Looking Up People By Phone Number Can Be a Little Creepy

Looking Up People By Phone Number Can Be a Little Creepy

Criminal Law

Have you ever wondered what really happens when you conduct a phone lookup search? If you search for results in the right place, you will be enriched with all of the personal details that belong to that particular phone number. If the number has belonged to several different people over a span of time, you will get to see all of their names and other pieces of identification that are attached to the number.

But What About You?

If you can find that kind of information about another person, isn’t it safe to assume that the next person could find that much information about you as well? You might be surprised.

Phone Numbers

Phone numbers are a unique sequence of numbers that will allow a calling device to connect with another device by calling outward or receiving an inbound call. 

In past years, people would have a landline connected to their home that connected to a major switchboard that allowed for physically connected phone conversations to take place from all over the world through wires. A telephone number would be associated with the address that the landline was connected to. When somebody dialed the residents’ phone number, the call would patch through and ring the telephone.

What makes phone numbers so great for identification purposes is that they are all unique. No two phone numbers can be the same. You might be able to add an external phone number through an app on your phone that will ring on the same phone as your mobile number, but you can not have two separate calls on the same number.

The fact that phone numbers are unique makes them perfect identifiers. In a database, each entry of information has its own unique identifier string that allows it to stand on its own and have its own block of information. Your phone number could be the very identifier that allows a database to store all of the details of your personal information and be able to provide this very information to anybody that requests it.

The Shift in Phone Numbers

As we mentioned above, phones used to be physically connected to the address they were attached to by way of wires and telephone poles. Obviously, since most people who live in the United States no longer use landline phones, the way that phone numbers work has changed. Today, people can go into a vendor store or even online and order whatever phone that they want through whatever carrier that they choose and go about their daily lives without having to worry about setting up a new phone account every time they move to a new place. This makes life a little more simple for some folks, but it does have its drawbacks.

If you have had the same phone number for multiple years, data collection agencies can attach a lot of information to that number. You can have your name, address, carrier, bank information, and even your social security number associated with your phone number. All somebody has to do is look up your information by using a reverse phone number platform, and they will have access to all of the information that is available for that phone number.

The Creepy Part

Just about every place that you shop at has some sort of rewards plan that connects to your phone number. Long lines of people can be within earshot of your conversation between the cashier and you. The cashiers automatically ask – every time – for your phone number so that they can keep track of your transactions and your rewards. Who is to say whether or not there is a creeper standing around listening to the phone numbers as the customers say them. They might even be recording the conversations with their phone.

In addition to the risk of stating your phone number aloud in public places, there are also dangers when you provide your phone number for any kind of web listing that is out there on the internet. People will post fake jobs, items for sale, and other items that pique your interest and entice you to engage with them. When you respond to the ads, the people on the other end collect your information and use it for whatever purpose they choose. Once they have your phone number connected with your name, they can easily find your address and everything else that is associated with it if they know where to look.

If a person already knows what you look like and they have your phone number, they can take that phone number and plug it into one of the thousands of data selling websites and find out everything about you. Including where you live. The worst part about it is that you have absolutely no idea that this is happening. This scenario may sound far-fetched, but it happens all over the place every day.

How to Protect Yourself

The first thing you can do is make sure that you do not attach your phone number to any of your personal information. Make sure that the company that you are getting your cellular service through will keep your information private so that nobody can find your name by looking up your phone number through them. Also, make sure that every social media platform you use does not allow people to find you by searching for your number. One of the biggest mistakes people make is adding their personal phone numbers to their social media platforms and allowing their accounts to be found when people search phone numbers.

Scared of the phone? Here's how to overcome that fear - BBC Worklife

Beyond keeping your information separate from your phone number, another way to stay on top of your privacy is to change your phone number from time to time. It may be a little bit of an inconvenience to have to let your friends know your new number every six months or so, but it can save you from being crept upon by somebody seeking your personal information.

The Plus Side of Phone Number Searches

The good thing about being able to do phone lookup searches is that you can find out who is behind any of the mysterious phone calls that go to your phone or your child’s phone. If your child or somebody you love is having phone conversations with an unidentified person or somebody you are unsure about, you can use the phone number to identify who the person is and determine whether or not they are a threat.

Another great plus of having the ability to search phone numbers for information is that you can determine whether or not a call from a certain entity is a scam. Some of the scammers today are so creative and convincing that they call or text unsuspecting people and claim to be from their cellular provider. 

They will entice the victim with expensive prizes in order to coax them into giving them their credit card information for a “one-time fee” of $10 or so for processing expenses. Of course, as soon as the thieves get the card information, they charge thousands of dollars to it before the victim even knows there is an issue. For most people, it is a no-brainer to never give credit card information, but for people that easily trust the system, they can do a search on the phone number before they even respond to the text and know exactly who they are dealing with.

The Digital World

Over the last 15 years, technology has evolved so quickly and powerfully that the whole world has changed. Thanks to the worldwide web, information is at all of our fingertips. No longer do we have to go to the library to learn about things. Gone are the days of filling out paperwork and standing in line to get public record information. All we have to do is go to our laptops or phones, and all of the information that we could ever want is only a mouse click away.

Just remember, when you are searching for information about a person that your information is available as well. Although your intentions might be pure and just when you are looking for information, not everybody else has the same thought process. Guard your phone number and keep your personal information separate from it as much as you can. With a little bit of forward-thinking, you can protect yourself from creepers that want to know more about you.

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