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(Pocket-lint) - As convenient as cell phones are, it's inevitable that you'll get calls from unknown numbers. How many times have you looked at your phone and had no idea who was calling you? This is a daily occurrence for many, but the good news is there are tools to help you identify who called you. 

A reverse phone lookup service is the best way to discover the identity of whoever called you. This will help you identify the caller without them ever knowing. You can use these services to identify an unknown number and protect yourself against spam, fraud, or more severe problems. 

A reverse phone lookup is also handy for people who prefer online shopping. You can run a number to ensure that the website is legitimate or learn more about who runs an online store. 

These services are rarely free. Some of them are, but they offer only a limited amount of information. Others charge one-off fees per search or a monthly subscription fee for as many searches as you want. Paid services typically have more information for you. 

Top 3 best reverse phone lookup services

1. TruthFinder - Most Reliable 

2. Instant Checkmate - The $1 Trial

3. Intelius - Five-Day Free Trial 

In this article, we'll be looking at the most reliable and best free reverse phone lookup services and paid reverse phone lookup with free trial options.

1. TruthFinder – Most reliable

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TruthFinder comes first and foremost in our list of the best reverse phone lookup sites. There are several reasons why we - and everyone else - rates this as number one. The service is US-based for finding information about a person using their phone number. 

Hundreds of thousands of people have relied on TruthFinder in the past. The service has several offerings, including phone search, people search, and full background check services. The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and handles over 9 million requests per month. The service has been fully vetted, tested, and featured by news services such as Uproxx, The Daily Mail, and The Huffington Post. 

Reverse phone lookups have become more common since the turn of the century as more people have mobile devices these days. You might be wondering why you should use a paid dedicated service for a reverse phone lookup when you have access to things like Google for reverse phone lookup services. The answer is that Google doesn't give you the most reliable information related to a cell phone number. The same applies to standard lookup services. These platforms don't have access to the information you need. If anything, searching a number on Google will only redirect you to a service like TruthFinder. 

If you want the most information about the person behind a phone number, then you need to take advantage of a reputable service such as TruthFinder. One problem people have with paid services is that the fees vary wildly. It's easy to be put off by a high price. The good news is that TruthFinder is affordable and has a free phone number lookup trial to take advantage of. 

The process to use TruthFinder is relatively simple. Open the official website, enter your chosen phone number into the search bar, and you'll get a detailed report on everything associated with that number. Given how much data TruthFinder pulls, it could take a minute to get the full report. You can also order a full background check for a person. You'll get a report including criminal records, traffic records, lien information, and more. Keep in mind that these full services typically cost more, and you'll be unlikely to find anyone offering them for free. 

These websites use simple but effective interfaces so anyone can use them without any prior technical knowledge. 

What to expect from TruthFinder?

You can expect to get a fully detailed report about the person behind a cell phone number. Here's everything included in the report: 

Personal information 

Reports contain basic information such as the full name of the phone number holder. 

Education and employment history

See the educational background and obtain a complete job history of the person in your report. 

Background record

Background checks are an advanced feature. These checks include personal details of the criminal history of a person, including criminal, court, official, and licensing issues they have faced in the past. 

TruthFinder offers a free trial to new members. If you like what you get from the service, you can create a full account to keep using it. Membership costs just $4.99 per month, which is affordable for a service like this. A complete membership, including full access to criminal records and other advanced information, costs $30 a month. Stick with the basic option unless you need more information about a phone number. 

What we like about TruthFinder

TruthFinder has plenty of great things going for it, including a loyal customer base, incredible ratings and reviews, and perfect feedback for its wealth of features and services. 

Mobile apps 

As well as making their website mobile-friendly, TruthFinder has a dedicated mobile app for on-the-go searching. The app is fully compatible with Android and iOS. 

Recent and valid contact information

One problem with using reverse phone lookup services is that they regularly pull old information and contact details on a person. The numbers are likely not even used by the person anymore. It means that your whole phone number search was a waste of time - and possibly money. You can rely on TruthFinder to find the most accurate and up-to-date records. 

Simple to navigate 

TruthFinder has a user-friendly interface. All the information you need is clearly displayed and readable on the website, which is made so that anyone can read and understand it. 

Authentic and accurate background checks

It's difficult to get an accurate background check from a search engine because it takes a lot of authenticity and research to do. TruthFinder can meet those challenges and offer you nothing but the most accurate and authentic background report on someone. The company has garnered many positive reviews for the accuracy of these services. 

What we don't like about TruthFinder 

Not every service is perfect. There are some drawbacks of TruthFinder that must be addressed: 

Membership fees 

While the service does offer a free trial, most people will end up with a paid membership. You can get a membership for either $4.99 for a basic membership or a complete membership with background checks for $30. There is no option to receive a single report for free at a reduced cost. 

2. Instant Checkmate – The $1 trial

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Instant Checkmate proves there's no shame in being second best. The website is easy to use and easy on the eyes to boot. The reverse phone lookup service runs a subscription model where users can find out most things they want about another person with basic information such as a phone number. 

All you must do is enter the phone number into the search bar and start your search. Instant Checkmate takes care of all the rest and generates a report on what it finds. The report includes basic contact information, criminal history, employment details, and more. 

It operates an extensive database that puts other search engines to shame. You'll be hard-pressed to find another service that has such accurate results and an attractive layout. TruthFinder may be the only service you could consider better, hence why Instant Checkmate is in second place. 

Its database includes plenty of publicly available records, such as government databases, and federal sources of information. With so much information to hand, it's easy to see why there's so much demand for its phone number lookup services. This demand does mean that the price goes up a little too. You should know that the company has a relatively higher fee than other options on the market. 

One thing we love is that Instant Checkmate offers a $1 trial for users. It also has apps on Android and iOS. There's some vagueness about the features and user policies on Instant Checkmate, but the millions of satisfied customers show this is a service to be trusted. Instant Checkmate boasts an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. 

What we like about Instant Checkmate 

Attractive user interface 

User interfaces should be built around users. They should be easy for people to use. We like that Instant Checkmate offers a truly effortless user experience that makes it super convenient. The service also boasts an attractive Apple and Android app. 

Detailed search results

You'll get a wealth of information about someone from a single search. 

Accurate results 

Not only do you get plenty of information about your target, but that information is always reliable and accurate. 

Excellent customer service

Users get access to an impressive customer support team. The team is ready whenever you need help through an online contact form, phone number, email, or social media. The website also boasts an impressive FAQ section with plenty of useful information for the most common problems. 

Personal record removal 

We recommend searching for yourself on Instant Checkmate. The website cares about user privacy. If you aren't happy with how much information the service can find on you, you can request to have your personal records removed. All you must do is go through a simple step-by-step procedure to have all that data wiped. 

What we don't like about Instant Checkmate

Vague pricing information 

We don't like that there isn't enough clear information about the charges and fees for using Instant Checkmate. A service like this should be clear and upfront about costs. 

High subscription fees

Instant Checkmate operates as a paid subscription service. The fees are higher than you'd get from the conventional features. You also must pay more to access some special features. 

Speed 

It takes some time to get the results for your search, especially if you search multiple records at once. 

3. Intelius – Five-day free trial

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Intelius is an established and respected public information provider. Users can search the database to learn more about who is phoning you. You'll have no problems navigating through the service and getting the information you need. Intelius has garnered plenty of positive feedback for its array of features and accurate results, guaranteeing users accurate and reliable information. 

Intelius stood the test of time, becoming one of the longest-running reverse phone lookup service providers. The service has been around since 2003 and offers affordable subscriptions compared to other services. Intelius garnered plenty of attention over time and has a high rating with the Better Business Bureau to show you how credible it is. 

One small problem we had with Intelius is that the service lacks clear pricing on the website. We don't like that level of vagueness. However, we do appreciate the wealth of search options. Enter the phone number in the search bar, hit search, and wait for the results. 

You can expect to get a full detailed report of a person. There's the option for more in-depth searches for more information including background checks and more. These detailed reverse phone number searches come at a premium. Only basic information is offered for free. 

What we like about Intelius

Ease of use

It couldn't be easier to search for someone with Intelius. Use a landline phone number, mobile number, or business number to get your report. 

Excellent customer service

We appreciate that the website has interactive and supportive customer service options. You can reach customer support through phone or email and get a response in no time. 

Dedicated apps

Intelius has dedicated apps for Android and iOS. 

What we don't like about Intelius

Unclear Pricing 

We don't like the ambiguous pricing model. You won't get the complete bill until after the search. 

Potential inaccuracy

Some users have complained the reports aren't as accurate as advertised. 

4. Spokeo

Spokeo is another established name. The business opened in 2006 but really burst into the public eye in 2008. The intelligence company has gone from strength-to-strength and earned plenty of positive attention and reviews from users. Spokeo processes over 20 million searches per month. 

The Spokeo website makes it easy to find people based on their phone number. You can find out who called you or reconnect with long-lost friends and family members with Spokeo. 

The data in your report comes from online and offline databases. The service collects and searches over 12 million data records to get your results. The information in your report includes basic contact information, criminal history, and more.

Spokeo is a little limited because of how the pricing works. You can subscribe for unlimited searches per month or get a single report for $49.99. It's almost worth getting a subscription to save money even if you plan on doing just one or two searches. 

5. TruePeopleSearch 

TruePeopleSearch is a relatively new name in the industry. The company was established in 2017 but the founders have decades of experience in the industry. That the company has garnered such a strong user base in such a short amount of time tells you everything you need to know. 

One thing we love about TruePeopleSearch is that you don't have to get a subscription plan to run a search. You can search any US phone number you want for free. Just enter the phone number, name, or email address of a person in the search bar and await your results. The system checks the databases and gives you the appropriate information. 

Your report includes information such as the name, email address, and more. You can expect a straightforward service here. 

TruePeopleSearch processes millions of searches per month and has plenty of online visibility, including a strong social media presence. TruePeopleSearch claims to be the most liked phone lookup service on Facebook. 

TruePeopleSearch garnered some negative attention after launching due to privacy concerns. People were alarmed that their information was so easily broadcast to strangers over the internet, even though all the information in TruePeopleSearch results comes from publicly available databases anyone can access. 

TruePeopleSearch made it clear in the "About Us" section that its main goal is to connect friends and family members. The website is committed to privacy and offers record removal. If you are worried about how much information TruePeopleSearch has on you, you can request your records be removed from the database. The process takes a few days to complete. 

One limitation of the service is that there is no iOS app. There's an Android one, but no iPhone support. 

6. ZabaSearch 

ZabaSearch is becoming one of the leading players in the phone lookup market. We love to see a website that has an eye-catching but easy-to-use layout, so we were impressed by the ZabaSearch website. We also love that it has full SSL encryption to ensure user privacy and security. A search through ZabaSearch offers basic publicly available information. 

ZabaSearch makes it easy to reconnect with friends and family or find out about potential scam callers. All you must do is put the phone number in the search box and the system does the rest. ZabaSearch matches the number against its records and compiles a report for you. 

The report includes basic information such as contact information, employment history, criminal history, and tax lien history.

ZabaSearch has a user-friendly interface, offers quick and effective reports, and has the trust of millions of users. The service has garnered positive ratings and reviews from users. If you aren't sure about using ZabaSearch, you can check the testimonials for yourself and see what people who used the service have to say. 

With such an extensive database, ZabaSearch offers information from up to 80 years ago in some cases. The website puts plenty of effort into getting nothing but the most accurate and detailed results for users. The process is also fully secure, so don't worry about people knowing you searched for them. 

Unfortunately, you will have to pay for a full report. You can look someone up for free but might have to pay to get all the details. 

7. ZoSearch 

ZoSearch is another way to find public information about people. The website is entirely free and lets you search any US-based phone number, mobile or landline, without having to worry about your privacy. 

The information in the report includes the complete name of the phone number owner, their email address, and other information. All the details are included in a comprehensive report. 

The website runs a simple but effective user interface. Anyone can use the website, even if they have little-to-no technical experience. All you have to do is open the website, put a name in the search bar, and search to get near-instant results. 

You can search for people using a name, address, or email. Don't worry about getting a virus or malware as this is a reputable site. ZoSearch services millions of visitors per month, which should serve as a sign of the credibility it offers. 

While the company does have a significant user base, it is yet to publish a dedicated mobile app. This is a significant drawback because it limits users so much. Another downside is that you can search for free but may have to pay for detailed reports. 

8. White Pages 

White Pages is one of the oldest and most recognised names in phone number lookup. White Pages dates back to 1997 and serves over 35 million people per month. The service has been featured by many news outlets including NBC, Forbes, USA Today, and the New York Times. The service hosts a huge database of contact information about Americans, offering one of the most valuable record directories on the market. 

If you're tired of dealing with spam calls, then White Pages will help you discover their true identity. Just open the website, search for the number, and see the results you get. You'll get some basic contact information for free for a landline number. This includes the name, business details, and more. You'll need to use the premium package to get full details. 

White Pages also operates a background check service to find criminal records about a person. This service is handy for fraud prevention. 

One downside of White Pages is the cost of the premium services. It costs $29 per month for informative reports and $18.95 for additional inspections. 

How do reverse phone number lookup services work?

Now you know more about individual phone lookup services, let's look at how they work. These services scour public records to connect phone numbers to names. This includes mobile phone numbers from AT&T, Verizon, and other carriers.

Advanced services maintain individual data sources and scour the deep web to find more information about someone. However, you may not get all the information you want even with the most detailed report. 

Why use a reverse phone lookup service?

There are lots of reasons to run phone lookups. Here are the most common ones: 

To avoid scams

Most of these services tell you outright if the number you enter belongs to a known scammer and spam caller. If you have some missed calls and don't want the person to keep calling you, look up the number and see if it belongs to a scammer. 

To find friends and family 

If you are looking for people to reconnect with, then a reverse phone lookup is a great tool to have. Even if the number isn't in use anymore, a dedicated lookup service can find up-to-date contact details based on an old number. 

To verify a company 

Perhaps you've been recommended to a company by a friend or family member. You can't find anything about the business online. All you have is a number. You can search that phone number on a lookup service to see more about the business. 

Is a reverse phone lookup legal?

Some people are afraid to use phone lookup services because they are worried they might not be legal. The legality of these services depends on where you live.

They are completely legal in the United States because the information is often publicly available. It's harder to find and use a phone lookup service in the UK. We recommend using a trusted name like TruthFinder or Spokeo if you are concerned about legal issues. 

Conclusion: which one is the best phone number lookup service?

Every phone lookup service has different motivations behind them. Some people find these services intrusive, but they are a valuable tool for others.

If you have genuine reasons to use one of these services, then you can't go wrong with any of the companies on our list. TruthFinder is the best option for a phone lookup service, but it isn't the only one. Try a couple of services until you get the information you need.