How to Find a Mobile Number Using an IP Address?
In This Article
Ready to get started?
It’s an accepted truth over the internet that an IP address is a powerful online tracking tool in the right hands. But what personal details does it actually reveal? Is an exposed IP address a violation of online privacy, and can you find a mobile number using an IP address?
Because each device connected to the Internet is assigned a unique IP address, determining its geolocation via it is possible. However, it’s not as straightforward as one could imagine. Below, we’ll explain how IP address and location are connected and can IP address geolocation be tracked back to a physical mobile phone with its real number.
Can You Trace a Mobile Number Using an IP Address?
Determining an actual mobile number and location using IP address geolocation details takes a lot of effort, but it can be done. For example, this ethical hacking video shows how to use the Linux ngrok command-line coupled with an IP address lookup service to get physical device location information.
It’s worth noting that IP address lookup services can provide randomized geographical locations to respect data privacy laws. Furthermore, finding a step-by-step guide to grab an actual phone number and location using an IP address is extremely hard due to internet safety laws.
Contemporary online tracking methods use much more data than just an IP address. One of the most effective online surveillance methods is digital fingerprinting, which constructs a genuine user profile from numerous online data points. When you browse the internet using a specific device, most online websites gather (and some share) details that could be traced back to your device, such as:
- Device type and operating system;
- Web browser details (user agent, plugins and extensions, browser version, etc.);
- IP address, country, time zone;
- Language and keyboard layout;
- Device hardware information (RAM, camera permissions, battery level, etc.).
An experienced hacker or a professional online surveillance agency can use this information to determine a real person, including a real phone number.
It’s worth noting that digital fingerprinting depends on how active a person is online, but most use Google or Facebook services that are enough to expose some personal information. More so, some Internet service providers are more liberal with collecting and sharing online user data, and that’s why using a VPN or proxies is highly advisable to maintain online privacy.
What Are the Methods or Tools Available to Find a Mobile Number Based on an IP Address?
Firstly, we must pinpoint that using an IP address to obtain someone’s phone number without permission from the law is illegal in most cases. Secondly, because data privacy laws protect this information, you will not find straightforward tools that will simply display such details. In other words, getting a real phone number from an IP address is extremely hard.
If you’re a casual internet user who is harassed, stalked, or attacked online and you have the attacker’s real IP address, it’s best to contact law enforcement. In turn, they can use the IP address to determine details like a country, estimated geographical location, and the Internet service provider. Then, they can lawfully demand user data (including the real phone number) from the ISPs that are bound to comply on most occasions.
Simultaneously, hackers also target ISPs to extract such data. Social engineering is still one of the most popular techniques to manipulate people into giving away confidential information. A cybercriminal can contact an ISP using the victim’s real IP address and many details obtained from device fingerprinting to convince them to give away a phone number. That’s why using residential proxies to hide your unique IP and ISP details is beneficial to Internet safety.
Additionally, hackers can use an original IP address for phishing scams. They forge and send fraudulent letters to selected IPs that can include infected attachments, malicious backlinks, or fake surveys asking for a phone number to participate in a lottery or get a free service. A phone number is then sent to the attackers for further exploits.
To summarize, obtaining a real phone number solely from an IP address is extremely hard and requires in-depth hacking knowledge. However, a real IP address is a necessary component in social engineering and phishing scams that can grab a real phone number.
How Accurate and Reliable Is the Process of Finding a Mobile Number Using an IP Address?
Luckily, it is especially hard to find a mobile number using only an IP address. IP address lookup services will not provide such information due to technical and data privacy reasons. Most of the time, the displayed IP address geolocation will point to an internet service provider’s location or be randomized.
But it’s essential to also take ISP safety into account. The telecommunications giant T-Mobile became a victim of a major data breach and leaked information from 37 million accounts, including names, addresses, and phone numbers. This information can easily link to the internet service provider and a unique IP address, allowing hackers to determine your real phone number even with a dynamic and changing IP address.
However, causing such a massive data leak is no easy task. Because smartphones don’t use a static IP address but get a new one each time they connect to a new cell tower (which has a shared IP address pool), it’s safe to consider real phone number information using these details is inaccurate and unreliable.
What Are the Legal and Ethical Considerations When Attempting to Find a Mobile Number With an IP Address?
In a vast majority of cases, using an IP address to find a real phone number is illegal and requires hacking. Moreover, utilizing this information for personal gains can result in serious legal trouble.
A common scenario is for hackers to use real phone numbers to distribute fake SMS messages with infected backlinks, break into social media accounts, or take fake loans in somebody else’s name. The recent gigantic Robocalling Fine for cell phone fraud reveals how seriously the US FCC considers these issues.
It’s also best to consider ethical implications even if determining a phone number using an IP address lookup or IP address and location details is done legally. Bad actors over the internet expose personal information (this act is called doxing or doxxing) for online or even physical harassment.
Suppose you decide to secretly obtain someone’s real phone number using an IP address. In that case, it shouldn’t be used in any way to cause physical or psychological harm to the original number owner.
Finding a real mobile phone number using only an IP address is extremely hard, although, on the internet, everything is possible. However, it requires additional hacking software and a good know-how of networking and mobile technologies.
But that doesn’t mean your phone is 100% safe. Social engineering and phishing are very common techniques that use details like a real IP address to trick people into giving away sensitive information, like a real phone number.
That’s why it’s best to use additional cybersecurity software, like backconnect proxies, to hide such information from unwanted attention and enhance online privacy.
Is it always possible to find a mobile number using an IP address?
No, finding a real mobile number using an IP address is particularly hard. Because smartphones obtain a new IP address each time they connect to a different cell tower, linking a specific IP address to one phone number is difficult and often inaccurate.
Are there any privacy concerns or data protection regulations to consider when searching for a mobile number with an IP address?
Yes, you should always inspect national data privacy and internet safety laws before searching for a mobile number via an IP address. Furthermore, it’s best to go through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US that regiment online data gathering and storing.
What are some alternative methods to find the owner of a mobile number if the IP address is not available?
Nowadays, a search via Google and inspecting other online social media accounts are relatively reliable ways to find a person without using an IP address. Alternatively, you can use reverse phone lookup services to find related information if you only have the phone number in question.