Finding a name for a person based on a phone number used to be the province of the police and private detectives. Doing so required specialised connections to the telephone company, where the records of such things were stored. However, today with certain limitations anyone can find a name based on a phone number.
White Pages Free Reverse Number Lookup
For generations until phone deregulation in the early 1980s, the White Pages was where you went to find the phone number of someone in your area. If the number was unlisted, you were out of luck. Never mind trying to find the name by the phone number. Today, the WhitePages.com website offers you a basic reverse number lookup. It typically works only for land lines, though.
Super Pages Reverse Number Lookup
Super Pages puts out one of the most popular white and yellow pages in the United States today. It also offers through its website a people-search feature that can find information about a phone number and whom it belongs to. Similarly to the standard White Pages lookup feature, it will not find cell phone or other unusual type of number.
Intelius Reverse Number Lookup
Unlike the other two services discussed here, the Intellius service is fee-based. It attempts to comb additional records to find information about a phone number and locate information for cell phone numbers, Skype phone numbers and voice mail numbers. Of course, none of this will work if the phone number is unregistered. (For example, if the phone number is registered to a prepaid mobile phone number and there is no record of who owns the number. For situations like this, see the tips section.)
Oftentimes, there is more than one person living in a home. If the first person listed is not the person you are looking for, scroll down and you may find additional people. If you are unable to find information about someone by using one of the three methods mentioned here, you can sometimes find information by simply using your favourite search engine to search for the number. For example, some large companies have phone banks where the individual numbers will not be listed, but a web search may turn up the information. If all else fails, you may be able to find out who the operator of a particular number is by using the Intellius service or some other paid service. While they may not know themselves who owns the number (i.e., if it is an unregistered prepaid cell phone number), if you are being repeatedly harassed by a particular phone number, having that information may be useful to the police in tracking the person down and or getting the number shut off remotely.
Using these services to invade someone's privacy may be illegal where you are. If you are in doubt, you should consult a reliable attorney about your rights and responsibilities in this matter.