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This video, produced by the General Services Administration, describes the FTC Robocall Challenge and introduces one of the winners.

Transcript

Speakers - Charles Harwood, Aaron Foss

[TELEPHONES RINGING] 

Hello? Hello? 

Hello. This is Rachel at Cardholder Services calling in reference to your current credit card account. There are no problems currently with your account. It is urgent that you contact us concerning your eligibility for lowering your interest rate. Your eligibility expires shortly, so please consider this your final notice. 

[MUSIC PLAYING] 

Some 200,000 complaints a month are logged with the FTC about robocalls. So if you're tired of answering your phone, and there's an automated voice on the line, you're not alone 

That's why last October, we issued our robocall challenge. A $50,000 prize for an individual or small group that could design a practical, technical, best overall solution to this frustrating problem. And the response was phenomenal. We received almost 800 submissions, ranging from the practical tips from consumers who told us what they're doing today to reduce robocalls, to interesting ideas about long-term solution that might discourage would-be robocallers. 

The agency is tackling the problem through aggressive law enforcement, creative investigation techniques, consumer education, and coordinating with law enforcement, industry, and other stakeholders. One of the winners, Aaron Foss, shared his thoughts on the competition. 

So the FTC put out the robocall challenge, and this was in response. They get over 200,000 complaints about robocalls every month. And so they saw this is a really huge problem, and one that they wanted the input of the technology community. And so they set up-- they crowd sourced-- and they set up this competition. They said, hey, if anybody has any unique ideas on how to defeat robocallers. 

And honestly, before this competition, I'd never really given it much thought. When I get robocalls, I just hang up, and that's really it. But with my background in technology, I saw this as a challenge that I could solve. I knew how I could solve this. 

We hope you'll see Aaron's ideas, and those of the other winners, available on the market sometime soon. Learn more about the FTC's battle against illegal robocalls at ftc.gov/robocalls. 

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Transcript - Files