Sunday, October 31, 2010

Understanding The Reverse Phone Lookup Scam

You have probably seen the ads online about the reverse phone lookup scam. Most people who are older remember using a phone book. It is a straight forward process to look up a name or business in the white pages or yellow pages of your local phone book. You can also call 411 for directory information for a phone number in any city in the country. What do you do, however, when you have a phone number that you do not recognize and you want to know who that number belongs to. This is where a reverse phone number look up can be helpful.

With a reverse number phone number look up, instead of being indexed by name, the directory is indexed by phone number. You look up the phone number to find out the address the phone is located at and the name of person or business who owns the phone number. It is the reverse process of the old fashioned phone book.

Before cell phones become prevalent, it was quite simple to get telephone number information. Unlike land lines, however, cell phone information is not listed in public directories. There are internet sites that provide directory information for land lines, including reverse look ups. These web sites claim that they will provide cell phone information for a fee, including a reverse cell phone look up.

It is simple to understand why there is not a free cell phone number directory for the public to use. A land line is associated with a physical address. The phone is not mobile and exists at one location. People will keep the same phone number for years. This makes a static database of phone number information. The telephone companies themselves offer free phone directories for anybody to use.

The situation with cell phones is more unstable. People switch cell phone plans and numbers frequently. There is no physical location associated with a cell phone. A person will move to a different area code but keep their cell phone so you can not even tell where a person lives for certain based on their cell phone number. It is a much more difficult task to maintain a current and up-to-date directory of cell phone number. Also, there are many cell phone companies and, so even if it they did provide a directory, it would only include cell phone numbers under their plans. It is just not feasible to have a all inclusive up-to-date directory of all cell phone numbers.

There is no practical way to judge how good any cell phone reverse directory service is without actually signing up and trying it. Of course, if you want to know who any phone number belongs to you can always just call that number and see who picks up the line at the other end. It is mostly telemarketers who have a need for a cell phone directory. Since people do not want to receive calls from telemarketers, the cell phone providers have no incentive to provide cell phone number directory information.

There is a lot of misinformation about the regulations regarding telemarketing and cell phones. Cell phone numbers can be registered with the national no call list. There is no charge for registering your cell phone number with the national no call list. You can register with the national no call list at anytime. There is no deadline for registering. Telemarketers are prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission from calling cell phones randomly with automated dialing software.

If you do decide to use a cell phone directory service find one that allows unlimited use for at least a year. Without actually trying a service it is impossible to decide if the reverse phone lookup scam is for real. Only the consumer can draw their own conclusions through their experience.