Friday, January 11, 2008

Gotcha! Now you can track all those prank calls on your cell...

Josh Lowensohn came up with a good article today describing ReverseMobile.com. I knew about the company but had forgot all about it, so I did some background research. Here's what you need to know: ReverseMobile is a company provides public records searches in many categories, including criminal records, sex offense records, civil records, missing persons records and, of course, the Reverse Lookup which reveal the caller's name, full address, contacts and account history. Lowensohn claims that you can do a Reverse Lookup on any number for free, but it either didn't work for me or was hardly useful. I looked up my own number on the site (just go to ReverseMobile.com, enter the phone number and hit Search), and it discovered that I lived in British Columbia... in the US. A premium membership on the site (allows unlimited call lookups for a year) costs $39.95; a full report for a particular phone number will cost you $29.95. The FAQ page claims that ReverseMobile has "well-organized resources for non-US countries to help in your investigation process", but based on my aforementioned findings, I'm not really convinced about that. I also have problems with the the 'investigation process' process part: what if the information is used to track your consumer habits? Wouldn't that be a breach of privacy? While the FAQ page has a policy laid out regarding using tracked data, but I can't really think of a way to stop people from doing so. It's great if you want to deliver the mystery person calling your daughter at 3 am a piece of your mind, but what if the mystery person actually used the service to get to her phone number?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Gotcha! Now you can track all those prank calls on your cell...

Josh Lowensohn came up with a good article today describing ReverseMobile.com. I knew about the company but had forgot all about it, so I did some background research. Here's what you need to know: ReverseMobile is a company provides public records searches in many categories, including criminal records, sex offense records, civil records, missing persons records and, of course, the Reverse Lookup which reveal the caller's name, full address, contacts and account history. Lowensohn claims that you can do a Reverse Lookup on any number for free, but it either didn't work for me or was hardly useful. I looked up my own number on the site (just go to ReverseMobile.com, enter the phone number and hit Search), and it discovered that I lived in British Columbia... in the US. A premium membership on the site (allows unlimited call lookups for a year) costs $39.95; a full report for a particular phone number will cost you $29.95. The FAQ page claims that ReverseMobile has "well-organized resources for non-US countries to help in your investigation process", but based on my aforementioned findings, I'm not really convinced about that. I also have problems with the the 'investigation process' process part: what if the information is used to track your consumer habits? Wouldn't that be a breach of privacy? While the FAQ page has a policy laid out regarding using tracked data, but I can't really think of a way to stop people from doing so. It's great if you want to deliver the mystery person calling your daughter at 3 am a piece of your mind, but what if the mystery person actually used the service to get to her phone number?