The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sick and tired of receiving complaints regarding robocall marketing campaigns and it’s finally doing something to stop the madness. The agency on Friday placed a $50,000 prize up for grabs. The winner of the prize will be the first person or business to come up with a smart and cheap way to block automated marketing calls.
The FTC has not said if it will give out more than one prize; however, with various smartphone devices and numerous calling platforms, the agency could end up paying money to several “winners” in the bounty competition.
The bounty comes at a time when the FTC has acknowledged that most pre-recorded messages are illegal. In the United States, only politicians are allowed to implement robocall systems, and even they are put under strict guidelines for the numbers of calls that can be placed to an individual or business.
Over the last several years, robocalls have become a larger problem. In some cases, telemarketers have gone so far as to pretending they are a politically sponsored company in order to gain access to a person’s time and trust.
The FTC Robocall Challenge will take place from October 25 through January 17. After ideas are submitted, they will be judged on with the final winner or winners being announced in April 2013.
In case you receive a robocall, there are a few other exceptions to the rule, specifically political parties, charities, health providers, and reverse 911 calls.
Do robocalls drive you crazy and always seem to call at the wrong time?