How Much Does a Reverse Phone Lookup Cost?

Finding out who a mysterious caller is or looking up an old friend you’ve lost contact with is easier now than ever, thanks to reverse phone lookup services. But how much do they cost to use in 2023? Let’s take a look.

What is a Reverse Phone Lookup?

A reverse phone lookup allows you to enter a phone number and find out who it belongs to. Some key things reverse phone lookups can tell you include:

  • The name of the phone number owner
  • Their address
  • Date of birth
  • Relatives
  • Previous addresses
  • Criminal records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Marriage & divorce details

This can be helpful for:

  • Identifying mysterious calls from unknown numbers
  • Looking up old friends/relatives you’ve lost contact with
  • Conducting background checks
  • Researching phone numbers of online sellers, dates, or anyone else

So if you’ve ever wondered “whose phone number is this?”, a reverse lookup can provide answers quickly and easily.

Are Reverse Phone Lookups Legal?

Using a reverse phone lookup service for legitimate purposes is legal under U.S. law. However, some specific activities can violate laws, such as:

  • Harassing or threatening someone based on their lookup information
  • Looking up phone numbers to identify anonymous callers in order to retaliate or discriminate
  • Accessing protected information like social security numbers without consent

As long as you use the information ethically and legally, a basic reverse phone lookup is fine. Just beware of services making fake claims about access they can provide.

How Do Reverse Phone Lookup Services Work?

So how do sites and apps offer this identifying information from just a phone number? Here are the main methods used:

1. Public Databases

Many reverse phone lookup sites access public data sources like, social networks, and government registries to find names and addresses. However, public records are limited, often outdated, and lack detailed history.

2. Private Databases

More powerful search sites utilize private databases compiled from sources like telecom companies, marketing firms, and court documents. Private searches can unlock cell phone owners, relatives, employment history, etc. But they come at a cost.

3. Mobile Phone App Tracking

A few phone number tracker apps exploit phone system technicalities to identify owners. For example, an SMS message activates a tracking beacon. Apps using these techniques face many legal issues today and cannot guarantee success.

So in summary, basic free reverse phone lookups rely on public data which gives limited details. But paid services offering unlimited searching via vast private records and data networks can provide in-depth identity information behind any U.S. phone number, landline or mobile.

Factors That Influence the Cost

Many factors affect what a reverse cell phone number lookup might cost.

1. Depth of Information

The more detailed the information you want, the more it generally costs. Basic free searches typically only provide a name and location match via public data. But to unlock cell numbers, contact details, employment and education histories, property ownership records, and more, requires access to expansive private search databases that incur fees to compile and keep updated.

2. Search Volume

Most sites provide packages for a set number of searches per month. Entry-level users doing occasional lookups would only need a handful. But professional investigators or law firms may require hundreds of lookups daily across various individuals. Naturally, larger search volumes cost more to accommodate in bulk. Expect prices to rise rapidly for 100, 200 queries a month, etc.

3. Screenshot/Report Support

Paid memberships often differentiate themselves by providing full reports on all information found, including screenshots, metadata, and source citations. Compiling this hard evidence costs more for labor and website operation but provides verification. One-off searches without reporting tend to be cheaper.

4. Customer Service

Some companies charge higher prices because they guarantee skilled customer service agents will help guide you through lookups, assist interpreting results, or troubleshoot issues via phone and email. Budget automated sites pass the savings on.

5. Cancellation & Refund Policy

Sites allowing cancellation or refunds within 30 days often inflate costs to account for potential lost revenue. But customers value the risk protection of trial periods. In contrast, use-it-or-lose-it packages without refunds offer cheaper rates.

What Are the Pricing Tiers for Paid Reverse Phone Lookup Services?

Broadly, reputable reverse phone lookup services that deliver detailed results via private database searches fall into three main pricing tiers:

1. Single Search Plans

One-off reverse phone searches on an as-needed basis average $10-$15 per number lookup. For occasional basic checks without recurring fees, single searches are the most affordable option. Drawbacks include no customer service, reporting, or advanced options.

2. Monthly Subscription Plans

Unlimited reverse phone lookups priced monthly offer bulk search discounts, advanced verification data, and customer support. 30-50 searches per month plans cost around $25-$35. More flexible enterprise plans serving teams of >10 users run $150+ per month. Subscriptions suit frequent searchers.

3. Annual Subscription Plans

Paying yearly for unlimited reverse lookups nets the biggest bulk savings. Annual plans break down to $10-$20 per month amortized over the year. Most providers also bundle in free trial periods, locking one low rate all year. For demanding personal/professional lookup needs, annual subscriptions deliver premium features affordably.

Now let’s compare popular picks across these pricing tiers.

5 Top-Rated Reverse Phone Lookup Services by Cost

Based on accuracy, lookup power, ease of use, legality, and affordability, here are 5 of the best services spanning the budget range:

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1. TruthFinder – Best for Occasional One-Off Lookups

  • Pricing: $28 for 1 report
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Reviews: 20,000+
  • Description: TruthFinder offers fast and accurate one-off phone lookups sourced from 5 billion public/private records for a fair single search fee. Just enter the number on their site, pay via card or PayPal, and get an instant name match result.

Key Features

  • Single searches without subscriptions
  • Name, age, address history matches
  • Felony & misdemeanor checks
  • Easy-to-use phone number lookup box

For basic background checks without recurring costs, TruthFinder’s 28$ single search satisfies most needs. But power users may require a monthly plan elsewhere.

2. Intelius – Most Affordable Monthly Plan

  • Pricing: $4.95 first week, then $29.95 per month
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Reviews: 18,000+

Description: With 24/7 customer support and in-depth reporting for peace of mind, Intelius offers a low $29.95 monthly plan for unlimited reverse phone lookups and identity checks.

Their millions of public/private records uncover cell phone owners, relatives, properties owned, criminal offenses, bankruptcies, and more vouched by screenshot evidence trail.

Key Features

  • Uncovers mobile/landline numbers
  • Criminal & court records
  • Support team assistance
  • Affordable monthly plans

For unlimited searches with full verification data monthly, Intelius gives professional-grade people search tools for personal budgets.

3. Instant Checkmate – Most Comprehensive Annual Plan

  • Pricing: $27.78 per month when paying $333 annually
  • Rating: 4.7/5
  • Reviews: 12,000+

Description: Serious searchers running 50, 100+ checks a month get premium results affordably through Instant Checkmate’s heavily discounted annual pricing at just $27 monthly averaged over the year.

Bill it annually via card/PayPal for the lowest identity search rates locked in. Then every imaginable reverse phone search option unlocks at your fingertips with cancellation still allowed anytime.

Key Features

  • Cheapest unlimited annual plans
  • Cell phone owner ID
  • Relatives & neighbor reports
  • Licensed private eyes on staff

To leverage Instant Checkmate’s professional-grade people search tools for entire teams without paying premium corporate rates, the annual plan value can’t be beat.

4. US Search – Best Customer Service

  • Pricing: $29.98 per month paid annually
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Reviews: 25,000+

Description: With US Search’s unlimited Gold Plan you get experts guiding your complex searches 24/7 via phone and ticketing system. The peace of mind offsets higher rates for users who need reliability.

Backed by 75 years of investigative genealogy experience, real agents coach you interpreting criminal records, verifying associations, piecing together offline identity attributes from fragment phone leads.

Key Features

  • Live support 7 days a week
  • Online self-paced training
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Specialty in cell phone owner ID

US Search suits less tech-savvy customers who still demand accurate, ethical reverse phone intel with an expert lifeline. The best fit if self-service tools prove overwhelming.

5. SpyDialer – Most Basic Free Reverse Phone Lookup

  • Pricing: Free basic service
  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Reviews: 28,000+

Description: For a fast free reverse cell phone lookup, SpyDialer fills the gap. Just enter any number to reveal a name match instantly with no registration required. No frills or extra data here, but the price fits lighter searcher demands.

Funding their free offering via sponsor ads, SpyDialer focuses exclusively on exposing mobile phone owner identities from public listings as a public service. Forget extras like address histories – this is for name matches only.

Key Features

  • Totally free basic searches
  • No credit card needed
  • Instant name match results
  • Easy anonymous website use

If you just need a quick free answer to “whose phone number is this” from a mobile caller, SpyDialer delivers with no strings attached.

Are Free Reverse Phone Lookups Any Good?

Yes and no. Free reverse phone search sites like SpyDialer above providing instant public record name matches fill a unique niche. However, lack of detail and accuracy issues inherent in outdated whitepages-type data means critical identity confirmation only happens reliably through paid services unlocked via subscription.

Here’s why you get what you pay for with free reverse lookups:

  • Information limited to names only, no locations, histories
  • No customer service to interpret confusing findings
  • Up to 50% chance of outdated or inaccurate public data
  • Risks accessing illegal services making fake claims of access they lack
  • Fast system abuse by spammers and scammers alike

Occasional quick checks on unknown callers are fine. But if verifying identities matters for your needs, ultimately a paid professional service will prove safest and most reliable.

Key Considerations Choosing a Reverse Phone Lookup Service

Finding best value depends hugely on intended usage and risk tolerance. With pricing and top providers covered, here are key decision criteria:

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1. Search Volume Needed

Assess how many lookups you expect to run monthly or annually, then choose limits to accommodate. Overbuying wastes money. Underbuying risks paying overages.

2. Importance of Customer Service

If needing real experts to consult for guidance, choose services like US Search offering unlimited live support. Otherwise self-servers will save opting for automated sites like Truthfinder.

3. Depth of Information Required

Free sites like SpyDialer offer just names from public records. To unlock mobile numbers, histories, court/arrest data, real estate ownership, etc. paid services with expansive private databases become mandatory.

4. Trial Periods

Testing lookup accuracy yourself using trial periods is wise for first-timers. Make small test lookups across the year on names you know already as a quality control check before paying long term.

5. Cancellation Terms

If unsure initially whether you’ll frequently use the service down the road, choose companies offering full refunds within 30 days, like Instant Checkmate. Annual contracts without refunds offer the best rates but lock you in.

Getting the features-to-price balance perfect for your situation means accounting for these key factors before subscribing.

The Bottom Line – Unlimited Reverse Phone Lookups Need Not Be Expensive

In the past, identifying anonymous callers or researching identities from phone numbers alone required hiring a private investigator charging upwards of $100 hourly.

But today unlimited reverse phone lookups via sites like Intelius ring in at just $25 monthly, or as little as $27 monthly when paying annually upfront through Instant Checkmate.

For less than an hour of old-fashioned professional search fees, anyone can now leverage vast information networks classify who called me lookups in seconds from the comfort of home. Detailed reports then confirm whether a mystery caller proves harmless, an old friend, fraud risk, or potential threat – whatever the case may be.

So when wondering “how much does a reverse phone lookup cost?” in today’s market, cutting-edge databases and automation means even unlimited searches prove affordable for cautious families, seniors, employers, and professional investigators alike.

The hardest part lies just interpreting occasionally startling findings ethically once that previously unknown caller’s identity comes to light.

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