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Phone Scams are really making headlines these days. For example, the IRS recently put out a warning about a scam where callers pose as IRS agents and attempt to gather personal information about the person they are calling. Many of these scams are based on greed – wanting you to think you’ve won the lottery, that you owe money (refer to the IRS scam), or curiosity – sometimes called the “1-Ring” scam – you think you’ve missed a call – and you call back – and the scammers rip you off by charging you long distance fees.

Most of these scams are targeting cell phones, rather than landlines. But the good news is that there are ways to protect yourself.

Alert 2

Tom Donlea, our in-house fraud prevention expert, has 5 tips to keep scammers out of your pocket:

1.    Hang Up Immediately – if it’s important, they’ll call back.

2.    Don’t Call Suspicious Numbers – ‘Nuff said.

3.    Use Mobile Apps to Screen and block calls – WhitePages Current and Mr. Number are two that are helpful.

4.    Don’t Provide Credit Card Info – Only give out bank info if YOU make the call.

5.    Never Pay Money Upfront.

Check out the video link below for more info:

VIDEO: WhitePages’ Tom Donlea gives advice about phone scams

Love is in the App

Rebecca Carroll —  February 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Valentine’s Day is here, and while you normally may not be at a loss for words, a special occasion like this means that even the smoothest of talkers can experience a few bumps.

Here’s where technology can come to the rescue and un-knot even the most tongue-tied admirer. Check out one of these apps and websites to tell that special someone (or even Mom) how you feel:

Love Letter Generator

From mild to extra-spicy, you can enter a few details and check out your letter (with lots of creative license provided by the generator) and preview it before you decide to send it.

Love Poem Generator

Florid and slightly comical results at the same time. You enter some key details then see what the poetry genie churns out and can decide to email it or not.

Love Letter Designer (Google Play)

Will take images from Facebook and incorporate it into a custom template, and then you can post it to your intended’s Facebook wall.

Tom’s Love Letters (for iOS and Android)

Cute cartoon-ish cards that you can text, email, or post on Facebook and Twitter. You can send with music for a small fee, or without.

It’s no secret we love names at WhitePages, but perhaps the one thing we love more than a name is a nickname. While names themselves can often be wacky, nicknames are usually born out of some monumental event and carry a whole host of unforgettable memories.

Take, for example, “The 12th Man”. Back in 1976, the Seahawks joined the NFL and were met with some of the most over-the-top enthusiastic fans in the entire league. This crowd, which is known to cause actual earthquakes, was named “The 12th Man” in honor of their very real contribution to defensive plays. This nickname is worn close to the heart by all Seahawks fans, as evidenced by Troy & Kelly Mann who recently named their newborn daughter Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann.

Here’s a look at some other great nicknames of the Superbowl:

Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton

Denver Broncos

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In his own words: “It was dark on the plane, and everyone was sleeping. The stewardess was saying ‘Pot roast, pot roast’ and I raised my hand, as if that was name. The guy behind me was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to start calling you Pot Roast and I’m like ‘Yeah whatever. It’s stuck with me, but I’m just glad I ordered that instead of shrimp alfredo.”

Peyton “The Sheriff” Manning

Denver Broncos

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Sometimes a nickname is less about its origin than it is about the name itself. Peyton Manning’s nickname “The Sheriff” doesn’t have some crazy story attached to it, but anyone who has watched him on the field knows exactly how that name came to be. When “The Sheriff” talks, you listen.

Demaryius “Optimus Prime” Thomas

Denver Broncos

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Thomas was given the well-fitting name of “Optimus Prime” due similarities with fellow Georgia Tech receiver, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. The two men are built like Transformers, not a bad quality to have in the NFL.

Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch

Seattle Seahawks

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Some nicknames go way back… way, way back. The now 27 year old Seahawks running back first earned the name “Beast Mode” in high school after one of his signature touch down runs led to his team’s championship win. Like all things “Beast Mode”, words simply do not do justice.

Brandon “Bang Bang” Mebane

Seattle Seahawks

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In the words of him teammate, Mike Wahle: “Remember when Fred Flintstone used to work at the quarry? There were all these gigantic rocks sitting around. That’s like Mebane when you run into him.”

Michael “Black Unicorn” Bennett

Seattle Seahawks

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Perhaps the greatest thing about nicknames is that if you don’t have one or don’t like the one you have, just pick a new one. It might just stick. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I’m faster than I’ve ever been. I could run all day. I’m kind of like a black unicorn out there” -Michael Bennett.

While John & Mary still take top honors for boy’s and girl’s names respectively, unisex names are growing in popularity. Our resident trend & culture expert, Liz Powell, points out we’re seeing celebrities jumping on this trend. In the past year, Kristen Bell named her daughter Lincoln, Kim Kardashian chose North and Lisa Ling went with Jett, all selecting unisex names for their girls. What’s interesting is that as unisex names grow, there are some names that seem to trend at almost an even split between males and females, including Riley, Peyton and Rowan. We expect to see this trend grow into 2014.

We looked at the fastest rising names for females and males over the last five years. Findings showed that Chloe and Jacob were most popular over the last five years and William has also made a comeback within the under five age group.

Top 15 Most Popular Unisex Names

1. Jordan: 73% male, 27% female; most popular in Utah
2. Riley: 53% male, 47% female; most popular in Utah
3. Avery: 37% male, 63% female; most popular in North Carolina
4. Peyton: 46% male, 54% female; most popular in Mississippi
5. Alexis: 15% male, 85% female; most popular in Washington, DC
6. Angel: 68% male, 32% female; most popular in Florida

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8. Skyler: 66% male, 34% female; most popular in Utah
9. Jayden: 87% male, 13% female; most popular in North Dakota

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11. Quinn: 75% male, 25% female; most popular in Utah
12. Logan: 93% male, 7% female; most popular in Utah
13. Reese: 35% male, 65% female; most popular in Utah/Reece: 87% male, 13% female; most popular in Tennessee
14. Dakota: 78% male, 22% female; most popular in Oklahoma
15. Rowan: 59% male, 41% female; most popular in Vermont

elfyourselfGetting into the holiday spirit? Even if you’re feeling a bit “humbugged”, answering a Letter to Santa just might be the kick start you need to be of good cheer–while you spread some of the holiday kind. The U.S. Post Office has been officially sponsoring the Letters to Santa program for 101 years.

Typically, these letters are written by very needy children, often asking for much-needed supplies for their families like diapers, “a blanket for my baby brother” or formula, as much as a toy or game for their siblings or themselves.

Schools, charities, civic groups and individuals may contact their local post office now through December 24th via the USPS website or calling 1-800-275-8777 to ask if your post office is participating in the Letters to Santa Program (known as Operation Santa Claus in New York City). Groups must make an appointment to review the letters, and present a letter of introduction on letterhead; individuals do not need to make an appointment. Either way, you must present a valid ID.

The letters are coded; once you’ve selected your letter(s) and shopped, wrap and return the packages ready for mailing and the package will be coded to the letter. You, as one of Santa’s “elves,” are responsible for postage.

You may be aware of other ways to give in your community,from food banks to soup kitchens to “giving trees” at local places of worship. Everyone can “play Santa” in their own way–what’s yours?