Google has probably captured more information about you, me and everyone on this planet through their indexing of literally billions of web pages. Many of these web page contain names, addresses, phone numbers and probably a lot of information that we would not like to see made available. This huge collection of information can be used to verify names and addresses of customers when you suspect an order may be fraudulent.
Many people are not aware of this, but you can verify most USA telephone numbers and mailing addresses through the Google search engine. Simply enter the full telephone number or street address (complete with the city or town and the state abbreviation). If the number is listed in Google, the associated address and links to MapQuest maps are displayed. If the phone number with punctuation is used, Google will also display any Web pages that display the number, so it may be worthwhile to try both versions.
Google can also be used to display information about a telephone area code. For example, if you receive a message from someone in area code 650, you can enter that number in a Google search box and the results indicate that the number is assigned to the San Francisco peninsula in California.
These features has been available in Google for quite some time. We have a mixed reaction to this. On the positive side, the feature can be a valuable tool to help validate customer telephone numbers and addresses. On the negative side, many people would view this publicly
available information as a borderline invasion of privacy, although the information likely originated in telephone directories or other public sources.
Be aware that the information does not always appear to be very up-to-date. We checked several residential telephone numbers and some information appears to be two or more years old and no longer valid.