Nowadays, more and more people are switching from their landline to cell phones. Since phone books don't list cell numbers, it's a bit trickier to find and get in touch with someone you don't really know. Understanding how to get a phone number can help you reach someone in an emergency, reconnect with an old friend, or just keep in touch with someone who just changed their number.
Method 1 of 2: Use the Internet
Step 1. Go to the National Cell Phone Directory (US)
This is an organization that operates much like a landline operator and maintains a database of individual cell phone numbers. However, this is a service subject to an acceptance decision, so the owner of the number must have voluntarily registered there.
Step 2. Pay for a service
People search for organizations like Intellius to find just about anyone very quickly. A simple name / address / phone number search can be extremely inexpensive. In some cases, these searches cost less than 1 euro. If you do a lot of research, however, you should consider a more robust plan.
- Most online searches “find” a person for free. But if you want to get a little more information, it will come at a cost.
- These organizations do not always operate with updated information. For example, they may be able to find the phone number of a specific person, but that number could potentially be out of service for several months. Use caution when using these organizations and make sure you are working with a legitimate company. Experience has also shown that these sites have the wrong ages or locations, and that they can even sell you the phone numbers of long dead people.
Step 3. Go to Google
Although all search-by-name sites charge you to access a phone number, you can get a lot of information out of it, and phone numbers can relate to a lot of things. School newspapers, social networking sites, or even local organizations could be engaged with them.
Step 4. Use Facebook or LinkedIn
It often happens that people make their phone number available to the general public. If you know the person and are trying to reconnect, ask for them as a friend on Facebook, or connect through LinkedIn.
Method 2 of 2: Use SneakerNet
Step 1. When the Internet method fails, use Sneakernet
This is the informal name for saying that you can do the job yourself!
- Use word of mouth to get phone numbers. For example, if you need to find a David named David, but you don't know his phone number, ask a mutual friend if he can pass the message on to David that you would like to contact him. If he doesn't know how to reach David either, expand the circle of research to include his colleagues and family.
- Be honest with your contacts to ensure the best results for all parties involved in the search, whatever your reason for wanting to obtain these phone numbers.