Ever wondered whose on the other side of the call when your phone rings and all you see is a simple 10 digit number, instead of a few alphabets or maybe a picture.
A Reverse Phone Lookup is a tool to track a mobile phone number by simply entering the phone number, which is then checked for a match on a directory of phone numbers or an algorithm sorted search engine and if a match is found it returns details about the person whose number was entered. This is completely in contrast to the concept of a telephone directory; wherein the user makes use of customer’s details like name and address, in order to retrieve the telephone number of that person or organization.
Generally, the reverse phone lookup works sublimely when you search for a landline number associated with a business or residence. Even before the existence of publicly accessible internet mobile companies published reverse telephone directories, specific to a certain area or city. Such directories were possessed by the police and other government agencies. The problem with mobile phone numbers is that they are issued by individual telecom companies. Moreover, sometimes the owner of a certain mobile number might not be interested in getting his privacy disrupted by some strangers, hence making the person’s details even harder to get.
There are numerous websites that will allow you enter the phone number you want to look up and then provide some general information about that number.
These websites will usually provide you with the following information:
- Mobile Network carrier
- Signaling (GSM /CDMA /LTE )
Such services are provided by the following websites in India:
Sharing the name or the pinpoint location of a mobile phone number is a crime in India, as it is against the privacy law of the country. These services are only there to provide insight about how you will be charged if you call the person whose information you’ve just accessed as it gives the city and country of that person and the caller can get the exact call rates. Furthermore, you can recall the person or distinguish between two or more persons on the basis of their state and the Network operator.
These services can be used by following these steps:
- Google the keyword “Reverse Phone Lookup /Online White-pages/Online Yellow pages” in order to find a suitable site to access these services.
Log on to any of the above-mentioned websites.
- Fill in the mobile number in the suitable box and enter search/trace button
- You would be provided with the City, Signal, etc. as soon as the search ends
- Allows you to find mobile phone location of the number in phone number search.
- You can find caller from a phone number.
- With the advent of mobile number portability (MNP), you can change your network at any moment of time, hence sometimes the information may not be accurate
- Provides no guarantee of information security.
- It possesses serious threats to the privacy of an individual.
A better option than the traditional reverse phone lookup services is the app and website based system called Truecaller. It not only grants you access to the location, signal, and network operator of the unknown number but also gives the name of the owner of the mobile number. Furthermore, it even allows the user to identify incoming calls, and block spam, fraudulent or other calls which they do not wish to receive.
Truecaller acts on a barter-based system, whereby the users who want to gain information about the unknown numbers will have to compromise with their phone book contacts. The app has an end user agreement, through which it gains full access to the user’s phonebook and uploads all the contacts from the phonebook of the user to the Truecaller servers. These contacts are then organized into records and each number is allotted a Truecaller id. When someone searches the number using Truecaller number search, the caller id associated with that number will be displayed.
Another interesting fact about this app is that out of all the people you know, even if one uses Truecaller, then your contact number and name would surely end up in the Truecaller database.
The Truecaller has the following advantages:-
- Blocking of unwanted numbers.
- Identification of unknown numbers.
- Has an inbuilt feature which allows you to keep tracks on who is viewing your number.
Some of its disadvantages are:-
- Loss of privacy.
- Sometimes nicknames are stored as contacts by users, which appear on the database rather than true names, making the information unreliable at some places.
- Requires internet access in order to work.