New Technology Telezapper 2020 Seeks to Protect You From Robocalls

Maureen Mahoney
Public Policy Fellow

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

While resisting efforts to solve the robocall problem, phone company representatives have long denied that comprehensive technologies exist to address unwanted robocalls. Clearly, they need to come up with some better excuses.

Inventor Bob Bensman has devised a new technology, the Telezapper 2020, that automatically zaps robocalls. When engaged, the service causes robocalls to immediately disconnect.

Callers to phones that have enabled Telezapper 2020 will hear a message or tones that indicate to an autodialer that the phone is no longer is service. The computer will then remove the number from its calling lists. Human callers will also hear the message, and are instructed to hold while their party is being reached. The call is then put through to you as usual.

Because the service doesn’t rely on a “blacklist” or “database” system of blocking calls, it sidesteps the problem of call spoofing – when scammers use apps or software to transmit a different number to your Caller ID.

Wanted automated calls, such as appointment reminders or prescription refill notices, as well as frequent callers, can be “greenlisted” so that they are not blocked. Other frequent callers can be greenlisted so that they do not hear a recorded message.

Telezapper has long been available as a box for purchase, but this is a service that phone companies could implement and offer directly to their customers. While it’s not available from phone companies yet, you can go to the Telezapper website and learn more.

This is exactly the type of creative thinking that phone companies should be engaging in to stop robocalls. Click here for Consumer Reports’ review of some of the other technologies that block unwanted calls. Clearly, the phone companies don’t lack the know-how to stop robocalls – they just lack the will.

We’re calling on AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink to offer all of their customers free tools to block unwanted calls. Click here to join the movement to End Robocalls!

Have you tried a tool or service to stop robocalls? We’d love to hear what you think! Click here to share your story.

Update: Consumers Union recommends that consumers closely evaluate what kind of information they’re willing to disclose to prevent robocalls, so review the privacy policy before signing up for any call-blocking app or service.

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