FTC offers $50,000 for best technology to combat illegal calls

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The FTC administers the Do Not Call list and has the authority to go after callers who violate marketing rules. The FTC says there are now more than 217 million numbers on the list.

The agency announced the competition as part of a summit to battle illegal robo-calling.

“The FTC is attacking illegal robocalls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”

The contest is the FTC's first entry on Challenge.gov, a website for government competitions administered by the General Services Administration.