Cell Phone Numbers
A 411 type reverse cell phone directory, the “National Cell Phone Directory” has gotten much publicity but the reality is, this concept never got anywhere. Privacy advocates, consumer protection groups and cell phone providers lobbied against it.
For law enforcement, tracing a cell phone number is easy. All they need to do is call the cell phone provider, however for civilians, the most common route is to hire a private investigator. As with any information not available to the public, techniques often used by professional investigators include:
Looking up credit headers. (Many people put their private phone numbers on credit applications. These numbers usually end up in reverse phone directories)
Call the cell phone number to convince the person they need to provide confirmation they own the account.
Call the provider to attempt to directly ask for the account holder’s information.
There are some easy steps you can take to protect your privacy.
Never give out your cell phone number along with your name or address. Private phone numbers end up in public phone number databases when someone applies for credit, loan or makes online transactions where a phone number is asked for along with the person’s address, despite assurances that your information will not be shared, or sold.
Ask your cell phone provider’s security department about safeguards they can offer to prevent unauthorized inquiries.
Don’t use your home address to activate your service if you can avoid it. Try using a PO box instead.
Some people use pre-paid cell phone accounts or “Track phones.” Most phone scam artists use them, since they are very difficult to trace.
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