Lawsuit may reveal “Tom” technology

Discovered through a tip from a reader, a patent lawsuit (Noguar et al v. 1TO1 Sales Group et al) reveals quite a bit about the technology that may be behind the “Tom” calls. This patent document describes the use of prerecorded audio clips that an agent can deploy to respond to a prospective customer. The scariest part to me is the tactic of collecting information from the call and linking it to the identity or profile of the person called. Simple things like gender and interests can be easily retained and used in future attempts (or of course sold to others).

Notice in the lawsuit, the infamous “1 to 1 Sales Group” which has been linked to the “Tom” calls on sites like for some time. I’ve also noticed ads for off shore BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) providers that specifically list  “non voice” jobs. Of  course an accent is no barrier if you are simply listening and playing professionally recorded audio clips to the person on the line.


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