Kudos to Aaron Foss, a software programmer from Long Island, who offers residents of the United States a way to shut out those annoying telemarketing and robocalls we receive right about dinner time. The new site, “Nomorobo” opened on September 30, offering services to those who are customers of VoiP, AT&T U-verse, Cablevision Optimum, SureWest, Verizon FiOS and Vonage.
The companies who are open for the Nomorobo service are the options that make it simple for users to get a simultaneous ring feature that the algorithm of the Nomorobo program uses to work.
The program is a cloud-based operation that uses the simultaneous ring that allows phone lines connected to a single number to receive multiple rings at the same time. No caller ID service is needed for your number to be protected from these annoying phone calls.
Once you have signed up with Nomorobo, the calls you receive will go through the system. If the call is deemed a robocall or telemarketer, the computer hangs up on the call before the second ring.
Any information Nomorobo accepts from any phone call is anonymous under a client privacy cover. The Nomorobo services promises to block the illegal phone calls only. Other calls sent by computer, such as school closings, doctor’s appointments, prescription reminders and advisories about local weather will be allowed to go through as usual.
Foss used his accountant’s home as a beta testing site. The accountant has had a “significant reduction” in the number of telemarketing and robocalls he has received since his connection through Nomorobo about three months ago.
The accountant, Richard Seidel, claims the program is a time-saver.
These calls are a real pain and it’s really a waste of time when you get interrupted by them.
Foss states he worked on the Nomorobo program because of the amount of people wanting something to stop the annoying calls. Foss is also tired of the calls he receives in his own home.
People are screaming out for a solution. I hope to make their lives a little better.
Foss began working on the Nomorobo program in April. The program received first place in the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Challenge and Foss received a first place prize of $25,000.
Jessica Rich, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection states:
We’re aware and extremely pleased that potential technological solutions to help consumers block unwanted, illegal robocalls are making their way to the marketplace.
In the beginning, Nomorobo will be working off a database containing 1.2 million phone numbers of telemarketers and robocalls that have had complaints filed against them through state and federal regulators. As Nomorobo gains customers, calls coming to the subscribers will be added to the database.
The downside of the program is that it is not available through all phone companies. The concern is that robocallers may be able to break through a program based on caller ID. If 5,000 calls appear from one number, it may be easy enough for the program to shut these calls out. However, if the telemarketers and computer-generated calls come from 5,000 different numbers, the program would not be able to catch the incoming calls.
Foss states he is ready for the challenge.
If the robocallers adapt, then I’ll have to adapt.
John Breyault of Fraud.org, operated by the National Consumers League (NCL), suggests that the majority of calls known as robocalls are illegal. He says they are usually based on scammers who are attempting to defraud consumers.
They don’t respect the federal “Do Not Call Registry,” and since they’re often outside the country, they’re hard to prosecute.
When you receive an illegal robocall, a complaint should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If the call is received on a cell phone, it should be reported to the FCC too.