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Hoosiers filed 14,000 complaints about unwanted calls in 2013. That number is down nearly 36 percent from the year before. The reduction in complaints is due to the aggressive enforcement efforts of the Indiana Attorney General's office and the Federal Trade Commission. Even though we are making progress, Indiana consumers are still plagued with phone calls playing automated messages known as robocalls. In fact, more than 50 percent of the complaints filed last year were regarding robocalls.
Federal and state leaders agree that accessibility, affordability and caller-ID spoofing technology have helped create this flood of robocalls. Illegitimate businesses and scammers using VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol can make thousands of calls per minute – at a low cost – from anywhere in the world. Caller ID spoofing technology allows scammers to disguise the source of the call, so the number on your caller ID is often phony.
In Indiana, most robocalls are illegal regardless of whether or not your 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 legal if a live phone operator first obtains your permission before playing a pre-recorded message.
The Attorney General’s Office is working hard to identify ways to better trace illegal calls, prosecute violators and combat caller-ID spoofing.
Continue enforcement actions against robocallers and Do Not Call violators
In April 2014, Zoeller and the Missouri Attorney General hosted the first-ever "No-Call Law Enforcement Summit" to bring together state and federal partners to identify best practices for tracking and prosecuting violators. In March 2014, Zoeller supported a resolution passed by the Indiana General Assembly which called on the Federal Communications Commission to more aggressively regulate telemarketing calls and robocalls that violate Hoosiers’ telephone privacy. In Sept. 2012, Zoeller conducted a series of roundtable discussions with industry experts, elected officials and consumer groups to find more effective ways to prevent Hoosiers from receiving unwanted calls and text messages. In Oct. 2012, Zoeller was selected to bring his ideas from the roundtable discussions and present them during a key panel at the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Summit in Washington, D.C.
What to do if you receive a robocall