How to verify a phone number to ensure legitimacy?

How to Verify a Phone Number: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever come across the concept of phone number verification, and wondered what the point is? Phone number verification is simply confirming that a phone number that a person has provided is valid and working, and really belongs to them.

With that in mind, are you trying to find out how to verify a phone number, and looking for options that might work for you? It can be important to verify phone numbers for a whole range of reasons, including things like preventing miscommunication, using two-step verification options to check identity, fighting fraud, and making sure customers are protected.

We’re going to use this blog post to understand more about how you can verify a phone number quickly and effectively, what tools are available for businesses looking to do this, and the pitfalls you need to avoid if you want to be successful.

Methods for Verifying a Phone Number

There are quite a few options for verifying a phone number, so let’s explore each of these below.

1) Phone Carrier Verification

Phone carrier verification is done via a website search or by using an app, such as CarrierLookup or Number Tracker Pro. These tools let you enter a phone number into their search bar, and they will then tell you which carrier that number is associated with.

For example, if you enter a number and the carrier appears as Verizon, that tells you that it is likely a valid phone number (although it is not guaranteed that this number is trustworthy).

However, if you enter the phone number and no carrier is found, it is probably not a valid phone number, and this suggests that it may be a scam. If a customer has entered the number, it’s possible that they have mistyped a digit. You may need to contact them and get them to re-enter their number.

Reverse Phone Lookup

Get the Owner’s Name, Address & More!

2) Reverse Phone Lookup

Reverse phone lookup involves using a reverse telephone directory or searching online for a number to confirm who that number belongs to. You might be asked to enter the number into a directory, and then the directory will search its database to check whether the number appears anywhere.

This method will tell you who the number belongs to, provided that information is in the database. It is often useful, but it isn’t a perfect method for verifying information

3) SMS Verification

SMS verification allows you to send a text to a user’s phone number. This text usually contains a code that the user has to input in order to log in to their account (or sometimes to access certain information). This method is used by a lot of businesses, especially financial ones, to keep accounts secure and make sure customer information remains up to date.

4) Social Media Verification

Social media verification could just involve looking the person’s phone number up on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to make sure that this is their number. For example, if somebody signs up for a service your business provides, you can check their name on social media and see if this number is associated with their account.

5) Online Identity Verification

In some cases, you might be able to verify a phone number by looking at official online pages. This will usually only work to verify a business or organization’s phone number (although some members of the public may have websites that provide contact details).

For example, if you want to check the number of your bank, you can go to your bank’s website and look at their contact details. This ensures that you are calling the number associated with the bank.

It is always a good idea to do this, rather than simply calling a number back. If a scammer has called you and you return their call, you are putting yourself at risk.

Verifying a number online is therefore a good strategy for protecting yourself. It’s not always an option, but you should use it when it is.

Tools for Verifying a Phone Number

verify a phone number

There are quite a few tools that you can use in order to verify phone numbers quickly and effectively. Without these, it can be a lengthy process, so make use of them to increase the efficiency of your business.

Truecaller is one great option for verifying a phone number. You can do this in a couple of different ways. One involves searching for numbers manually. Truecaller has a search bar that allows you to copy and paste numbers from your phone or from any other source, and then check them against its database.

It will also let you search for a number as you dial that number. You do need to be using Android for this, but it’s very straightforward. All you need to do is dial the number as normal, and Truecaller will automatically scan its database for information, and then let you know whether the number is valid.

Number Tracker Pro is also a great option for verifying numbers. This app lets you do all sorts with numbers, including tracking where they are based and gathering geolocation data by sending a link to the phone in question. You can find out where people are based using this simple app!

HLR Lookup is another option, and this one automatically checks a number is valid when you send a text. This is a free service and it can save you from wasting time and money texting defunct numbers. If the validation service fails, you don’t get charged to send the SMS, which can offer peace of mind, as well as reduced costs.

You can also use Twilio Lookup, which has features designed to let you check whether phone numbers your users give you are real. If you enter an ISO country code and national phone number, the lookup service will confirm whether it is valid. If it’s not valid, you’ll see an HTTP 404.

Any of these options should help, but you may want to combine them to increase the chances of an accurate response.

Reverse Phone Lookup

Get the Owner’s Name, Address & More!

Steps to Verify a Phone Number

There are a few simple steps you can use to verify a phone number manually, so let’s explore those next.

Step 1) Begin by checking the number’s country code and area code. This will help you to determine whether they are likely to be valid, and also where the person is likely to be located. You can do this using online directories.

Step 2) Verify the phone carrier. This helps you to determine that a number exists and is in use. The phone carrier is unlikely to give you any information about the person who owns the number due to privacy laws, but this still helps you.

Step 3) Use a reverse phone lookup service. There are lots of these available, many of them offering the option to look up numbers for free. A reverse phone lookup service can give you quite a lot of information about the number you are researching, including whether the number is valid, and sometimes even who it belongs to and where they are located.

You may have to pay for some of this information.

Step 4) Send an SMS verification. You can use an SMS verification service to text the number and check whether it is valid. If it is, you’ll get a response from the user. Things like Number Tracker Pro can also track the location by sending a tracking link for the phone’s user to click on.

Step 5) Check social media profiles. If you’re still not sure about a number, use social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter to learn more about the number and who owns it.

Step 6) Use online identity verification services, such as CocoLookup, to check you’re dealing with the right person.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

There are a few pitfalls you should avoid. Firstly, always be on the lookout for scams. Lots of scammers spoof numbers to make themselves appear like real businesses, and if you call them back on the number they offer, you could end up being a scam victim. Be vigilant, and don’t give out information when somebody calls you unexpectedly, no matter who they claim to be.

Another pitfall involves failing to verify phone numbers on business websites, and sharing personal information when an unverified number calls you. Always look for proof about who you are talking to before you offer up any personal information.

Finally, don’t ignore your gut feeling. If you are seeing red flags and the call feels dangerous, terminate it. You can always call the business back later if you decide they are legitimate (after verifying their number online).


Verifying phone numbers is crucial for both individuals and businesses for a wide range of reasons, including safety and efficiency. You can verify phone numbers using things like SMS verification, phone carrier verification, reverse phone lookup, and online identity verification. Tools that might help include Number Tracker Pro and Truecaller.

Always check you know who a number belongs to so you can protect yourself from scams, and make sure you aren’t wasting money sending texts or calls to defunct or incorrect numbers.