We've all been there. It's 2:00 AM and you wake from a sound sleep to the insistent ringing of your phone. You stumble out of bed, suddenly worried that someone may be sick, hurt, or worse. You reach for the phone, hoping that no one is hurt, and say, "Hello?" You're greeted with silence, a dial tone or a laugh. A million thoughts flash through your mind: Is this just some kid having a laugh at your expense? Could it be a disgruntled neighbor with a bone to pick, or something more serious, like a stalker or burglar?
Few things are more frustrating than a prank phone call. And they can become downright frightening if they continue. The feelings of helplessness and fear caused by prank phone calls have even led some people to violence! Maybe at one time, you were on the other end of that prank phone call. Do you remember calling a random home and asking if their refrigerator was running? Weren't you hiding behind the automatic anonymity that your phone supplied?
Wouldn't it be a relief to find a way to stop the harassment? Maybe it's just a kid having some fun, or maybe it's more serious than that. But it is your phone - your privacy - being invaded. For as long as there have been telephones, jokers and criminals have used them to terrorize and harass their victims with little or no chance of being caught. Only until recently has technology caught up to these prank callers and given them some pause by making Caller ID and *69 available to the public.
But, in many cases, cell phones have created a new and convenient way for prank callers to continue to harass you without giving away their identity. These days, technology has allowed us to strip away that cloud of anonymity and put a name to the number that identifies that prank caller! By using the Internet's ability to instantly scan millions of public records databases, you can discover the name, address, and many other interesting facts about the person calling you at 2:00 in the morning.
The use of reverse-search technology and the scores of public records available through these sites used to be the stuff of private investigators and officers of the law. But today, you can access this information on dozens of websites, usually for a modest fee. This has helped level the playing field in the area of personal security and investigations.
There are many other reasons why one may visit a reverse-search site to locate the person behind the cell phone, such as researching unknown numbers on your bill, looking up who shows up on your "missed calls" list, or even investigating suspected infidelity of a spouse. But, for good old peace of mind, the bringing to justice of annoying prank telephone callers ranks right near the top of that list. Imagine being able to answer the phone the second time with, "Hello Tom. I'd stop calling if I were you. I'd hate to have to get the police involved." A good night's sleep awaits you.
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