Make us your home page
Instagram

New technology targets robocalls

iStockphoto.com

iStockphoto.com

One of the newest entrants in the battle against robocallers goes by the name Nomorobo.com, the brainchild of a Long Island software developer who shared a $50,000 prize from the Federal Trade Commission for the best tech solution to thwart telephone spam.

Existing tech tools are focused on smartphones with applications that let you block known spam callers and do reverse lookups of suspect numbers. Among the free versions are Mr. Number, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, for Android phones and CallControl in Bellevue, Wash., for Android and Blackberry phones. Like other smartphone apps, they rely on "crowd-sourced" lists of spam phone numbers, which are reported and shared by fellow users.

And for the first time, Apple's recently released operating system, iOS 7, lets iPhone users block unwanted calls.

Deluged by millions of consumer complaints, the FTC last year turned to the private sector, announcing its Robocall Challenge contest, seeking entrepreneurs such as Aaron Foss to come up with solutions.

Nomorobo relies on consumers enabling a specialty feature in their phone system that's called "Simultaneous Ring," "Locate Me" or other names. Basically, it allows customers to have incoming calls ring on all their phones at the same time, allowing them to pick up wherever it's convenient. Foss piggybacks on that phone feature, using Nomorobo to screen incoming calls.

Nomorobo can work with phone customers of AT&T U-Verse, SureWest, Vonage, Verizon FiOS and East Coast carrier Optimum.

When linked to the user's phone, Nomorobo "answers" the call first, screening it instantly against databases of numbers known to make illegal robocalls, as well as using algorithms that detect whether it's a number-dialing at unusually high volume. For instance, when the same number has made 5,000 calls to different numbers in the past hour, it's a red flag. If a robocall is detected, the call is automatically disconnected, before the consumer's phone even rings. Those numbers go onto a "black list."

Foss said his technology does not detect the content of incoming calls, nor does it block legitimate automated calls, such as from your child's school, an airline with flight schedule changes or an emergency services call.

New technology targets robocalls 10/11/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 13, 2013 7:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa's Walter Investment Management restructuring, could file for bankruptcy

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Walter Investment Management Corp. is restructuring to cut down some of the mortgage firm's $700 million debt, Walter announced Friday night. The firm, according to its investor relations page, focuses on subprime and "other credit-challenged" mortgages.

    Walter Investment Management is restructuring to reduce its $700 million debt, the company announced late Friday. Pictured is Anthony Renzi. CEO. | [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  2. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  4. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  5. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]