Video Interview with BeenVerified’s CEO

On Growth, Hiring and Learning New Things.

Our CEO and fearless leader Josh Levy recent sat down with MeetAdvisors for a video interview covering a number of topics from BeenVerified’s vast range of customers, how he’s built the BeenVerified team and going from a serial tech entrepreneur in high school to the CEO of one of America’s fastest growing companies.

You can watch the full video here:

Below are some abbreviated excerpts taken from the interview:

On BeenVerified’s mission:

“We built BeenVerified to help people discover, understand and use public data…we started the company with the simple goal of providing more information about the people you interact with online.”

On BeenVerified’s customers:

“There are people who are looking up potential dates, moms who want to know who just moved into the neighborhood, all the way to people who are searching their own identities and want to know what data is out there about themselves.”

On learning:

“We’re learning every day. We’re always amazed at what we know today that we didn’t know two years ago. What I think is awesome is, ‘what am I going to know in a year or two that I don’t know today?’ That excites me.”

Advice to budding entrepreneurs:

“Two pieces of advice. One: don’t stop. You have to take that first step, you have to start…the other is don’t take no for an answer and always be inquisitive about why people are doing things and questioning your own process and practices.”

On hiring:

“We want people who are hungry and want to learn. Secondly, we want people who will do what they say they’ll do. We want to trust that if you say you’re going to do something, you’ll do it and it’s going to be great and we’ll keep moving.”

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How to Avoid Common Online Dating Scams

Over 40 million Americans have online dating profiles, and due to its popularity, online dating scams cause tens of millions of dollars in damages each year. In fact online romance scams have been referred to as “the most costly in existence” by international authorities.

One common online dating scam involves women targeted by con artists posing as a US Army sergeants. According to the official Armed Services newspaper Stars & Stripes, these types of scams are prevalent as they are so easy to set up. The scammer simply steals a photo of the member of the armed forces from their social media profiles to use on unsuspecting women.

We encourage you to read the full story at the link above on how this scam develops, but thought we would reiterate some of the key points for avoiding these type of romance scams, whether they come wrapped in camouflage or not.

Beware impostors pretending to be from the armed services or international businessmen on online dating sites. Photo credit: Stefano Corso
Beware impostors pretending to be from the armed services or international businessmen on online dating sites. Photo credit: Stefano Corso

Military-based romance scams are just one of a number of perennial scams that online daters face. Others involve “emergency” requests for immediate financial assistance or help in clearing customs to move a large amount of money from a foreign country into the US. Crucially, most online dating scams involve a request for money before having met the romance interest in person.

Reminder – How to avoid an online dating scam:

1. When online dating, insist on meeting in person early on before you send too many messages and form a “virtual attachment.” Your first date should always be in a public place and if you have a funny feeling, consider running a background check on your potential date beforehand.

2. Be extra careful if your suitor has reason to be out of the country to avoid a first meeting. International business people and members of the armed services make easy cover stories for scam artists.

3. Never send money early on in a relationship and especially before having met the person. Treat any requests for money as a clear red flag for a scam.

4. If your intuition tells you something is off, check the person out by running a background check. A comprehensive background check service such as BeenVerified will give you information about addresses, aliases, criminal incidents and known associates. All you need is a full name and approximate location to run a search.

As the article states, you can also search RomanceScam.com and RomanceScams.org to search for common profile photos used by con artists.

While the tactics of scam artists are always changing, the above principles remain the same and we hope will help you avoid any trouble on your search for romance.

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Inside the Making of Our New Apple Watch App

By Ross Cohen, COO of BeenVerified:

One of the things I’m most proud of as a co-founder of BeenVerified is the opportunity our company provides its employees to constantly grow their skills in new areas. An obvious recent example of this is the effort that went into the design and launch of the BeenVerified app for Apple Watch, which involved designing a new app from scratch for a brand new platform.

While the project provided some unique challenges, I felt there were also some amazing opportunities for our development team, including the opportunity to visit the Apple Campus in Cupertino. Our team was one of just 500 developers invited to test their app at Apple’s Watch development lab.

BeenVerified visited the Apple Campus in Cupertino as part of developing the Watch app.
BeenVerified visited the Apple Campus in Cupertino as part of developing the Watch app.

We asked our engineers who worked on the app about their successes, challenges and favorite features to come out of the BeenVerified app for Apple Watch. Below are their answers:

What was the biggest challenge in developing the app?

“The biggest challenge of developing the AppleWatch app was the space constraint. The limited real estate on the screens meant that we had to keep the app to the bare minimum that the user would still love to use. On top of that, we did not have an AppleWatch to test on until the app was 90% finished which added a degree of difficulty.”

Can you talk about the process of developing the app?

“We started developing the app by experimenting how the Watch communicates with the iPhone in order for us to understand how someone can most effectively use the BeenVerified Watch app. Then we began to study what other apps for the Watch were coming up with and how we could improve our app. It was interesting to see how people were developing for hardware that they haven’t laid hands on yet. After that it was a rush to the finish by constantly iterating in order to get the app ready for release. Lots of rushing, but well worth it to be one of the first ones out the door on the new hardware.”

What is the coolest part of the app?

“The coolest part about our app is the fact that instantly after inputting a phone number, you are presented with the users info as well as their photograph. We all get so many calls on our iPhones from random numbers, but can’t look them up in time, because you can’t leave the call screen. Our app alleviates that challenge. You can now look up numbers while the phone is still ringing. It’s just a huge convenience. These days, you just never know who is calling you, and there are a lot of crazy phone scams out there. We wanted to create an app that helps people avoid these calls. This app is a big step closer to the caller ID that’s missing on the iPhone. For people who buy the Apple Watch, this is the type of app we hope that will become part of their everyday routine.”

***

My co-founder and BeenVerified’s CEO, Josh Levy, put it nicely: “It was natural for us to develop an app for the Watch. We’ve built our company on offering people new and easy ways to access public data in an affordable and organized manner. And what could be easier than viewing incoming call details from your watch? We like to think that our app is one small reason the Apple Watch and wearables like it will become essential communication tools in years to come.”

We hope if and when you take the plunge and buy an Apple Watch, our app will be one of the first you go out and download. We wanted to focus on a real problem our users face and solve it with public data. This is what we’ll continue to do as new devices, platforms and products emerge.

We hope you’re as pleased with the result as we are and we’re always seeking to improve with your feedback.

Reach out to us on social media with your suggestions or leave us a comment below:

Facebook.com/BeenVerified

Twitter: @BeenVerified

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BeenVerified on Apple Watch: The Caller ID You Always Wanted

Be honest: your iPhone has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It likes to remind you of this by ringing from the most inconvenient places: the jacket you left in the closet, from the bottom of your purse, or in your pocket while you’re driving.

The Caller ID app you've always wanted for your iPhone--now on your wrist!
The Caller ID app you’ve always wanted for your iPhone–now on your wrist!

To add insult to injury, after scrambling to fish your phone out of whichever creative hiding place its nestled itself in, you’ve likely missed the call and worse, if not from a contact, likely have no idea if the call was worth picking up in the first place.

If only there was a way to access call information, answer calls and place them hands-free from a device that was always with you, like Apple’s new Watch. Well, good news, now there is!

We’re launching BeenVerified for the Apple Watch. You can get it simply by updating or downloading the latest version of the BeenVerified app in the App store.

Here are three ways it could change your life:

Serious Caller ID—With Images!

One thing we’ve always wanted for our iPhones, well before the launch of the Apple Watch, was a dedicated caller ID system. With our new app you’ll have one in the most convenient place: your wrist. Now within a couple of rings, you’ll know from a photo on your wrist if you’re being called by a telemarketer (decline!), or your friend’s new phone number (answer it!). Not only is it useful, it looks like something from a James Bond film.

Hands-Free Voice Activation

Get our free Watch app now by simply downloading the latest BeenVerified iPhone app in the App store.
Get our free Watch app now by simply downloading the latest BeenVerified iPhone app in the App store.

You already know there are times when it’s inconvenient and even dangerous to dial a phone number the old-fashioned way. Now at the gym, on your bike or in the car you have the option to dial numbers through the sound of your voice. Just speak a name or number into your watch to make a call in seconds.

A New Defense Against Spam/Scams

You don’t have to wonder for weeks or months about that mysterious number calling you. The BeenVerified watch app will tell you in just seconds whether the incoming call is a telemarketer by providing spam scores instantly. And with the government warning about the ongoing use of scam phone calls, particularly from con artists impersonating government agencies, you will now have the confidence to know instantly if callers are who they say they are.

Our mission began in 2007 to make public data easy to access, affordable and usable in your everyday life. Our new free Apple Watch app is the latest example of a useful product we hope will make your life better.

We’re proud that our previous apps have been downloaded over 7,000,000 times and hope to continue to provide America with reliable, accurate and affordable public data products.

See our watch app in action:


Try our iPhone & Apple Watch App here:

App Store

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