Reverse phone lookup is a procedure for retrieving user information for a telephone number. Also referred to as phone number search, it is a search process that returns the information registered by the person who acquired the phone number. Anyone who purchases a phone line is required to provide a form of identification and relevant user information, which is registered in a user account directory. Reverse phone lookup or phone number search provides access to this directory and the information stored in it, typically to verify the owner of an unknown number.
What are Alabama Phone Numbers?
Phone numbers are a sequence of numeric digits assigned to a telephone service subscriber. The composition of telephone services has significantly changed over the last 20 years. The nature of carriers, users, and numbers have shifted towards wireless and internet-based services, while landline services have been on the wane. Estimates from a 2018 National Health Interview Survey suggest landline-only households only make up 5.8% of the total households in Alabama. When compared with wireless-only households, which constitute 57.6% of households in the state, the shift in phone services becomes quite evident.
The extent of coverage of the major phone carriers varies in Alabama. AT&T leads the way with 98.7% coverage in the state, Verizon follows closely with 96.3%, and T-Mobile has 82.6% coverage. Sprint lags behind with only 37.5% coverage, while U.S. Cellular relies on agreements with the other carriers for its wireless phone services in Alabama.
Apart from landlines and wireless phone services, there are also internet-based phone services that have become quite popular among phone users. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services have seen their demand grow exponentially, particularly over the last 10 years. Between 2010 and 2018, VoIP subscriptions for business and personal services have risen from 34.2 million to over 118 million in the United States. VoIP services are identifiable by their XX prefix code, i.e., the center numbers in a phone number.
Can I Search a Phone Number and Find Out Who it is?
The simple answer is yes. Persons who purchase phone numbers are obligated to provide personal information for user account directories, including names and addresses. User information in these directories can be retrieved using phone lookup services to search by names, addresses, and other contact information. As a result, anyone with access to reverse phone search tools who receives a call from an unknown number can answer the question “who called me.” If a call is received from a suspicious phone number, lookup services may be able to identify to whom the number is registered to. However, there also exist tools capable of disguising a caller’s phone number, which will make it difficult to establish the caller's true identity.
Is there a Free Way to Lookup Someone’s Phone Number?
Reverse phone lookup services exist for looking up and uncovering the identities of unknown callers, but free phone number lookup services will only return limited information. Phone lookup services that return more detailed information charge certain fees. Using these paid services for phone number searches can return names, locations, addresses, and information on records in the public domain. Free phone lookup services can be useful in the initial phase of a search before using the paid services to focus the research.
What are Phone Lookup Services?
Phone lookup services describe services used to look up phone numbers for the purpose of finding out to whom the numbers are registered to. Such services have seen a rise in their usage as the internet has expanded and phone numbers have increased. Caller ID is a service that allows the recipient of a phone call to identify the caller before even picking up the phone. This has greatly increased users’ sense of security as it provides the ability to screen unwanted phone calls.
Nevertheless, phone scams and unsolicited calls are still rampant, as these services can be bypassed. There are tools available that provide the ability to mask a caller’s number or manipulate it such that the receiving phone’s Caller ID displays a false number. An awareness of the ways phone scams function can go a long way in avoiding scammers or robocalls.
Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal in Alabama?
Yes. It is legal to use reverse phone lookup to identify unknown callers in Alabama. While there are no state laws defining phone lookup searches as legal or not, Alabama recognizes its usefulness for avoiding phone scammers and identifying strangers calling with unknown numbers. Alabama residents using this tool must do so without contravening the state’s civil and criminal laws. They must not use reverse phone lookup with the intention to harass, harm, or defraud anyone.
In addition to requiring that residents do not use phone number lookup searches for illegal activities, Alabama also requires that they do not contravene state and federal privacy laws. Therefore, it is illegal to use reverse lookup services to spy on other residents or to falsely obtain confidential records. The same rules apply to websites, apps, and search engines providing phone number lookup services. These usually source their search results from records in the public domain. Their sources range from carrier databases and social media platforms to public records of courts and law enforcement at city, county, state, and federal levels.
What Information Can You Get from an Alabama Phone Number Lookup Search?
The most important information to get from a reverse phone lookup search is the name of the individual linked to the unknown number calling you. Besides a full name, a phone number lookup free search can turn up the following details about an unknown caller:
For more purposes, these four pieces of information are enough to identify an unknown caller. However, to verify their claims and determine their intentions, you may need further details. Paid reverse phone lookup services offer more detailed results, like the current names and addresses of the parties searched rather than the ones they submitted when registering their phone numbers. These services can also search public posts on the social media accounts of identified individuals to find their photos and snapshots of recent activities. Such details can help confirm the claims of unknown callers and their affiliations.
Reverse phone lookup paid services are also useful for investigating unknown callers claiming to represent charities, government agencies, and businesses. They can be used to discover phone scammers, stalkers, and spam callers. You can also use these deep searches to find public records and scam alerts about identified individuals and organizations.
What is a VoIP Number?
A virtual number assigned directly to a user and not a phone line is referred to as a VoIP number. This distinction makes it possible for owners of VoIP numbers to make long-distance calls without running up long-distance charges. VoIP calls are propagated by internet data networks, unlike traditional landline phone calls that rely on lines of copper wires.
Because phone calls are basically the transfer of data across a medium, and the VoIP medium is the internet, there are inherent advantages. These include portability, higher efficiency rates, lower overall costs, and more control over the calling experience. Also, a single VoIP number can be deployed on multiple devices and used simultaneously, eliminating the need to have several phone numbers. These advantages, however, can also be exploited for fraudulent purposes.
One of the attributes of VoIP numbers is that they are not tied to localized infrastructure as with traditional phone numbers. Ergo, there is no typical location data associated with VoIP phone numbers. This is a technicality that has been identified and exploited by phone scammers who have made VoIP a tool of choice. Because of the lack of location data, it is very difficult to pinpoint where a VoIP call originates from.
Calls can originate from anywhere in the world and be made to appear as if they are coming from down the street. All the caller would require is a stable internet connection. Methods of tracking calls, for example, using a device’s IMEI number, are undependable because of the ability to use a VoIP number on multiple devices simultaneously. The anonymity provided by VoIP services serves to increase its appeal to persons with fraudulent intentions.
VoIP phone scams are comparatively more difficult to detect than other phone scams because of these loopholes. This is why extra precaution is required when dealing with potential VoIP phone scams. The FTC provides user guidelines on online security on its website, including how to block potential scam calls from VoIP numbers.
What is an Alabama Phone Number Area Code?
The area code system was introduced to simplify the process of long-distance calling while catering to an ever-increasing population. Developed by the Bell System and AT&T as the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), it came into effect in 1947.
Area codes are three-digit numeric codes assigned to specific geographic locations. Phone calls between each designated region are enabled by these three-digit codes as they facilitate the routing of calls between the separate regions. Following the dissolution of the Bell System, the NANP was taken over by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC appoints an administrator periodically, who is charged with administering the numbering resources on its behalf. Each state is granted autonomy to implement and manage its assigned resources. The Alabama Public Service Commission is charged with the responsibility of assigning Alabama area codes.
What is an Alabama Phone Number Prefix Code?
A phone number prefix code is the set of numbers that come after the area code. Prefix codes provide more exact locations of phone numbers, such as districts and neighborhoods. For the Alabama phone number (334) 242-7100, 334 is the area code, and 242 is the prefix code. If the international country code is used, like, say +1 (334) 242-7100, +1 is the country code, 334 is the area code, and 242 is the prefix code.