How Do You Find a Phone Number?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Sep 11, 2020 7:43:11 PM ET
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Ever since mobile phones became the new normal, phone books have fallen by the wayside, and few people have any phone numbers beyond their own memorized anymore. As a result, whether you’re looking for an unfamiliar number or a previously known one after your phone broke, you’ll probably need to turn to the internet to find it. Here are a few ways you can find an unknown phone number online.

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Use a Search Engine

It's no secret that Google is the largest and most popular search engine, and that makes it a great place to start your phone number search. Finding the phone number of a business is usually as easy as entering in the organization’s name and hitting enter, but if you're looking for a personal phone number, it may be difficult to find. It may help to try adding in their address or occupation along with their name. If one combination of information doesn’t work, another might.

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Even if Google fails, don’t rule out other search engines, such as Yahoo! or Bing. Because different search engines order results in different ways, you never know which one will get you what you need. And if nothing else, you can use any search engine to determine what a phone number’s area code signifies. Just be aware that it’s common for people who have moved to keep the same cell phone number, meaning that area codes aren’t guaranteed to tell you where someone is calling from.

Try an Online Database

Although phone books may no longer be a part of most people’s lives, their function lives on through online databases that make it easy to find phone numbers and other information. Zabasearch is one such online directory. In addition to phone numbers, this website lets you search for all kinds of public information, including names, addresses, ages, phone numbers and more. Basic searches are free, and you can also pay for premium services, including looking up who a social security number belongs to, background checks, reverse cell phone searches and more.

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If you don’t find the number you’re looking for or want to verify that it’s correct, you can also try any number of similar sites, such as The Real Yellow Pages or Whitepages. Different sites may also provide different information. Whitepages, for instance, lists likely relatives when doing a search.

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Use Facebook

Believe it or not, you can find more than photos of family and friends on Facebook. Many businesses list their phone number on their social media profile, which you in turn can look up just by knowing the organization’s name. Moreover, you can enter phone numbers into Facebook’s search bar to see if any users have registered their account with that number. While most people either set their accounts to private or don’t list their number, you can still get lucky with this trick from time to time.

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Do a 411 Search

Many phone service providers let users make 411 calls that can be used to find phone numbers and other information. Depending on the kind of phone service you have, dialing 411 may either let you learn the number and other information about the last person to call you, or you may reach an automated menu that you can use to request phone numbers, names and addresses and other information. In both cases, there may be a fee for using this service.

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Alternatively, you can access a similar service for free by dialing 1800-FREE-411 (1-800-373-3411). You’ll need to listen to a brief advertisement before you can use the service, but otherwise, there is no cost guaranteed.