We’ve all needed to look up a phone number before. Sometimes you want to discover who owns an unknown number that keeps calling you without leaving messages. In other instances, you have the number of a possible online date or a new contact and want to be sure that person is who they say they are. Sometimes simple curiosity overtakes us, and we want to discover more information about a phone number and the person it belongs to. You have lots of resources to search phone numbers, Facebook being an easy, if limited, option.
How Facebook Reverse Phone Lookup Works
You’re familiar with how to search for people via Facebook: you type a name into the Facebook search bar and see the results that pop up. Because Facebook now requires you to have a phone number on hand for your account, you can use phone numbers to search for people, too. Type in a phone number into that search bar and watch as someone you know (or do not know!) pops up.
Limitations to Facebook’s Service
When the service first became available in 2012, you could search unlimited phone numbers via Facebook. Not long after the feature appeared, someone developed a crawler that would allow you to search through most Facebook users via phone number in just a few days. The point of the crawler wasn’t to actually conduct such a massive search. Instead, the person who developed it wanted to show Facebook the security flaws in this search method by exploiting the vulnerabilities.
Facebook took quick action, and now the feature is extremely limited. If you want to search one number to discover if a friend has called or texted you, Facebook is the way to go. But if you intend to rely on Facebook to search through all the unknown numbers that have recently shown up on your phone logs, you won’t be able to. For searches involving many numbers, you’ll need to find another method.
Another limitation is, of course, privacy settings. If a Facebook user has their phone number hidden from public view, you at least need to be a Facebook friend of that person to see their number. Other users hide their numbers completely, setting them on “Only Me” so that nobody, not friends or family or anyone else, can see the phone number. If you search a phone number on Facebook and nothing comes up, you’ll have to turn to another method of discovering who owns that phone number.
Dangers of Reverse Phone Lookup on Social Media
When you want to know who is contacting you, a reverse lookup feature like this is fantastic. Remember that telemarketers, scammers, and other people can also use the feature to find you, if your privacy settings aren’t very high.
Thanks to the limitations Facebook has created, you cannot mass search for phone numbers via reverse phone lookup. Your IP address also only gets a certain number of searches. These features don’t protect you the way you may assume. For example, someone using a VPN might block their IP address and continue searching phone numbers. It is also relatively easy to create a new Facebook account and use a different computer to conduct more phone number searches. Ultimately, people can find ways around the blocks Facebook has in place.
Why should you worry about scammers? Because they can program random phone numbers into Facebook and get demographic information. Depending, again, on your privacy settings, scammers use that Facebook phone number lookup to get details about you that they then use to make their scams seem more legitimate. Of course, the phone numbers they use won’t show up if you try the phone number lookup Facebook offers.
Other Ways You Can Perform Reverse Phone Number Lookups
When you’re trying to find a phone number’s origin, Facebook might be a step you take, but certainly not your only step. As you see, the Facebook search has limitations that you’re very likely to run into, even if you only use it once. Learn better techniques for looking up phone numbers. This protects you from scammers, helps you identity phishing calls, and also gets you information about the people you meet online and in person. When you have a phone number, you have a lot of possible information in your hands.
Your first step is to simply Google the number. If it’s a local or national business trying to contact you, that phone number will appear on the official website. Chances are that business will have left you a message indicating they would like a call back, though, so you usually don’t have to waste your time looking up the phone number.
So when a number has been bugging you, either via texts or calls, and Google is no help, use other techniques to get to the bottom of things. Start with the area code. Discovering where an area code comes from can help you identify scams. A search engine might not tell you who owns that phone number, but it will tell you which area codes are associated with scams. CheckThem has lots of resources on which area codes belong to which states, including what regions and cities fall within that area code.
Use cheap reverse phone number lookup services to get information about someone. You can usually pay a low fee, like a dollar, to do one reverse phone number lookup. This is most helpful when you’re trying to get more information about someone you’ve met online through a dating website, or a person you might want to hire as a nanny, gardener, or cleaner. The best reverse phone number searches provide you with the person’s name, location, and smartphone carrier or network details.
The Facebook phone number lookup is a helpful tool if someone’s number is publicly attached to their profile, and it’s easy and quick to use. Otherwise, you’ll need to use more in-depth methods to figure out who is calling or texting you, or if the person you met online is truly who they say they are.