When should you pay to know a name behind a phone number?

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We try to answer this as “never”. But there may come a time when you have exhausted all your efforts into doing free reverse phone search by yourself, and you need to consult a professional web service or private investigator to do it for you.

If you haven’t already, be sure to go through all the Methods and General Information¬†pages to be sure that you really have tried all that you can to find a name behind a number.

Keep in mind the following:

Private investigators are professionals, certified with either the state or local government and have a license to perform their investigation duties similar to that of the police. Because of this, they will have access to databases that are not available to the public. They are NOT government employees, and depending on your state or country they may have restriticons or limitations as to what they can or cannot do. If you have a circumstance that puts you or others in danger, or feel threatened by something someone has said to you over the phone, you should go to the police, not a private investigator. Private investigators are usually more expensive than online paid revere phone number lookup services. A private investigator can charge from $20-$150 dollars per hour depending on the task at hand and how much information you need to obtain. There are also fixed contract private investigators that charge by the task, these can range from $50 all the way up to $500 if the information you are trying to obtain is especially obscure.

A professional web service can also perform a reverse phone search. They usually look in these places:

  • Home records from local counties and state record departments
  • Insurance and healthcare records (publicly available)
  • Motor Vehicle Registration office
  • Military application records and dismissal notices
  • Other sources of obscure or hard-to-obtain information

The online databases may take advantage of some or all of these services. In an interest of time, they usually have these records digitized so that they can search through all of them at once, trying to match the phone number to a name or address. You can do these yourself, especially the search online phone database method, but it might take a long time, so usually people turn to this option as a last resort. Online reverse phone number services can cost between $1 (low end, limited information), all the way to $20 or more for the more experienced and professional lookup services. With this services, you usually get more than just the name behind a phone number. Job, location, relatives, and other personal info is also given too. Keep an eye out for shady websites promising these items for “one payment only”, because usually they charge you once for the first piece of info, and then each month for every other piece of info that turns up. Check the reviews section on this website or online to get an understanding of the quality of these websites. Monitor your credit card after making a payment with a service like this if you’re unsure if it’s safe.

We will be updating this in the future with our recommendations as to what online (paid) service you should take a look at. Until then, keep trying the free methods, they work for some people, and they could work for you too!

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