Archives For Mobile

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I am thrilled to announce that starting today, Whitepages will be powering the next generation of T-Mobile’s Name ID service, debuting in the new Sony Xperia® Z3 and available in stores now. This new Name ID service makes unknown numbers go away. With T-Mobile Name ID, you can identify unknown callers, receive alerts about spammers and scammers, and do it all within the native phone experience—that means there’s no app to find and launch—it works right when you turn your phone on.

This next generation of Name ID enables T-Mobile subscribers to see the names and phone numbers of who is calling, even if that person isn’t in their address book. By leveraging Whitepages’ proprietary data, the Name ID service helps T-Mobile customers: 

IDENTIFY the person, business or spammer/scammer associated with an incoming call or text, even if they are not in the user’s address book or contacts list, and receive additional information that’s auto-surfaced for outbound calls. Say goodbye to 10-digit numbers or unknown callers in the call history.

FIND information on millions of contacts and search more details on the caller or texter, including robust Whitepages contact data, spam score and feedback from other users on numbers associated with spam or scams.

MANAGE calls/texts with one-click blocking or unblocking, along with the ability to update your name and contact information for others to see.

What does that mean for you? When you make that call or send that text to a new friend or colleague, their name will automatically appear on your phone. There’s no need for you to input their info because Whitepages and T-Mobile Name ID does it for you.

Now imagine your airline calling to warn you of a change in your flight, or say it’s your bank calling about suspected activity on your credit card—you’ll know to answer those 800 numbers because Name ID will tell you who’s calling. Name ID also works for when you don’t want to take that call. When you receive a call from a telemarketer or call spammer, we’ll let you know so you can reject the call, block them and report the number as spam. All this happens right within the native phone, call history, messaging and address book of your device; it’s not isolated in a separate app that you need to find and launch every time you need it.

The new Whitepages-powered Name ID service provides T-Mobile users with the most advanced call and text identification system on the market. At its core is Whitepages’ analysis of over 18 billion calls and texts made by its users, as well as over 300 million phone numbers in Whitepages’ identity database.

T-Mobile Name ID is available exclusively on the Sony Xperia® Z3 smartphone today and will be included in new T-Mobile Android-powered devices moving forward as a free introductory service for 10 days, with the option to upgrade the service for a monthly subscription fee through T-Mobile.

Cell phone photo

 

Last week, Twitter announced a new service called Digits, which aims to replace email address and password login on mobile applications. Email addresses and associated password or single sign-on, usually with Facebook, are the most popular ways to log in to websites. While single sign-on works reasonably well in mobile apps, it is cumbersome to type in an email address and password on a small screen. Enter Digits.

Digits will enable the user to have their phone number verified by SMS and then as long as the same SIM card is in use, the user can continue to use the mobile app without having to log in. No need to remember which email address you used to sign up or a password. On Android phones, the SMS verification is seamless, the application will automatically detect the SMS message sent from Digits and verify the user and authorize them to use the app. On iPhones, the user has to take the additional step of entering the code sent to them through SMS. But once the verification step is done, the user remains logged in as long as they have the same SIM card. To get developers on board, Twitter is paying the SMS verification costs.

Verification by SMS and log in by mobile phone number is particularly valuable in many parts of the world where smartphones exceeds PC penetration. Many users in these markets don’t have an email address. In developed markets, younger users tend to use email less and are more comfortable with mobile apps and processes.

At Whitepages, we believe mobile phone numbers is a strong proxy for the identity of the user. Our popular Caller ID app identifies incoming calls and texts so you always know who’s calling and can decide whether you want to pick up or not. Mobile phone numbers with identity information (i.e. names) tend to get answered much more often than unidentified numbers. Digits uses the mobile phone number for a very similar purpose, to identify the user to the application. In both cases, mobile phone numbers are being used as a proxy for identity. 

 

Concept of hacking or phishing with malware program

According to Pew Internet Research, 68 percent of mobile phone users receive unwanted sales and marketing calls with one-quarter saying they encounter this problem at least a few times a week or more frequently. Clearly, call and text spam is a pervasive and growing problem in the United States.

Scam, spam and fraudulent calls and texts are sent from a rapidly changing pool of phone numbers, with new ones showing up every minute due to phone spoofing and other tactics that make suspicious activity difficult to identify. In addition to using mobile apps like Whitepages Caller ID, we suggest the following tips to “can the spam”:

· Hang up immediately. If you get a call from a government agency asking for a payment, hang up. No one from a federal government agency will call you randomly looking for a payment, even the IRS. The same goes for a call from someone saying you’ve won a sweepstakes; odds are you did not, and if you did, they can send you something in writing.

· Don’t call a suspicious number back. In the case of the “One Ring Scam”, the number looks similar to a number from the United States, but in fact is from the Caribbean and is not legitimate.  These scammers use phone numbers that issue additional charges to the bill of the incoming caller – most of the time consumers are unaware of the charges and they can add up very quickly.

· Never provide credit card information or any specific personal identification, like a social security number, to a caller that you do not know personally, even if you are familiar with the business they say they are from. Recent scams include calls that spoof energy companies and Microsoft technical support, for example.

· Do not pay money up front if you have been contacted about winning a contest or being accepted for a new insurance policy. For legitimate offers, an upfront payment is generally not required.

· Report suspicious numbers to help others avoid threats. Whitepages offers consumers the ability to report spam phone numbers through its Caller ID app as well as at Whitepages.com.

 

 

We’ve got exciting news about our Android app Whitepages Current Caller ID. Say hello to our latest feature, Spam Score.

Here’s how it works. When an incoming call is suspected spam, users will be notified immediately. Then when they open the app, they will see important tidbits like the spam level based on a score of 0-10, the amount of spam reports made on the number in the last 90 days, and comments written by other Whitepages users. In addition to that, we’re also empowering Whitepages Caller ID users to warn other members of the community by leaving their own spam reports on numbers that turn out to be scammers or fraudsters. It’s an easy-to-use system that helps build a community of people who care about personal privacy and want to do a good deed in the process.

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At Whitepages, we worked hard to develop the most advanced spam identification system in the market. Whitepages Caller ID offers real-time analysis on billions of calls, texts and phone lookups from all of Whitepages’ 50 million users. Along with Spam Score, Whitepages Caller ID also blocks unwanted numbers from calling your Android. It’s just another way that Whitepages helps you maintain your privacy.

And in today’s world, features that put privacy back in the hands of users are more important than ever. Recent data from Whitepages Caller ID shows that approximately one out of three unknown calls are a suspected spammer. Whether that’s a marketing or sales call, or something more pervasive like the scams that emerged earlier this year, such as “One Ring,” “Grandparent’s Scam,” and the most recent “IRS Phone Scam.” By offering another layer of information on incoming calls, Whitepages Caller ID protects users and lets them know about potential spam before they take the call—and that’s something we feel pretty good about.

Check out the latest release of Whitepages Caller ID in the Google Play Store and read more about it in PandoDaily.

 

 

1950s housewife on phone

Ever wonder how the ten-digit phone number came to be? In the US and Canada, a phone number consists of three parts: a three-digit area code, a three-digit exchange number and a four-digit station number. Before mobile phones, the area code told you the broader location of the caller, the three-digit exchange number honed in on a more precise location, and the four-digit station number was an unique identifier within the given area and exchange. If you wanted to dial someone local, you could just dial the seven-digit number without entering the area code. Has anyone else ever noticed that the Tommy Tutone song, 867-5309/Jenny, doesn’t have an area code?

Then came the age of mobile phones, Skype and VoIP technologies. Suddenly phone numbers were no longer tied to location and the amount of phone numbers increased as mobile phones came to be associated with a single individual rather than a household. The heightened demand for mobile phones necessitated the creation of new area codes. That rocked the boat a bit because some people associated their identity with having a particular area code. In Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw receives a new phone with a 347 area code and she protests, “No, I’m a 917 gal. Always have been.” But nowadays a ten-digit number is a necessity because people tend to stick with the same mobile number, even if they move. That means we can no longer accurately infer location from their area code.

As technology continues to progress, the ten-digit number will evolve from conveying a vague sense of location to what it really represents: the identity of the user.  Several companies, from start-ups to large wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, provide caller ID services.  In the future, we will just be able to type a name or click a photo, and the call or text will connect automatically. Dialing the ten-digit number will be a thing of the past.