Whoscall is a mobile application that features caller identification service. It is developed by Gogolook Co., Ltd., a Taiwanese design team. The app identifies incoming calls, blocks scam/harassment numbers, and filters spam text messages. The app was used by over 90 million users worldwide, with a database of over 1.6 billion numbers. The name of the service is derived from a shorter version of "Who is calling?" Whoscall is available in 31 countries/regions, including Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Brazil.[1] The application owns the largest number database in Southeast Asia. It is the strategic partner of several governmental agencies in anti-fraud efforts, including National Police Agency (Taiwan),[2] the Financial Supervisory Service (South Korea),[3] , Fukuoka City Government.[4] and Police Cyber Taskforce (Thailand).

Whoscall
Developer(s)Gogolook Co., Ltd.
Initial releaseAugust, 2010
Operating systemAndroid, Windows Phone, iOS
Available inEnglish, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Hindi
TypeCaller ID, Telephone Directory, Spam Filtering, Fraud Protection
LicenseProprietary
Websitewhoscall.com

History and developmentEdit

  • In 2010, the first version of Whoscall was created after one of its co-founders, Jeff Kuo, received a spam call. The app was developed together by Jeff Kuo, Jackie Chang, and Reiny Song as part-time work. Afterwards, the three co-founded Gogolook, with a goal of enhancing fraud prevention efforts worldwide by providing a caller identification solution.[5]
  • In August 2010, the first version of Whoscall was released on Google Play in several countries and attracted voluntary downloads.[6]
  • In 2011, Whoscall gained traction and propelled itself into the limelight when Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt on a visit to Taiwan, rated the app: “An app called WhosCall tells you who a strange number is from. It's growing fast in the U.S., India, and China, and it's made in Taiwan.”[7]
  • In 2013, Gogolook received an investment of $11.7 million from Naver Corporation, LINE’s parent company.[8]
  • In 2013, Google Play Taiwan awarded Whoscall with its 2013 Innovation Awards.
  • In the same year, Whoscall was awarded as Google Play’s Best Apps of the Year in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
  • In 2014, Whoscall iOS version was launched in the App Store.
  • In 2015, Whoscall was awarded as one of App Store’s Best Apps of 2015.
  • In 2015 and 2016, Whoscall was awarded as Google Play’s Best Apps of the Year for two consecutive years.
  • In 2016, Whoscall signed an MOU with Taiwan’s National Police Agency to strengthen its anti-fraud efforts and help promote anti-fraud education. As of 2016, Whoscall had 60 million users worldwide.
  • In 2017, Whoscall signed an MOU with the Financial Supervisory Service (South Korea) and Korean National Police Agency on anti-fraud technical exchange.
  • In 2017, Whoscall was chosen by Google as a successful case study on the event Google I/O 2017.[9]
  • In 2019, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited Gogolook, the developer of Whoscall.[10]
  • In 2019, Whoscall had 60 million users worldwide.
  • In 2020, Gogolook, the developer of Whoscall, established its overseas office in Fukuoka, Japan and created partnerships with the Fukuoka City Government in joint anti-fraud efforts.[11]
  • In 2020, Whoscall released the world’s first COVID-19 Scam White Paper. The release was covered by several media outlets.[12]
  • In 2020, the application won Taiwan’s 4th Presidential Innovation Award, a recognition of its achievements.[13]
  • In 2020, Gogolook received investment from WIN Semiconductors Corp., the largest GaAs semiconductor foundry in the world.[14]
  • In 2021, Whoscall was listed as one of the anti-fraud apps recommended by Royal Thai Police.[15]
  • In 2021, Whoscall released the 2020 Annual Report focusing on latest fraud trends and industry insights.[16] [17]

FeaturesEdit

Instant Caller Identification, which identifies unknown callers in real time through the largest number database (with 1.6 billion entries) and an AI-powered identification engine.

Caller ID Blocking, which reduces the risks of receiving malicious/harassment phone calls by blocking nuisance calls or text messages automatically.

SMS Message Filtering, which filters dangerous phishing text messages by detecting suspicious URLs and keywords.

Unknown Caller Query, which allows users to key in unknown phone numbers manually and identify such callers in the database.

Number Reporting, which maximizes the power of social network by allowing users to report dangerous/scam phone numbers.

Accolades and receptionEdit

Whoscall has been covered in prominent international media including TechCrunch,[18] TechinAsia,[19] and e27.[20] It is highly regarded with overwhelming positive reviews and holds an average of 4.4 star ratings on Google Play Store.[21]

AnecdoteEdit

On May 20, 2014, Gogolook was mentioned by name during the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou's national address marking his 6th year in office. Gogolook was referred to as an example of the creativity and potential of the youth of Taiwan.[22]

In April 2014, concerns regarding Whoscall’s privacy issues rose to the forefront of national attention as public figures took to the press and expressed their public records including home telephone numbers and addresses showing up on incoming calling screens. Gogolook swiftly came out with a statement declaring that they had never collected nor stored any personal information on their servers, let alone made them publicly available.[23] It was soon discovered that the personal information of the aforementioned public figures was leaked from government servers with poor security protocols that made the information available on search engines, from where Gogolook sources some of their information. Whoscall was promptly lauded as not only a call screen for telemarketers, but also a reliable reminder for the possible dissemination of personal information.[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "台製防詐App WhosCall傲國際". 蘋果日報. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Police partner with Taiwan app developer to detect scams". meet-global.bnext.com.tw.
  3. ^ "Cathay Sustainable PE Fund invests in Whoscall, Taiwan's answer to Truecaller".
  4. ^ "Cathay Sustainable PE Fund invests in Whoscall, Taiwan's answer to Truecaller".
  5. ^ Chen, Liz. "不明來電走著瞧——WhosCall 幕後團隊專訪". www.inside.com.tw/. Inside. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ "The Best Apps of 2013". Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  7. ^ Startup World Staff. "Taiwanese Startup Brings Whoscall Mobile App to the Middle East Market". www.mystartupworld.com/. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Korean web giant Naver acquires makers of Whoscall".
  9. ^ "Google Analytics for Firebase: Overview and Updates (Google I/O '17)".
  10. ^ "【 小英去哪裡 EP8 】安裝防詐騙神器whoscall好安心,小英參訪台灣新創公司Gogolook".
  11. ^ "福岡市実証実験フルサポート事業「Beyond Coronavirus」に海外番号の識別もできる迷惑電話対策アプリ「Whoscall」が採択".
  12. ^ "Whoscall 發表全球第一份「疫情防詐白皮書」,揭手機「簡訊」成疫情詐騙破口".
  13. ^ "Whoscall creator wins Taiwan Presidential Innovation Award".
  14. ^ "Gogolook gets funding for further expansion in Japan".
  15. ^ "วิธีเช็คเบื้องต้นว่า เบอร์ใครโทรมาหาเรา".
  16. ^ "Scam calls, messages in Taiwan up 488% in 2020".
  17. ^ "Whoscall《2020 年度報告》:詐騙數量創新高,成長 190%!".
  18. ^ Shu, Catherine (7 June 2013). "Call-filtering App WhosCall Now Available To Help iPhone Users Avoid Spam Calls". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  19. ^ Horwitz, Josh (9 Jan 2014). "Japanese messenger introduces Line Whoscall, a service to track and block unwanted phone calls". TechinAsia. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  20. ^ beSUCCESS (3 March 2014). "Korean mobile app Whoscall has helped over 10M people block spam". e27. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  21. ^ Google. "whoscall- Caller ID&Block". play.google.com/. Google Play. Retrieved 15 October 2014. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  22. ^ Office of the President. "總統主持520 就職六週年記者會". www.president.gov.tw. Office of the President. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  23. ^ 蔡智銘; 葉濬明. "LINE whoscall | 很會找 名人個資全洩". AppleDailydate=18 February 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  24. ^ 生活中心 (19 February 2014). "輸入電話=肉搜?LINE whoscall | 太強大 個資全曝光". ETToday. Retrieved 15 October 2014.