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It used to be that the only cell phone listing you had access to was the one on your phone. Cell phone listings, unlike regular telephone directories, simply aren’t very popular. Most people want to keep their cell phone number under wraps in order to avoid those annoying telemarketing calls (and hey, those calls take up minutes!)

But technology, the Internet and good old curiosity have intervened to make more and more
cell phone listings available.

With all the options out there, it’s hard to know which listing to use. When making that decision, there are really just a few things to keep in mind. First, what are you searching for? Are you trying to find someone’s cell phone number? Or do you have a mysterious cell phone number (perhaps one that keeps calling your phone) that you’re trying to identify (also known as a “reverse look-up”)? This can make a difference for which type of search service you use.

In addition, you’ll want to consider how much to you want the information (i.e., are you merely curious or is this life and death) as well as how much (if anything) you are willing to pay.

For the merely curious, there are a number of free and low-cost cell phone listings that should suit your needs. For example, www.mobilephoneno.com and www.nationalcellulardirectory.com both provide free listings. Their information comes from the users themselves, many of whom are willing to give up their own digits in exchange for information on others’. In both cases, you’ll need to search for an individual name as opposed to a “reverse look-up.”

You might want to also use Google as your own personal cell phone listings service –simply type your search terms into the search engine (such as “[fill in name] cell” or “[cell phone number]“) and see what comes up. It’s surprising what’s stored out there in cyberspace.

In the mid-range are low fee services such as www.searchdetective.net,
www.cellnumber.com and www.cellphonedirectory.com. Through these sites, you can search on either the number itself or a name. The service will let you know if anything has been found under your search terms, but then you will pay a fee (usually $14.95) for the information.

Usually, the more desperately you need the information, the more in-depth and accurate you need the search to be. This is where a service like http://www.nationwidesearch.com/cell-phone-trace.shtml and http://www.locatepeople.com/cell_phone_search.shtml might be able to help. Their cell phone listings contain much more information than the traditional “search for the number” options – in fact, many of these services are used by private detective agencies and the like for truly detailed sleuthing.

The important thing to remember about cell phone listings is that there really is no “official” listing. Cell companies, unlike traditional land-based telephone companies, are not required to keep a directory of numbers. Think about it – when you get a phone in your house (which is becoming less and less popular), the phone company automatically lists you in the directory unless you request (and pay for!) an unlisted number. The default for cell phone numbers, alternatively, is to be “unlisted”, which can make it difficult to track someone down. Hopefully, some of these resources can help!

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