Google introduces ‘Verified Calls’ to protect people from scammers

In a bid to make people safe from spam and scam calls, Google has announced a new feature named Verified Calls on its Phone app. It comes pre-loaded on several Android phones and will be available for download later this week on more Android devices in select countries, including India.

The ‘Verified Calls’ shows the caller’s name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating that the business has been authenticated by Google.

“This is done in a secure way and Google doesn’t collect or store any personally identifiable information after verification,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Verified Calls is initially rolling out in the US, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to come.

A 2019 report by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers.

While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000.

“We’ve been piloting Verified Calls for a few months, and the early results indicate that it improves the likelihood of someone answering a call,” Google said.

For instance, banks calling to alert a customer about a possible fraudulent transaction can increase answer rates by stating the call reason.

“We also have existing partners — including Neustar, Five9, Vonage, Aspect, Bandwidth, Prestus, Telecall, and JustCall — ready to help brands improve their answer rates by using Verified Calls,” Google said.