If robocalls to your cell phone drive you crazy, you may want to know a new way to get revenge on those telemarketers.
It's an award winning app for iPhones that gives the callers a taste of their own medicine.
Like most of us, Paul Applegate of Cincinnati's North College Hill community hates having a TV show -- or anything -- interrupted by a telemarketing robocall.
"My number was getting 5, 6 calls a day that were spam," he says.
App turns the tables
So Applegate downloaded a robocall blocker that turns the tables on the callers: RoboKiller.
Instead of just hanging up, it plays games with callers.
"It has what's called answer bots. These are pre-recorded discussions, and they fool the spam bots into thinking they are an actual human," he said.
His phone now has two dozen responses, designed to fool automated calling systems.
"One of my favorites is someone who is speaking in a Russian accent, and he pretends he doesn't speak English very well."
"Vess I hear you," the app responds in a thick accent. "Are you calling from the Gulag?"
Applegate also loves one that tells the telemarketer that the caller has won a cruise.
"Congratulations," the app says. "I know you called me, but this going to surprise you, but you are the winner of our cruise contest!"
Award winning app
The app's developer, Ethan Garr, says it is not just an attempt to be funny: it also blocks that number from ever calling you again, and keeps a record of the incoming calls it stopped.
RoboKiller costs about $2 a month at the iTunes store, and the Federal Trade Commission says it is safe to use. It even won an FTC contest for best new robocall stopper. (Unfortunately it is not yet available for Android).
Yes, some of the voices may not be politically correct (Southern belle, etc), and it plays a bit to stereotypes -- like thickly accented Russians.
If that offends you it always has an effective neutral option, which Applegate says works every time:
"We're sorry you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service," it says.
RoboKiller has additional features: It can show you which calls were blocked, and lets you select robocalls you want to receive, such as school closings or automated pharmacy calls.
It's one of the top rated robocaller blockers now on iTunes. Others like NoMoRobo also get great reviews, but they won't tell the caller he won a cruise.
As always, don't waste your money.
“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”).
Follow John on Twitter ( @JohnMatarese )
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com
Click here for more WCPO.com consumer reports
Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org