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How to Use the Web to Find a Cell Phone Number: Five Different Ways

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Tracking down someone's cell phone number can be difficult, if not impossible. After all, one of the reasons that people purchase a mobile phone is so they can have some measure of anonymity. In addition, phone books do not (usually) carry listings of cell phone numbers, so there's no paper trail to follow.

However, that doesn't mean that finding a cell phone number listing is an impossible task. While mobile phone numbers are notoriously tricky to look up, there are a couple of tricks you can try:

Try a search engine. If you know the mobile phone number already, try entering it into your favorite search engine and see what comes up. If the cell phone number you are looking for has ever been entered somewhere on the Web - a blog, a public job profile - it will show up and you'll be able to track to whom it belongs to.

Try social networking sites. There are literally hundreds of millions of people who are active on various social networking sites all over the world. Many people use these social networking sites to share information with each other, and yes, that does include phone numbers. Simply type the person's name into the site's search function and see what comes back.

In addition, one of the most popular social networking sites is Facebook, which boasts at the time of this writing over 500 million members. It's a great source for tracking people down, and while most of the ways you can find people here are somewhat obvious, there are other informational sources within Facebook that might not be quite as easy to use. Read How to Use Facebook to Find People - Ten Easy Ways to learn more about how you can use Facebook to find cell phone numbers and (potentially) much, much more.

Try searching via username. Usernames, individual identification codes/names for people accessing a computer, network, or website, are also good jumping-off points for tracking down a cell phone number. Since many people use the same username across multiple sites, you can sometimes hit pay dirt simply by typing that username into your favorite search engine and waiting for the results. If the person has entered in their phone number somewhere on the Web underneath their username, it will come up in a search engine query.

Try a niche search engine. There are a wide variety of search engines on the Web, and all of them serve up unique results. While general search engines are quite useful in most search situations, sometimes niche search engines - tools that fulfill a specific search purpose - can come in handy. People search engines can be extraordinarily useful in this regard since they search and retrieve only people-related information, which includes cell phone numbers. Type in the person's name (use quotation marks around the name to make the search even more focused), or type in the phone number itself to find related information.

Try a reverse cell phone directory. There are some pretty useful phone directories on the Web that offer reverse cell phone look-ups. Two of the most reliable include:

  • Argali White & Yellow: This is a metasearch site for dozens of different phone directories; a great place to start your reverse cell phone search.
  • The Ultimates: Simple yet powerful phone directories all in one spot.

Should I pay for this information? After years of receiving literally hundreds of emails from frustrated readers that have paid so-called "legit" services that promise to do a mobile phone number search, I can say confidently that no, you should not pay for this information. Not one of these folks has ever had success with these sites that offer to find this information for you. They have access to the same information you do on the Web - if you can't find it, they probably can't either.

What if I can't find the mobile phone number I'm looking for? Unfortunately, that's going to be the norm and not the exception. Mobile phone numbers are kept very private by most people, and since they are not in any kind of published directory (yet), they are next to impossible to track down. However, don't give up - try the tips I've mentioned in this article to help you in your free mobile phone number search, and you just might get lucky.

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