Watch out for phony tech support calls.
Americans fed up with prerecorded phone calls file more than 200,000 complaints with the Federal Trade Commission every month. Apparently the U.S. agency has gotten the message, because it launched a $50,000 challenge looking for crowd-sourced solutions to stop robocalls.
The FTC Robocall Challenge has already received more than 200 submissions from people eager to end the robocal menace once and for all, according to NPR. David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, described the threat as "computer-blasted" calls made mostly over the Internet and from overseas.
Technology has given an edge to robocallers through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology services such as Skype, because cheap international calling rates permit robocallers to spam thousands of people with calls inexpensively.
Legitimate telemarketers don't even represent the worst threat anymore. Most robocallers likely represent scammers looking to fish for credit card information or other personal information through phone scams.
Anyone interested in saving humanity from the threat of the robocallers can submit solutions for the FTC Robocall Challenge up until Jan. 17, 2013.
This story was provided by TechNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. You can follow TechNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @jeremyhsu. Follow TechNewsDaily on Twitter @TechNewsDaily, or on Facebook.