$50,000 prize for stopping an annoying problem

TULSA - We're talking robocalls. 

Those pre-recorded messages that call your phone, often offering to lower your credit card rate or a fabulous vacation.

The FTC is putting a bounty on the calls, which often violate the Do Not Call list .

The FTC is taking submissions now until Jan. 17, 2013 from people who think they have the solution that will make it possible to block robocalls from landlines and cellphones.

The reason it's so difficult to block robocalls is because of a technology called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).  People can make calls from most anywhere in the world and it's nearly impossible for police to track where they are.

There are steps you can take right now.   The FTC says be sure you are registered on DoNotCall.gov and go to that site to report any call in violation of the list.

Keep in mind some robocalls are allowed including those taking opinion polls, charities and political groups.

Use caller id to screen your calls and if you don't recognize the number don't answer it.

If you do answer a robocall hang up immediately.  Do not press any numbers or try to talk to a person.

Click here to see how to enter the FTC Robocall Challenge.

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