As opposed to standard telephone directory lookups where someone enters the personal details of a person to a search directory in order to discover their telephone number, a reverse phone lookup is the reverse of this process whereby a telephone number can be entered to a search directory to discover the personal details of the person associated with that number.
When tracing a missing person this can prove a useful technique if you have a telephone number but no further details and, although it will not always yield a result, should be considered as part of the resources listed on this website that someone should use when attempting to find someone who is missing; whether that be a debtor, relative or any other category of missing person.
Unfortunately there is no central database that can be searched online through which to perform a reverse phone lookup but there are a number of free and paid-for services that allow for such searches in the United States serving details of both landline and mobile cell phone users.
However, it also needs to be borne in mind that the scope of reverse lookups on landlines is limited if a missing person is intentionally trying to not be found as they may have registered with their telephone provider as ‘Your Listing Not Published’ and thus a reverse lookup through telephone company directories will not return a result.
There are a number of aggregating reverse phone lookup websites and directories online that glean information from a wide-range of sources that may make searching a more fruitful process too.