A reverse phone search or phone lookup is the act of searching through a reverse phone directory for the ownership details of a phone number. When applying for a phone number, some of the mandatory details provided include basic information such as a full name and an address. Therefore, if you can recollect the phone number you were called with, you will be able to answer the question “who called me?”
What are Wisconsin Phone Numbers?
Wisconsin phone numbers refer to unique service numbers assigned by carriers to subscribers of telephone services in the state. By the year 2000, there were a total of 3.5 million landlines in use by households and businesses in the state. This number has steadily declined over the last 20 years as telephony technologies and user preferences have shifted towards wireless-based services.
By 2010, the number of landlines in use in the state had fallen to 2.2 million. In 2011, lawmakers in the state enacted a law that permitted telecom companies to shift their focus away from landlines and toward mobile phone services. This hastened the decline in landline usage, and by 2018, only 4.1% of households in Wisconsin still used landlines exclusively. On the other hand, 54% of households used wireless services solely, while 14.1% rely on both.
The growth of the internet has also provided another alternative telephony service referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In 2008, there were about 22 million interconnected VoIP subscriptions in the United States. By 2017, that number had reached 66.5 million.
Can I Search a Phone Number and Find Out Who it Is?
Yes, this is possible. Any Wisconsinite that applies for a phone number must provide identification and contact details at the point of registration. These details are stored in user account directories that are accessible using reverse phone lookup services. Phone lookup applications can run phone number lookups by name, address, or any other available information. Phone number lookup services are ideal for querying unfamiliar numbers to find out “who is this number registered to?” However, callers can disguise the information received by the recipients making it difficult to verify their identities and locations.
Is there a Free Way to Lookup Someone’s Phone Number?
There are several phone lookup services available that perform reverse phone lookup free to retrieve information about the number that called you. However, these results are often limited, and you will need to pay in order to get all the important details for your search. You are best served by using a paid reverse cell phone lookup service and then bolstering your results with the details from a free phone lookup service.
What are Phone Lookup Services?
Phone lookup services give individuals the opportunity to search through reverse phone directories for the personal details attached to particular phone numbers. Originally it was reserved for law enforcement and emergency agencies who had to answer calls for help without knowing the details of the callers. As phone service usage rose across the country, these services were made available to private individuals as well.
Caller ID is a phone feature that makes it possible to immediately see the unknown number and identify the caller. It has helped to improve user phone security and make it easier to identify fraudsters. Using Caller ID, it is now possible to screen a call if the number appears suspicious. You can then employ phone lookup services to identify the caller, which can come in handy when you report the call to law enforcement.
However, applications are available that are capable of changing the information transmitted to Caller ID functions for the purpose of hiding caller identities. Because of this ability, these applications have proven quite popular with scammers.
Is Reverse Phone Lookup Legal in Wisconsin?
Yes. Wisconsin considers using and operating phone number lookup services legal even though it does not have specific laws regulating them. As long as users and providers of reverse phone number lookups do not use this tool for illegal activities, they may safely use them in the state. The legality of lookup searches also rests on the assumption that they are returning publicly available information.
Reverse phone lookups that provide private information may contravene state and federal privacy laws and are illegal in Wisconsin. Most phone lookup search providers only access and serve records in the public domain. These include subscriber information provided by phone carriers as well as law enforcement, court, and government records open to the public.
What Information Can You Get from a Wisconsin Phone Number Lookup Search?
A Wisconsin reverse phone lookup search can return the following information about the individual linked to a searched phone number:
- Full name
These records are usually provided to phone carriers at the point of registering new numbers. Paid phone number lookup services may provide detailed information such as maiden names, home and work addresses, and photos of the unknown callers they identify. They can also look through the searched individuals’ public posts on social media platforms to find the most recent information about them.
Wisconsin residents can use phone lookup searches to investigate unknown callers after identifying them. Paid reverse lookup services can extract information from public records available from government agencies. Such information is helpful when determining whether to trust an unknown caller. You can also use the detailed information provided by reverse phone number lookup paid services to discover callers impersonating reputable organizations and those known to peddle fraudulent schemes. This can help you avoid phone scams and report scammers to law enforcement.
What is a VoIP Number?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a web-based service used to deliver traditional phone services over the internet. Whereas traditional phone numbers are assigned to fixed equipment, VoIP technology assigns users virtual numbers that are usable anywhere there is an internet connection. VoIP services are identical to traditional phone services and can be used for voice and video calls and to send text and fax messages.
However, VoIP phone services have also been used by scammers to deploy their cons. Obtaining VoIP numbers does not entail the same stringent processes as obtaining traditional phone numbers. This singular distinction has been exploited by scammers using VoIP services to acquire multiple US phone numbers without providing contact details. They are also able to use these numbers anywhere, even from another country, with the receivers being none the wiser. This has made it far more difficult to track scammers using VoIP numbers.
As VoIP service usage has become more widespread, detecting phone scams has proven more difficult. Consequently, phone users will need to become more cautious when receiving phone calls from unknown numbers. The FTC recognizes this need and provides useful information on blocking unwanted calls on its website to help evade scam calls.
What is a Wisconsin Phone Number Area Code?
Every US phone number typically consists of 10 digits. The first three digits represent the specific area code for the region in a state where the phone number was allocated. This system was created in 1947. Prior to its introduction, states used different numbering systems. It was developed by the Bell System, a group of companies led by Bell Phone Company, as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).
The first area codes allocated in Wisconsin were area codes 414 and 715. Five more area codes have been allocated since, making a total of seven area codes in Wisconsin. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has full oversight of NANP. The FCC appoints the NANP Administrator, which is in charge of allocating area codes where and when required, in accordance with the NANP.
What is a Wisconsin Phone Number Prefix Code?
The three digits that follow the area code in a phone number are known as the prefix or the central office code. For example, if you look at the Wisconsin number (414) 315-1241:
- 414 represents the area code
- 315 represents the prefix code
A US number can also be written to include the international calling code for the country. For instance, in this Wisconsin number +1 (414) 315-1241:
- +1 represents the United States
- 414 represents the area code
- 315 represents the prefix code