If you’re a ’90s kid, you’ll remember what *69 was. A person would call, hang up, or stay on the line but be silent. You had no idea who it was, even if you had caller ID. If the number was unregistered or blocked, you were out of luck. Enter *69: the technology that could step in and help even middle schoolers find out who was on the other end of the line by redialing the number that called. It was like magic.
Now that you’re an adult, that magic is still welcome, but for other reasons than to find out who’s crushing on you right now.
It can be hard to know who you’re really talking to through an app or at a bar late at night. The person who caught your eye because of a professional-level or alcohol-fueled filter may not be exactly what he or she seems, and you don’t want to find that information out too late (also: let’s face it, no one wants to go through a divorce, so it’s best to find out all you can before putting a ring on it).
Enter reverse phone number search.You can find out whether these people have a violent past, who their families are (and with the right terms in your search bar, what they’re like), or whether they really do have that fancy degree they casually mentioned as you were waiting for another gin and tonic. On the lighter side, you can get a glimpse into some of his or her interests, which can also help you to discern whether this is a person who deserves your precious time.
Small business help
Not every business has access to a full-scale background check program, especially the smaller ones. Instead of springing for software that you may only use once or twice (depending on how good business is), look up your applicants by their phone numbers. It’s incredibly important to know the people you’re hiring and what their lives have been like thus far. Depending on the services you provide, you could be handling or coming into contact with expensive trinkets, including ones that may tempt the wrong people. Or you could work in an environment that requires a calm nature and a laid-back view of life. Someone with a stint in anger management is probably not the person for the job. With this search, you may come up with police mugshots, which will either be a definite no, or could end up being part of the world’s best Christmas card ever.
Sneak up on scammers
If you’ve been one of the lucky ones who get 20 robocalls a week, you can use reverse lookups to your advantage. Not only can you call them back to give them what for and ask to be taken off the list, you may be able to find out who the parent company is and go directly to it to get to the bottom of your sudden influx of “friends” who call you three times a day to talk about your mortgage rates and your gut health.
If that’s not enough to stave off the vultures, you can report that company to the Better Business Bureau. The people there will be interested in hearing about the near-harassment level of calls received. Or do the dirty work yourself: After acquainting yourself with the business and what they’re trying to achieve, call them back to tell them in the most creative way you can think of why you won’t be needing their services, and that they can leave you alone. Magic.