I suggest that all telephone and cell phone companies immediately install a filtering system whereby the caller must input a 4-digit passcode for connection before the called person's phone will ever ring. Have this filter before any call waiting or voice mailboxes. It will cost the consumer nothing and requires no installation other than to turn it on and put in a passcode.

The owner of the phone number being called can simply press *0# to turn the service off/on at an instant. *xxxx# to change the password instantly. Where xxxx is a 4-digit passcode.

Here is how it should work:

A caller dials a number - any number, listed or private/unlisted. It makes no difference whether the caller is using a private number or other number to place the call. It is the called number that will be filtered.

The filter intercepts the call/text message and greets the caller with this message:

"Thank you for calling. Please enter the 4-digit passcode for connection."

If the caller fails to enter the correct passcode the recording says "You have endered an invalid passcode. Call back to try again."

And then hangs up on the caller. The person called would not even know that their phone was ever called. It could take up to 1,000 calls to the same number to get through. The phone companies can easily detect that many calls from the same number in rapid succession and alert the authorities.

If the caller enters the correct passcode then the phone service/text message works normally (rings, mailbox, text message, etc).

Now, all the owner of the phone or cell phone has to do is give the passcode to whomever they wish. Those with the code get through, those who don't, can't. A perfect solution.

Note: most autodialer/robodialers are programmed up to 11 digits. This expands it by at least 3 addtitional. So they would have to either reprogram their machines or buy new one's, and STILL have a 1 in 1000 chance of getting the right passcode.

This will instantly stop all robo calls, wrong numbers, harassing calls, phone scammers, and even those 'in laws' you do not want to talk to. The do not call registry will no longer be needed, except for perhaps business use.

If the owner of the phone number has the filter turned off then all calls/texts go through normally.

This must be forced upon the cell phone carriers too, since people are starting to make bad calls to those as well. It must also be a free service for everyone. It costs the phone companies virtually nothing to maintain the system once it is installed. Installation is but a few lines of coding in their existing scheme.

About 911 services - those can be automatically sent past the filters by the phone companies easily.

Service notifications such as 'you have x-minutes remaining' or similar can be allowed to bypass the filter at the carrier level.

I personally pay by the minute for my cell phone - x minutes per month then get cut off. In or outgoing calls are the same. So this would be a great benefit for people like me as well.

If I am the winner then I will provide my real name and address via phone call. Until then, I will remain as I am listed.

If you do not choose my suggestion, would you kindly let me know what you thought of it? Everyone else I asked LOVES the idea. And not a single person said they didn't like it.

Uploaded photo courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Telecommuncations_g177-Unlocked_On_Mobile_Phone_p104043.html and used by permission

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