Annoying Robocalls Attacking Your Smartphone? New robocall-blocking app is on the way
Public Policy Fellow
Consumers may soon have more options for protecting their smartphones from unwanted robocalls.
Aaron Foss, the creator of Nomorobo, plans to roll out an app for iPhones and Androids in the coming months. Foss has offered the free call-blocking service Nomorobo to consumers with Internet-based home phone service since 2013, and claims to have blocked over 59 million unwanted calls for his 360,000 users.
Nomorobo’s new mobile products will join TrueCaller, Mr. Number, Call Control, and PrivacyStar in an already-crowded market for robocall-blocking smartphone apps. The app will use a cloud-based blacklist built with spam numbers submitted by consumers, federal agencies like the IRS and the FCC, and from companies like Twilio. Foss is aiming for a February release, and should roll out a beta version in January. No word yet on whether the app will be free like the current tool for home phones.
Consumer Reports tested several home phone call –blocking tools, including Nomorobo, this summer – click here to see the results.
Foss’s Nomorobo was the co-winner of the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Challenge in 2013, which asked participants to devise an effective tool to stop unwanted robocalls. Notably, over 800 people submitted proposals – showing that there’s no shortage of great ideas to solve the robocall problem. We think the phone companies should follow the lead of these developers and offer advanced robocall-blocking tools to all of their customers, for free.
After all, the robocall problem is only getting worse. Over 222 million phone numbers are on the national Do Not Call Registry, and last year, the FTC alone fielded over 3.5 million complaints from consumers about unwanted calls.
It’s clear that phone companies need to take action on robocalls. Click here to sign our petition to End Robocalls!