Didyou know

Reverse Look-ups cross check the address and/or phone information provided by a customer against third-party resources to verify the association of the customer's name with the phone and/or address provided.

Typically the reverse lookup is used in manual reviews to do one more verification of a consumer’s address and phone information when AVS is not a full match. These checks can be somewhat suspect. Most of the services utilize public records for this information and have to be updated with new information. This type of check can pull up a lot of false positives on fraud if it is used in a single pass-fail type of scenario. It does provide value in that when you can verify the information through public records and the shipping address is the same as on record you have far less risk with the order. Reverse Look-ups are a good secondary test for checking AVS data when it is not a full match.

"Gotchas” with reverse look-ups include:

There are a lot of ways to fool this test

There are people who move a lot, such as military families, in which multiple phone numbers and address may be in the public records

There are lag periods between refreshes of the address and phone data

In cases of identity theft, a fraudster can set up these services to look completely legitimate

Typically cannot validate unlisted phone numbers

More and more people are listing cell phone numbers and business phone numbers

If you use it to check the shipping address, there are valid cases in which a consumer could be sending packages or gifts to a relative’s home to pick up later


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Reverse Phone Number/Address Checkstechnique overview

The reverse lookup is used to cross check the address and phone information a consumer has provided to you with a third-party resource to verify that the public records show the same consumer’s name is associated with the provided address and phone information. It is available as a hosted bureau service or you can purchase monthly and quarterly SW distribution of data.

Key considerations when implementing or buying this functionality include:

  • How often will your provider update the information or update their software?
  • Will the data include cell phones and business phones?
  • Are there any dead spots where information is not provided such as, international, Canada, Puerto Rico?
  • What is the accuracy of the data they have? Try them out: Have ten people’s information from around the country and see how well the service validates the information. Include someone who has been in place for a while, one that has recently moved and one that owns multiple properties.

How does it work?

If using it as a manual tool, you would enter the individual’s address and phone information into a hosted screen or utility their IT shop has set up for you, and the service or application would come back with some mix of the following types of reverse look up results:

I input the address and phone and it gave me the name of the person associated with each piece.

I input the phone number only and it gives the address and name associated with it.

I input an address and it gives me the phone and name associated with it.


How do you use the results?

You verify this data and see if it matches. You can do this test on the billing and/or shipping address. But beware — there are a lot of valid reasons why the shipping address could be different. If, however, you got a full match on AVS and you cannot validate the address, contact the bank. If you got a full match on AVS but cannot match the phone information contact the consumer for the correct information, or the bank if the number ends up being incorrect.


  • Introduction to Manual Review Tools.

    Provides methods for how to authenticate and verify a consumer’s name, address, phone and email online. It also provides demonstrations and examples of how to perform manual reviews using free and low cost online sites.

  • Introduction to eIdentity Authentication and Verification

    Establishes a baseline understanding of the components that make up a consumer identity when transacting or making application from an online or telephone channel.


    A core curriculum course providing an introduction to 30 plus fraud prevention techniques; what they are, high level discussion on how to employ them and big picture considerations for using them.


  • Alternative Solutions - Fraud-scoring solution that includes this capability, delivery address verification service that provides associated phone data with an address. Do geolocation validation on the zip code or area code.
  • Building this In-House - Remember you need to make sure you ask the consumer for their home phone number and billing address.
  • Estimated Costs - Typically this service is offered on a per-transaction basis, but you can also purchase it as a subscription. There are some very low cost providers online, that have hosted screens for you to input data manually as well. This service is usually fairly inexpensive.
  • Sample Vendors -