The Benefits and Limitations of Reverse Phone Directories

There are essentially two types of reverse phone lookup. The first is not available to the public and is utilized by law enforcement and emergency services to validate where any call came from. The second type is available for anyone to use but does come with certain benefits and limitations.

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The main benefit is also the main reason most people use free reverse phone lookup when an individual receives or misses a call from a phone number they don't recognize a reverse phone lookup can help identify the caller. By entering the phone number it will then be searched in the reverse telephone directory, sometimes known as the gray pages. Many times this can give not just the callers name but also the address.

There are also tools available that can reverse search 800 numbers. This is currently one of the most popular uses reverse phone lookups today. Being able to distinguish between a telemarketer and your credit card company can be great benefit.

Another feature that can considered a benefit is the pure simplicity of reverse phone lookup. The Internet has streamlined the process to the point where one click can give you any available information.

While reverse phone lookup is a fantastic tool, in order to fully take advantage, it's important to understand it's limitations as well. The main limitation is that reverse phone lookup does not search cell phones.

There are two main reasons why cell phones are not included in reverse phone lookup.

  • The first is that each individual carrier keeps their own database of customer information. This information may only have the primary account holder listed. Many people have multiple phones on their plan and the secondary users information is rarely kept. There simply isn't a large database for all cell phones at this time.
  • The second reason that cell phone numbers aren't available is that all litigation designed to collect this information has been rejected. There has been talk for years, as the popularity of cell phones has grown, to release this information for reverse phone lookups and other information collection services. Various organizations such as Consumers Union have fought to keep this information private. They argue that the privacy concerns involved out weight the benefits.

While cell phones may not be compatible with reverse phone lookup, it still remains an important tool in todays world. There are many different on-line tools to utilize and all that's left is finding the one that's right for you.

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