Online background checks are a good way to ensure that meeting a stranger in person – perhaps through online dating or selling/purchasing an item – can be done as safely as possible.  A reverse phone lookup is a reliable way to do a quick online background check on a person when all you have is their phone number in your caller ID.

With many instant online people search companies that provide background checks, all you need is a name and last known state of residence. However, when dealing with someone over the phone or online, it’s not unusual to only be given a first name – and it’s also easy for people to give you a completely false name altogether.  As a result, even though most people finders only need a minimal amount of information, the information you might have on a person is not enough – or simply incorrect.

That’s when a background check by phone number can come in handy.  Regardless of the situation, there’s an excellent chance you will have a phone number for the person – either a number they’ve provided or from your own caller ID from their phone call.  In a situation where they’ve provided the number, simply ensure that it’s correct by giving them a call using whatever pretext you’d like – to confirm a date, confirm a meeting time, etc. – then you can go to work on your background check.

Though it’s worth a shot, a simple Google search of a phone number typically won’t give you the information you need as many phone numbers – especially cell phone numbers – are unlisted.  Other free resources could give you some leads, but most will either come up empty or not give you the depth of background information you need.

Fortunately, there are effectively reverse phone directories that have connected billions of unlisted phone numbers to the people that use them.

So, by simply entering a phone number, you can get not only the full name of the person associated with it and their address, but also criminal records, marriage/divorce records and more public records information should you choose to dig that deeply.