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If you want to find a person by cell phone number that is listed in the telephone book, it is possible to reverse it and find out the name and address provided for listing purposes by the subscriber. This has been done in the past with the use of the local crisscross directory; nowadays, it can be done on a nationwide basis (finding any listed number for about any community in the U.S. and Canada) with the help of online people finders and CD-ROM products such as Select Phone.

Online or CD-ROM directories occasionally find unlisted numbers, and can assist you in finding a person by phone number, if the database includes information from back-issue phone books. Most times this number will be included because the subscriber requested an unlisted phone number without changing their current telephone number.

If you cannot find a lost person by phone number by utilizing electronic directories, consider back issues of local crisscross directories. Sometimes going back several years, you can locate the number. There are two possibilities if this occurs. As mentioned above, the number may have been changed to unlisted without changing the actual number, or the person who originally held the number (listed) may have moved to a different address, and the number was reassigned to the current person (unlisted). You can establish whether or not this is the case by looking in the local telephone directory for the year following the one in which the number last appeared in the crisscross directory to see if the person listed prior as having the number in question is now listed at a new local address with a new number.

If you are trying to find a person in New Mexico by phone number and you obtain an unlisted phone number from a community that is currently covered by a city directory (or until recently covered), the last can be of assistance if it includes numerical phone listings along with its street listings. If the local city directory doesn’t include unlisted numbers any longer, you can consult the most recent back edition that did include them.

A note when trying to find a person by phone number: if you are a reporter and have acquired a new source or you have just met a potential boyfriend or girlfriend, or anyone dealing with a stranger, always reverse the telephone number they give you. This may help you find out if the person has provided you with his or her real name. You may find that the number leads you to an answering service, nothing to get too worried about necessarily; the number may also be listed under the name of someone else in the household. Scam artists and the like usually give out their real number in addition to a phony name, hoping that most people don’t realize the existence of reverse directories or how they work.

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