Sometimes a situation arises when you need to do a free reverse phone lookup. Usually this happens when you are getting calls - sometimes numerous and repetitive calls - from a number that you don't recognize and from which no one leaves a message. This can be an irritating and frustrating sitation at best, and at worst it can actually be threatening and frightening. So, the question then becomes, how do you determine - preferably for free - who it is that keeps calling you?

There are numerous methods available to you when attempting a reverse phone lookup, and they all have varying levels of cost, ease of use, and success. The most thorough process is simply to start with the method that seems the most attractive (most likely one of the free ones) and then simply keep working your way through each of the techniques until you find the answer.

Search Engines

Although it may seem obvious, many people don't try what is probably the quickest and easiest of all of the methods - simply enter the telephone number into your favorite search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Make sure that you include all of the variations of the ways to group phone numbers together, such as:

(555) 555-5555
555 555 5555

You can also include other words, like "phone" or "phone number" or "call" in your search to broaden the chances of retrieving meaningful results.

Particularly if it turns out that it's a business that's been calling you, your mystery could be solved in this one simple step!

White Page Databases

Most white page listings provide a free reverse phone number database search for users. If searching via search engines was not successful for you, chances are this is where you will need to progress next. If the number isn't in the public web cache at any of the engines, then chances are the number is not attached to a business or corporation that is trying to contact you, but rather to an individual. This is where the white pages come in, because that is where you look for information on contacting individuals.

While most of the white pages databases will have additional information on the listings which can be purchased for a one-time fee or the cost of a membership, their basic search function and basic listing results are offered free of charge.

Social Networks

At social networks, such as Myspace or Facebook, many times users will input their phone numbers as part of the information of their profile. You can plug the number into the search function of each individual site and attempt to receive an answer that way. One of the benefits of this method is that you get, not only a name and/or address, but any information the user has chosen to publicly share on their profile! This can include photos, work history, school history, and social or religious affiliations. Information like this can really help you in figuring out where you know that person from, or if you know them at all.

Paid Reverse Phone Lookup Service

If the free methods fail, you may actually need to purchase or lease data from a professional lookup service. Now don't feel cheated or ripped off by this option. After all, these providers must pay for the data that they make available to their clients, therefore it's only natural that they would charge for the data that they, themselves, have had to pay for. That's a basic tenet of business.

These services generally charge anywhere from $10 for the data related to one phone number up to $75 for a year of unlimited access. Either way, it's a small price to pay if you really need to know that owner of a phone number and you can't seem to come by that information using any of the free reverse phone lookup methods outlined above.