Business and Economics

Robocalls Prompt More To Join “Do Not Call” List

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November 17, 2014 — The use of robocalls to solicit Hoosiers over the phone continues to rise, said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

About 60 percent of the 10,000 Do Not Call complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Telephone Privacy Division in 2014 site robocalls.

Robocalling, which refers to the use of technology that automatically dials residential phone numbers and plays prerecorded messages, is illegal in Indiana under its Auto Dialer Law.

The Attorney General’s Office continues to crack down on telemarketers or scammers who disregard Indiana’s telephone privacy statutes. In 2014 so far, the Office has taken legal action against 11 Do Not Call or robocall violators, and obtained judgments and settlements totaling more than $6 million.

As the Attorney General’s Office works to uphold Hoosiers’ privacy, members of the public who wish to block unwanted calls are encouraged to sign up for the state’s Do Not Call list by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or calling 1.888.834.9969. The next quarterly deadline to sign up for the list is Tuesday, Nov. 18. Nearly two and a half million Indiana phone numbers are currently registered.

“If you are registered on Indiana’s Do Not Call list and are still being harassed by telemarketers or robocalls, the Attorney General’s Office is able to seek stiffer penalties for these violations,” Zoeller said. “If you are not registered, I encourage you to sign up and to report violators to my office. These calls are not only annoying, they are often scams.”

The top five complaint categories received by the Telephone Privacy Division in 2014 include:

  • Credit services
  • Home security systems
  • Phishing scams, including fake “IRS calls”
  • Computer services, i.e. tech support scam calls
  • Prizes/sweepstakes scams

For tips on avoiding telephone scams, go to the Attorney General’s website.

In Indiana, most robocalls are illegal regardless of whether or not a consumer’s number is registered on the Do Not Call list. Exceptions include calls from school districts to students, parents or employees and businesses advising employees of work schedules. It is also legal if a live phone operator first obtains your permission before playing a pre-recorded message.

Consumers can register their residential landline, cell, VOIP or prepaid wireless numbers on the Do Not Call list. Individuals do not need to re-register unless their address has changed. To sign up or to confirm a number is already on the list, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com or call 1.888.834.9969. Out-of-state area codes can also be added as long as the billing address is located in Indiana.

Those consumers who are registered and receive an unwanted call can file a complaint by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com.

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