Earlier today, Samsung officially unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 edge, and Note 7 with much fanfare. Something that may not have been on all of the front slides during the presentation, but will be just as appreciated by Galaxy owners will be the added protection from spam or scam calls. Samsung has partnered with Hiya to use its caller ID and phone spam identification services on the new crop of Galaxy devices.
Just the other day, we wrote about spam protection baked into new Nexus and Android One devices. The Hiya integration into the new Galaxy devices is quite similar, though it goes a few steps beyond what is offered in the Google dialer. Not only will you be notified regarding suspected spam callers, you’ll also be able to report spam callers that may have slipped through somehow. Hiya maintains a database of over 600 million land line and mobile numbers in the US, and over 1.5 billion numbers globally and they’ve got years of experience in dealing with spam or other unsavory types of calls.
Hiya will bring their number scanning to Galaxy devices in 28 countries. You can read more about Hiya and their spam protection services in the full press release below.
FULL PRESS RELEASE
Hiya Extends Partnership with Samsung to Bring its Leading Caller Identification and Spam Detection Service to the Note 7
Mobile Data Leader Also Expands Service to an Additional 12 Countries
SEATTLE and NEW YORK – (August 2, 2016) – Hiya, the leading source for caller identification and phone spam detection services, today announced that it has extended its partnership with Samsung to include the integration of its caller ID, spam detection and business search services into the Galaxy Note 7. Previously available only on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Hiya (formerly a division of Whitepages) will now integrate this seamless experience to help Note 7 users identify unknown callers and protect them against the increased threat of phone spam and scams. The service, already available for Galaxy S7 users in 16 countries, will also expand into 12 additional countries, for a total of 28 countries. Both Galaxy S7 and Note 7 users will now benefit from a better phone experience that includes:
- Caller Identification: By leveraging Hiya’s proprietary data set that includes more than 600 million active mobile and landline phone numbers in the US and over 1.5 billion unique numbers globally, users will be able to make informed decisions about whether or not to answer an incoming call.
- Spam and Scam Detection: With Hiya’s state of the art phone reputation service, users will have much needed context for unsolicited spam and scam calls, giving them peace of mind when answering or ignoring a call. The service also includes a spam button for users to easily report spam numbers, which will in turn help other users from falling victim to fraudulent calls.
- Nearby Business Search: Powered by a global database of local business information, users will be able to search directly within the native dialer to easily find nearby businesses for any and all of life’s purchases and curiosities.
“As consumers worldwide continue to find themselves inundated with an influx of unwanted calls, we are pleased to further expand our partnership with Samsung to bring our best-in-class caller ID and phone spam detection services to even more users across the globe,” said Alex Algard, Founder and CEO of Hiya. “Expanding our service to include Galaxy Note 7 users and further growing our footprint in the international arena gets us one step closer to providing the kind of phone experience that everyone with a smartphone deserves.”
The issue of caller identification has come to the forefront in recent years as phone scam and text spam has significantly increased due to a lack of filtering at the carrier level and a rise in automated VoiP/OTT platforms that have driven the cost of communication down to fractions of a cent. Of the 665 MM incoming calls Hiya scans per month globally, nearly 35 MM are classified as “unwanted.” In June, Hiya saw a more than 100 percent increase in scam calls as compared to the previous year.
As an issue impacting nearly every person with a smartphone, the growing phone spam problem has also caught the attention of regulators in the United States. In June 2015, the FCC announced that it would enable U.S. mobile operators to block spam. In April of 2016, Representative Jackie Speier introduced the ROBOCOP Act, a piece of legislation that would require telecom companies to offer consumers free optional robocall-blocking technology. The ROBOCOP Act was then almost immediately introduced to the Senate by Charles Schumer of New York. Finally, last week, Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, sent letters to major wireless and wireline phone companies giving them 30 days to come back with concrete, actionable solutions to address these issues.
Of the 200+ countries and territories that Hiya operates in, the following ten (in order, starting with the worst) have the worst spam/scam problems.
Country Top Spam/Scam United Kingdom Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) Scam: Caller informs the recipient that they can be reimbursed for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI), but will first ask for an up front payment in order to enable them to receive the money. United States Internal Revenue Services (IRS)Scam: The caller pretends to be with the IRS and usually demands money for unpaid taxes or will trick the recipient into sharing private information. Canada Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) Scam: Similar to the IRS scam in the U.S., the caller pretends to be with the CRA and usually demands money for unpaid taxes or will trick the recipient into sharing private information. Brazil Extortion/Kidnapping Scam: These scammers tend to be prison inmates who call random phone numbers and demand payment for the return of a “kidnapped” family member or friend. Germany Prank Call Spam: These callers reach victims through an app called Juasapp that allows users to pick a joke, pick a contact and send a joke via a phone call. France Ghost Delivery Scam: For this scam, victims get something in the mail that entices them to call a premium phone number where they are then charged a fee per minute. Mexico Extortion/Kidnapping Scam: These scammers tend to be prison inmates who call random phone numbers and demand payment for the return of a “kidnapped” family member or friend. Australia Australian Tax Office (ATO) Scam: Similar to the IRS scam in the U.S., the caller pretends to be with the ATO and usually demands money for unpaid taxes or will trick the victim into sharing private information. Spain Bank Account Scam: Callers will pretend to be an official representative of the bank and will request sensitive information or items, which allow them access to the victim’s bank accounts. Italy Solar Energy Scam: Fake agents pretend to be from a company representing a utility service and will ask for account information to do a price comparison, but will ultimately use that information to sign the victim up for the service they are representing.
Hiya’s integration with the Galaxy S7 and the Note 7 will now be available in 28 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States (on very limited devices).