors like location or age, or try your search using an email address if you have it.
- Once you locate their Spokeo profile, select “See Results.”
- Browse through the results page to discover phone numbers associated with their name or address.
Other Ways to Find a Person’s Cell Phone Number
You could potentially use a Google search to attempt to find what you’re looking for. However, the results tend to be generic and may not even give any relevant information about the person in question. Further, if you’re searching for someone with a common first and last name combo, it’s not even worth trying.
You could also turn to Facebook to find a person’s cell phone number. Phone numbers have been an option in social media since the early days, and some people still maintain these as part of their profiles.
Here’s how to use Facebook’s to search for a phone number:
- Type the person’s name in the Facebook Search Bar
- Scroll through results to find the specific person you are looking for. Filtering by location can make this easier if you are searching for someone with a common name.
- Once you’ve found the person you are looking for, click on their profile to see if their phone number is listed. If it is not listed, you may need to request them as a friend in order to have access to more personal information like a phone number.
Benefits of Using a Cell Phone Number Search
There are literally hundreds of different reasons why you may want to look up a person’s phone number. Here are just a few:
Getting in Touch With Relatives
There are many testimonials from people who have reconnected with their parents, grandparents, or distant relatives by searching on Spokeo by using the information that they had while still in touch with that relative.
Reconnecting With Friends
High school friends who have lost touch are reconnecting through the use of Spokeo. Since they know their old friends’ names, it’s easy to find their phone number.
If you’ve thrown yourself into the online dating pool, odds are you’ve come across a romance scammer — otherwise known as a catfish — whether you know it or not. If you connect with someone you think is even remotely suspicious, be sure to look them up. You can search their name, username, email address or phone number to see if the facts they’ve given you check out.
Identifying a Caller
It’s easy for people to assume that they’re immune to phone scams — until they’re the one picking up a scam call. If you receive a call from a strange number, it’s generally a good policy to run it through the phone number lookup tool on Spokeo to see if it can provide any information on the person who’s calling you. Running repeat callers through a reverse lookup could identify them as a telemarketer, robocaller, or debt collector.
Research New Neighbors
A reverse address search can be used to gather information on new neighbors and other new people who have entered your life, especially if you think something about them seems strange. Search results may include social media profiles or even court records and criminal history (for an additional fee). Knowing they are not criminals could at least put your mind at ease and make you less suspicious.
Legal Basics of Cell Phone Number Lookup
Like with many advancements in technology, the use of cell phone number lookup has the potential to be abused. That’s why there are legal guidelines that place limits on exactly who can use the information gathered from a cell phone number lookup and for what purpose.
Platforms offering this service are not classified as a consumer reporting agency based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and therefore, any information gathered cannot be used by and for any of the following purposes:
- Human Resources: prohibited from using any information collected for employment screenings or promotion decisions.
- Landlords: prohibited from using available information to determine an individual’s housing eligibility.
- Banks/Creditors: prohibited from using the aggregated information to rate a customer’s credit score.
- Insurance Providers: prohibited from using the result from a cell phone number lookup to determine any customer’s premiums.
- Utility Companies: prohibited from using the data for any purpose whatsoever.
Fast Search—Fast Results
The beauty of a phone number search tool is that it can both protect and connect people. Looking up a phone number could save you from being catfished or from getting caught up with a phone scammer. It could also reconnect you with friends, family members, or old romantic partners you never dreamed you’d be able to see again.
When you’re hoping to get useful information from researching people online, Spokeo should be your first and last stop. We sort through public records, white page listings and social network information of thousands of people and condense all of this information into simple, single-page profiles to give you a single, trusted source of information.
Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce and IoT.