Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reverse Cell Phone Searches-My Results

I got a notice last night that my cell phone bill was due from Verizon Wireless. Curious, I decided to check it out online. I happened to check the record of numbers and noticed that there was one that had been dialed from my phone several times and I just didn't recognize it.

A few times this past month, I had left my cell at home charging. Thinking back, I saw that these were the times the calls were made so I know it could not be me that made them. Because reverse cell phone searches really don't tell you much since cell phone numbers are not public record-I knew I wasn't going to get very far. I knew this was a cell by the first three numbers, and confirmed it by looking at the "FREE" info you can get online which told me it was a local cell to boot.

My curiosity was at its peak by then, and I was thinking that it may have been a billing error on Verizon's part. It was multiple calls over several days, and though I have Verizon to Verizon free calling this was using up my minutes since it was calling another local carrier NOT Verizon. When looking at the "FREE" info that comes up, it asks you if you want to find out more about that number. Yes, I did. So I clicked on it,and various options came up to purchase reports on the number. But at $29.95 for a full report, it was more money that I was willing to pay. It was late, around midnight, and I certainly wasn't going to call the number either. The last thing I needed is some very pissed off person getting woken up because I was checking their number since it had appeared on my cell phone bill.

After browsing the Intelius site some more, I actually found an option that would give me the phone owner's name and address for $4.99. So I bit the bullet and paid for the report. Within seconds, I had the name and address of two owners that had the number. One of the owners was listed as a man in Nashua, NH. Kind of strange, but maybe he had family here. I ruled that one out and moved on to the very first name. Ok, a local 51 yr old man, let's call him Mr. X. It said that Mr. X lived at a local apartment complex not too far from where I live but I had no clue as to WHO he was. And thinking that the "report" was up to date I figured it was a billing error.

Problem is-the report was incorrect. Hubby fessed up that the number belonged to his co-worker, who had the number for about a year. When I pulled up hubby's usage on our bill, I saw that indeed there were many calls made to the number during the month. Hubby sheepishly told me that his cell was in the car and he had been too lazy to go and get it, so used my phone a few times while it was charging.

My advice... save your money and just call the number yourself. These reports are not current, and just a waste of money. The guy had the number for about a year and all they could come up with is perhaps two of the former owners of the number...definitely not accurate and up to date in my book. I'd never used one of these services before, and while I am out $4.99 am glad that I had the chance to try it out and see what a rip off it really is. Consider it a lesson learned... the hard way!

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