Claims of a free mobile phone number search clog the internet. Interestingly, for as many listings as there are making such promises, I could not find a single free reverse cell phone directory. I set out to prove that there was no such thing or find a resource that could be shared with everyone. The outcome was quite surprising.
It made sense to start the investigation through Google, one of the most popular of all internet search engines. I entered the term “free reverse cell phone” into the search bar without quotes, as this is how most list mobile phone numbers people would begin the same sort of query. I did not use quotes in the search as that would have given me only the sites that used those words in that order and I wanted to see all of the listings that used those words together even if the order was slightly different.
Google returned 1.7 million results. It is not unusual to see those types of results for popular searches but keep that number handy when we get to the results of the test.
One by one, I went through each of the first 50 listings returned by Google. Using a spreadsheet to track the outcome of each listing, I also made note of each URL, whether or not the title appeared to Promise, Question or Deny the existence of a free mobile phone number search, and whether the end result of chasing clicks through each website resulted in a Free or Fee based program.
Some time, some coffee and one laptop crash later, I completed the review. The final numbers:
- 33 listings (66%) promised through their text to lead to a free mobile search or reverse cell phone look up
- 13 listings (22%) addressed the questionable nature of these directories
- 4 listings (8%) denied these free reverse directories existed
The remaining sites had either been deleted or experienced a server problem.
A rate of 66% of the sites promising a free mobile phone number search looked good, until I further analyzed those results:
- 73% of the sites that promised a free reverse cell phone look up actually ended at a directory that required a fee. True, the service would give free information about the general city in which the cell phone number originated but anything more than that had to be purchased.
- 18% of the sites that promised a free reverse cell phone look up led to a website error, a membership site, or unrated freeware.
Just a fraction, 9%, offered any serious idea of obtaining a free mobile search and in every one of those outcomes the tool of choice was to use internet search engines like Google.
I know exactly why you cannot get a free mobile phone number search. Mobile phone numbers are not listed publicly, not given in any phone book and not free to the directories that offer them. The directories have to pay to purchase the numbers and so do consumers.
Google does have considerable and detailed free information stored on its servers but it only holds what someone has submitted into the web. If the mobile phone number you are trying to look up was entered by the owner on a forum everyone can see, or was indexed in search engines as part of a document, then you might have a chance to find the information you want about the name behind that mobile phone number. The odds are slim, at best. Many consumers still want their cell phone numbers to be private and do not often expose them widely on the web.
Because searching on the internet is free, it is obviously cheaper than using a reverse directory that will charge a fee and doing so takes only a few minutes. Type the mobile number into your favorite search engine, or a number of search engines, and see if anything interesting comes up. If not, your only chance at finding out the name and address of the mobile phone number owner is to use a paid reverse cell phone directory.
Is it worth it to you to pay for the information tied to a mobile phone number? It depends heavily on the reason you want the information. If having that information would reconnect you with a friend or family member, would mean a new job or commission, or if you believe it would protect you or uncover a straying spouse, then the few dollars you might pay out for that information would be well worth the fee.
With a free mobile phone number search out of the question, if you decide to use a paid service, find one that offers a money back guarantee and has been in business long enough to have established a positive reputation.