By Ian Bush

By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Even if your phone number is on the Do Not Call list, you’re probably still getting robocalls. How to stop them is the focus of a Federal Trade Commission contest that’s just awarded a cash prize to the computer engineers with the best ideas.

Companies should have to jump through hoops to make a sales pitch over the phone:

“It is illegal for a company to call you and try to sell you something with a prerecorded message, unless you’ve given your express written consent to receive that kind of call from that entity.”

So, even if you’re NOT on the Do Not Call list, it’s illegal, says Kati Daffin, staff attorney with the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“So, there’s such a huge demand for this type of solution.”

Software developer Aaron Foss says before your landline or cell rings, “Rachel from Cardholder Services” gets screened out:

“My system is able to, in real time, detect that phone call is a robocall and will pick it up and disconnect it before it bugs you at dinner or while you’re in your living room watching TV.”

He’s using the $25,000 in prize money to start a company and put the technology in our hands.