Phone Spam and Scams Part 3: Pro Phone Reputation Leads the Market

This post marks my third and final in our series on phone spam and its impact on business. In my last post, I discussed how Whitepages has years of experience in spam detection thanks in part to the billions of signals per month that our consumer caller ID mobile apps provide.

But did you know that our third-generation phone spam protection service, Phone Reputation, offers both a basic and premium dataset via the Whitepages Pro API and Web interface? Most of our customers just need the basic product, which is our spam index score detailed below. But for the more sophisticated customers in the communications stack as well as the click-to-call or call center spaces often want additional fidelity on the data to assist them with more specific decision tree handling.

Phone Reputation Via API

Whitepages Pro API provides the following portfolio of data on a given phone number from our Phone Reputation service:

  • Spam_index – Delivered on a scale of 1-4, this is a simple “traffic light” index number (although we have 2 shades of yellow that may cause you to pause).
  • 1 is effectively a whitelisted number. It’s good to go and is not spam. You can expect that it’s either a real consumer or a legitimate business on our verified business whitelist.
  • 4 is a spam number with 97% certainty. Take it to the bank. It’s not a legitimate business with a high volume call number. We can sense it within a couple minutes of an auto-dialer flipping the switch. Your customers don’t want to waste time picking up this number.
  • 2 and 3 are more of a grey area, but they do not exhibit normal consumer behavior and edge on the side of spam. A 3 has a 40-80% probability of being spam.
  • Spam_score This is a 0-99 probability of spam.
  • Volume_score Presented on a range of 1-4, if the volume score is high at a 4, but the spam index is a 1, then the number is most likely a hospital or other legit business that does a lot of calling.
  • Report_count You see how many reports we’ve had on this number being spam from our Mr. Number and Whitepages Caller ID apps, as well as well as blacklists we receive in partnership with the FTC and other governmental organizations in the U.S. and internationally.

Spam Stats

When you look at the numbers from our backend system, which is currently ingesting 3-5 billion voice calls/SMS signals a month for our Phone Reputation service, the phrase “don’t try this at home” comes to mind.

  • Our backend takes in upwards of 10,000 call or text events a second.
  • It can respond to upwards of 1,300 lookups a second while maintaining our carrier-class response times of a few hundred milliseconds.
  • It leverages over 35 distinct details about a phone number, and over a dozen different rules to decide on a spam level with high accuracy rates.
  • The time between the end of a phone call and our Reputation Service tweaking your spam score is less than 10 seconds.

Our Phone Reputation team worries about detecting spam 24/7 so you don’t have to. This problem is massive in nature and spammer’s are sophisticated in their execution, so please do your due diligence to find the most comprehensive and accurate service to protect your business.

If you’re interested in pursuing our Phone Reputation services, then please contact us. We are committed to the ongoing dialog and collective solutions that are needed to address the growing phone spam problem across the country and around the globe.

Be sure to watch that incoming call!

Read Rob’s full series about Phone Spam and Scams.  Part 1 and Part 2


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