Nobody likes robocalls. The Do Not Call List blocks many businesses from calling you on the phone during dinner, but most scammers and spammers simply ignore the list. They continue making billions of illegal robocalls to get you to sign up for whatever con or scam they’re pitching.
Technology is coming to the rescue, however, in the form of a new application that aims to succeed where the FTC’s Do Not Call List falls short. The new program will circumvent the ability for illegal robocalls to even get to your phone in the first place and protect consumers from those unwanted spam calls and telemarketing scams.
Nomorobo: Coming to a Phone Number Near You
Not long ago, the FTC had a contest to see who could come up with the best technological solution to the problems that their Do Not Call List couldn’t fix. Each month, the fine folks at the FTC get about 200,000 complaints about robocalling, so it’s easy to imagine that they were getting a little bit fed up.
A 35-year-old software engineer named Aaron Foss was one of two contest winners, with a program called Nomorobo. Out of nearly 800 entries, his was one of the best. How does it work? With the Internet, of course!
Yahoo! Finance has more details:
“The service…relies on a feature of the phone system known as simultaneous ring. When a consumer signs up on the Web with the service, all their calls are routed simultaneously to one of Nomorobo’s online servers. Before the call even rings at the consumer’s end, the service analyzes whether the call should go through or be blocked.”
Anti-Telemarketing System Designed to Learn
How will Nomorobo figure out which numbers are legitimate and which ones aren’t? Here’s where the irony comes in: it will do so by using lists. A ton of lists, in fact. Lists like the FTC’s Do Not Call List will help Nomorobo do what the Do Not Call List was failing to accomplish.
What makes Nomorobo so much more effective than the Do Not Call List, however, is that it can add to its own database automatically.
The program has been designed to “learn,” so it will be able to use the information at hand to decide whether or not a number should be allowed to call you.
If Nomorobo notices a new number that’s making hundreds of calls per hour, you can bet that the program will figure out that something is suspect.
Right now, Nomorobo works best when VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) is being used, so it’s partially limited to services like Veriozon FiOS and Vonage. In the future, though, Foss hopes that Nomorobo can be accessible to anyone.
What Do You Think?
Do you get a lot of annoying phone calls? Would you use Nomorobo or another app to block unwanted calls on your phone? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.