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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 http://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.
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, visit http://in.gov/attorneygeneral/2538.htm.
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 http://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 http://www.IndianaConsumer.com.
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