One of the many things I love about working at the FTC is the challenge to stay on the cutting edge and use technology to help with problems that affect us all. Most people get obnoxious robocalls because technological changes have made them so cheap for fraudsters to blast out. Law enforcement alone isn’t enough to solve the problem, so we’ve had to get creative and work with technical experts to pursue solutions.
As part of this effort, we held the FTC Robocall Challenge, in which we offered $50,000 for the best idea to block illegal robocalls. It was the FTC’s first public challenge, and it was a huge success in terms of attracting new experts to join the fight and to get new products to the market. Consumers across the country are now using a new product to block millions of robocalls. We’re still fighting against illegal telemarketing, and I feel incredibly proud to be part of our consumer-focused mission.