How to block annoying automated phone calls

How'd you like to say goodbye to those annoying automated phone calls?

Well, now you can with Nomorobo, a new and free online service that just went live on Monday.

Nomorobo promises that it will block the robocalls you hate, but let the ones you might want - such as school closings, doctor's appointments, prescription reminders and weather advisories - go through.

The site and the service is the brainchild of Aaron Foss, a software programmer from Long Island who hates robocalls as much as you do.

Earlier this year, Foss won $25,000 in the Robocall Challenge sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission.

Nomorobo is a cloud-based solution that uses the "simultaneous ring" service provided by some phone carriers. This allows multiple lines with the same number to ring at the same time.

If the computer determines the call is a robocall, it hangs up. Otherwise, your phone continues to ring.

"It doesn't change anything," Foss told me. "Your phone still rings like normal if it's a regular call. If it's a robocall, you get a single ring and then it just stops. It's like they hung up after that one right and that's how you know it just blocked a robocall."

You do not need to have caller ID on your phone for this to work and the call information Nomorobo collects will be anonymous to protect client's privacy.

Nomorobo is currently available to people who have VoIP phone service from a number of companies, such as AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and Vonage.

Foss started with these companies because they make it easy for people to get the simultaneous ring feature his computers need.

He hopes to add traditional landline phone companies in the near future.

More Info: You can say goodbye to annoying automated robocalls

Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.