Long Island man invents robocall blocker

TAMPA - Aaron Foss won a contest organized by the Federal Trade Commission aimed at stopping pesky robocalls. Foss is a software developer and develops apps for phones. Foss says it took him about three months to develop his concept that he calls "Nomorobo."

It works by routing all calls to a secondary line. Software analyzes the calls, and if there's a red flag, the caller is asked to enter a specific number. Automated calls cannot respond, so the call would be dropped. Phone numbers can also be black-listed.

Foss is one of nearly 800 people who entered the FTC's contest. He's splitting a $50,000 prize with a rival software developer. Foss says he'll use the money to market his invention.

It's illegal for companies to use any sort of pre-recorded device to call consumers without expressed written authorization. The national do not call registry works, but with limited results. Legitimate telemarketers obey the national do not call list, but robocalls typically do not.

The FTC receives more than 200,000 complaints about robocalls from consumers every month.

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