Reverse phone lookup is a process by which an individual can discover who the phone number that called them is registered to, amongst other information. This process is also referred to as a phone number search. When acquiring a phone number, each subscriber is required to complete paperwork that will contain personal information details. A reverse phone lookup accesses carrier subscriber registries to retrieve available information about the phone numbers being searched.
What are Maryland Phone Numbers?
In the last 20 years, there have been huge shifts in telephone services and technologies. For example, user preference has decisively shifted away from POTS (plain old telephone services) to wireless and internet-based telephone services. According to the CDC’s 2018 estimates, the number of Maryland households with only landlines represented just 3% of the total number of households in the state. On the other hand, wireless-only households represented 39.4%, with the trend showing a steady shift in this direction.
Currently, the four major telecom operators cover large parts of Maryland. Rather by coverage, the carriers rank as follows:
- AT&T with 98.5% coverage
- T-Mobile with 94.2% coverage
- Verizon with 91.3% coverage
- Sprint with 90.8% coverage
Another means of making phone calls is with web-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. The growth of VoIP services as an option for personal and business phone calls has been impressive over the past few years. In 2010, VoIP service subscriptions were estimated at 34.2 million, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And by 2018, this number had risen to over 118 million subscribers, making it the fastest-growing phone service in the country. A phone number with a XX prefix code (the center numbers in the phone number) is either offered or operated by VoIP service providers.
Can I Search a Phone Number and Find Out Who it Is?
Technically, the answer is yes. Every person purchasing a phone line is required to submit paperwork that will contain personal information details, including their name and address. If a reverse phone search is performed on that number, this information becomes available. Anyone with reverse phone search tools can perform phone number lookups to answer the question “who called me.”
Phone number lookups can be conducted to obtain all the available information about who the phone number is registered to, which will include a name and address. However, one should note that tools also exist by which phone users can disguise the numbers which appear to the receivers’ end, making it difficult to verify the true identity of the callers.
What are Phone Lookup Services?
Phone lookup services are applications for looking up phone numbers to obtain the identities of callers. These applications have become more common as the internet has developed and more phone numbers have entered service. Applications such as Caller ID provide receivers with the ability to identify callers before answering their phones. This has proven vital in avoiding unsolicited or unwanted calls and increasing phone security.
Nevertheless, phone scams are still rampant because scammers have found ways to bypass and fool Caller ID. VoIP has been exploited by scammers trying to disguise their phone numbers and deceive Caller ID functions into displaying false numbers. They are also able to route phone calls through several servers, so they appear as originating from locations different from where the calls were placed. Knowing the limitations of these telephony technologies is key to avoiding phone scams.
What Information Can You Get from a Maryland Phone Number Lookup Search?
Free reverse phone lookup services catering to Maryland residents can find the following information about unknown callers whose phone numbers were submitted by users:
- Full names
Maryland phone number lookup searches can identify unknown callers and organizations by their phone numbers. You can find the name, address, age, and gender of a strange caller using a reverse phone number free search. However, to get more information, you will need to sign up for a paid service. A paid phone lookup service may charge a one-time fee or a subscription fee. This premium service can provide details like the current address of the identified caller rather than an old address submitted when registering their phone numbers.
Paid phone lookup services expand their searches to cover social media platforms, indexed aggregation websites, and government records available to the public. Using these sources, they can find photos of unknown callers identified using their services and public records. When researching businesses and non-profit organizations, paid searches can rely on consumer protection and fraud alert agencies to find scam complaints about companies, charities, and other entities trying to contact Marylanders using robocalls.
What is a VoIP Number?
A VoIP number is a virtual phone number that is assigned to an individual user. It connects users over the internet, unlike landline and mobile phone numbers that rely on copper wires and telecommunication masts. In contrast, VoIP uses the internet to route voice and video calls as well as text messages. This costs less than traditional telephony services and is more efficient and highly convenient. A single VoIP number can be employed on multiple devices allowing several users to use the same number simultaneously. These benefits of VoIP calls have also made them simpler than traditional calls for scammers to exploit.
Unlike traditional phone numbers, VoIP numbers are assigned to individuals and not phones or SIM cards. Consequently, the traditional methods of performing phone number lookups are limited because of the lack of location data linked to VoIP numbers. As a result of this, scammers can call from anywhere in the world and make their numbers look like American ones. The ability to use a VoIP number on multiple devices also means that the standard technique of using IMEI numbers to track phone users is inapplicable for VoIP subscribers. Scammers who use VoIP numbers are almost always able to successfully escape identification.
Because it is substantially more difficult to identify VoIP phone scams, extra caution is required when answering VoIP phone calls. The FTC is creating public awareness of VoIP scams by providing information and helplines to citizens. It also maintains a list of best practices for detecting scam calls on its website.
What is a Maryland 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.
Area codes identify specific geographic regions and designate three-digit numeric codes for these regions. These three-digit codes facilitate the routing of phone calls between the different regions enabling long-distance phone calls to separate regional locations.
Since the breakup of the Bell System, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has supervised the NANP and has periodically appointed an administrator to oversee the allocation of the numbering resources. Each region is given autonomy to implement its allocated resources, and the Maryland Public Services Commission is responsible for area codes assigned to Maryland by the NANP Administrator.
What is a Maryland Phone Number Prefix Code?
A phone number prefix code refers to the set of numbers following the area code. A prefix code provides a more precise location of phone numbers, such as a district or a neighborhood. For the Maryland phone number (410) 260-8109, 410 represents the area code, and 260 represents the prefix code. If the international country code is used, like, say +1 (410) 260-8109, +1 is the country code, 410 is the area code, and 260 is the prefix code.
Is There a Way to Lookup a Phone Number for Free in Maryland?
In the state of Maryland, if you want to look up a phone number for free, there are several options available.
One option is to use online resources. These websites contain a searchable directory of phone numbers that can be looked up for free. However, the accuracy of these directories may vary and some listings may be out-of-date or inaccurate.
You can contact the area code provider in Maryland and ask them if they offer any free services for looking up phone numbers. Otherwise, contact a local government agency in the judicial district where the phone number owner is a resident. These agencies typically hold public records including state and federal court filings that can be found online or in the local courthouse. Public records typically include contact details, such as phone numbers and addresses, of individuals who have a legal matter pending. However, requestors who go this route may require a subpoena or to justify their need for the information.
Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal in Maryland?
Using reverse phone lookup to identify unknown callers is legal in the State of Maryland. The state does not have specific laws discussing phone lookup searches and does not regulate those providing such services. However, both users and providers of reverse phone number lookup services must conduct their searches in a way that does not disobey Maryland’s criminal and civil laws. This means that they must not use lookup searches for the purpose of defrauding or causing harm to others.
Similarly, a reverse phone search is not an invasion of privacy in Maryland because the information returned is in the public domain. Records readily available to individuals and businesses in Maryland or posted online by users are in the public domain. Reverse phone lookup services can use such records to identify, locate, and build complete profiles of unknown callers searched by users of these services.