The process by which a person can obtain information about who owns an unknown phone number is referred to as reverse phone search or phone number lookup. Anyone who acquires a phone number is required to provide personal information about themselves, which is registered against the number. By performing a reverse phone lookup, it is possible to gain access to the subscriber details registered to a phone number in North Carolina.
What are North Carolina Phone Numbers?
Telephone services have changed drastically over the past 20 years, with users and carriers shifting from landlines to wireless mobile lines. This switch has been so decisive that 20 states, including North Carolina, have passed bills into law that allow for telephone carriers to end landline services. This is so carriers can direct more effort and resources towards the development of wireless and internet-based telephone services.
A 2018 survey by the National Center of Health Statistics estimated only 2.6% of households in North Carolina used only landlines for making phone calls, while as much as 69.0% used wireless-only phone lines. This is quite telling of the direction phone services are taking.
There are currently five major phone carriers in the United States, each with significant nationwide coverage for their wireless networks. In North Carolina, the coverage for each of these carries is approximately:
- AT&T - 98.1%
- T-Mobile - 97.6%
- Verizon - 97.1%
- Sprint - 89.2%
- US Cellular - 68%
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is another form of telephone service that has also shown a rapid increase in popularity in recent years. The same 2018 survey puts the number of VoIP users in the U.S. at as much as 118 million, up from 84.5 million in 2015. VoIP phone services are identifiable by their peculiar XX prefix codes (the center numbers in a phone number).
Can I Search a Phone Number and Find Out Who it is?
The answer to this question is yes, but there are caveats. Customer details are required when registering a phone number, including name, address, and other such details. This information may become available upon conducting a reverse phone lookup. Therefore, a reverse phone search gives anyone a way to answer the question: “who called me” for themselves.
Tools exist to perform phone number lookups by address, name, or any other information provided while registering subscriber lines. If one receives a call from a suspicious phone number, lookup tools exist which can carry out phone number lookups free of charge or for a fee. However, one should be aware that a caller can disguise the number appearing on the receiver’s end, making it harder to identify who the number is registered to.
What are Phone Lookup Services?
Phone lookup services allow anyone to conduct reverse searches of phone numbers to determine the owners of these lines. These services can help call recipients identify who called them. As digital communications have developed over the years, so too have the nature and types of phone numbers and associated services described as phone number lookup or reverse cell phone lookup. Phone functions, like Caller ID, have led to an increased sense of security as recipients are now able to potentially identify callers before answering calls.
However, as with most technological developments, this has proven to be a double-edged sword as telephone scammers have also benefited from these advancements and phone scams continue to be prolific. Scammers are now capable of using tools available from VoIP services to manipulate the information received by their targets’ caller IDs, so they display false numbers and even route calls, so they appear to originate from totally different locations. The knowledge required to be able to identify potential phone scams is even more important now, and understanding how phone services and technologies are exploited may be crucial in avoiding scams and rejecting robocalls.
What Information Can You Get from a North Carolina Phone Number Lookup Search?
Most people using reverse phone lookups to search unrecognized phone numbers want to know the names of the individuals or organizations linked to those numbers. However, besides subscriber names, phone number lookup searches can also provide the following details about identified individuals:
- Location, including resident city and state
These key details are provided by most reverse phone lookup free services. Some of these also have paid options and offer premium services for paying subscribers. Use these premium features to do a deep dive on an unknown caller identified by a reverse phone number lookup. Paid services can paint a more complete picture of the stranger trying to contact you. Use them to confirm the legitimacy of strange callers claiming to represent well-known businesses, charities, and government agencies.
The additional information provided by paid reverse phone lookup searches can also be useful when trying to investigate phone stalkers and phone scammers. Paid services can find information on social media platforms that can help law enforcement apprehend these individuals. In addition to their names and addresses, you may also be able to use reverse phone lookup to see the public records of identified callers as long as those are in the public domain.
What is a VoIP Number?
Technically, a phone call can be described as the transfer of data from one location to another through a medium. VoIP services use the internet as the medium of data transfer, whereas traditional phone services use copper wires and mobile phones use radio waves.
A VoIP number is basically a virtual number that is allocated to a user but not a specific phone. What this implies is that the user has access to the phone number from any location in the world, so long as there is access to a stable internet connection. The user will be able to transfer data types, including texts and videos, to another phone number on the internet. Because the internet is the medium of transfer, VoIP calls can utilize the internet services available in most places. This makes VoIP more portable, flexible, efficient, and affordable than landline and wireless telephone services. The North Carolina A.G. provides additional information about VoIP services on its website.
As the services made possible by VoIP technologies have become more sophisticated, so too have the scams perpetrated by fraudsters. Similarly, it is becoming harder to identify scammers using VoIP with reverse phone lookups. For one, VoIP calls and numbers do not have traditional location data making attempts to find VoIP users with phone number lookups by name or location unreliable. With access to a reliable internet connection from anywhere in the world, scammers can pretend to be calling from just down the street, and the recipients would be none the wiser. In addition, a VoIP number can be linked to multiple devices simultaneously, so tracking a device using its IMEI number is not reliable.
Due to the ease with which phone scams can be perpetrated using VoIP technologies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided a guide on dealing with such scams and recommends caution when answering unexpected calls, even when the numbers appear familiar.
What is a North Carolina Phone Number Area Code?
The area code system, otherwise referred to as the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), is a unified numbering plan developed by the Bell System and AT&T in 1947 for the purpose of streamlining long-distance calling processes and providing telephone resources for an increasing population.
The NANP designates a unique three-digit numeral code for each specific region in order to separate and identify different geographic locations. Telephone calls made to a region from other locations must include the region’s area code for the call to be properly routed. The NANP has been under the supervision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since the breakup of the Bell System. Each region’s regulatory authority has complete authority over the region’s numbering resources. The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) has regulatory oversight over telephone resources in the state, including the management of area codes assigned to North Carolina.
What is a North Carolina Phone Number Prefix Code?
A telephone prefix code is a set of three digits following the area code. A prefix code provides a more precise location of a phone number, such as a town or district.
Take, for example, the telephone number (252) 567-8901: 234 represents the area code, and 567 represents the prefix code. If the international country code is used as such: +1 (252) 567-8901, +1 is the country code, 252 is the area code, and 567 is the prefix code.
Is There a Way to Lookup a Phone Number for Free in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, it is possible to look up certain phone numbers for free. Specifically, all landline numbers associated with a business or government agency are available for search online. This information can be found on the websites of local telephone directories and other public records databases. Additionally, many cellular phone companies also offer directory assistance services for their customers, which provide access to both landlines and cell phones. However, these services usually come at a cost and may not include all of the pertinent details needed to connect with an individual. Additionally, unlisted numbers will not appear in any directory, regardless of whether they are associated with a business or an individual.
In addition, reverse phone lookup services are also available for those looking to identify the owner of an unknown number. These services require a fee and generally provide more detailed information than a public directory, such as the owner’s address and other contact information. However, they are not affiliated with any government agency and, thus, cannot guarantee accuracy in all cases.
Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal in North Carolina?
Yes. North Carolina residents can legally use phone lookup searches to investigate and identify unknown callers trying to contact them. The state does not have specific laws governing the use of reverse phone lookup or regulating those providing this service. However, users and operators of phone number lookup services must not use the tool to defraud or cause harm to others, as these actions are considered felonies in North Carolina.
Just as reverse phone searches are considered legal, they are not to be used to invade others’ privacy. Legitimate phone number lookup services only return results obtained from public records. By pulling information in the public domain, North Carolina reverse phone lookup services do not flout state and federal privacy laws.