September 20, 2012

From the Indiana Attorney General

Top ways to respond to telemarketers and robocallers

Feel like sounding off about those annoying telemarketing calls and text messages? You’re not alone.

More than 16,000 consumers have filed Do Not Call and robocall complaints with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office so far this year – that’s more than the total number received in 2011. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller wants you to know he is on your side and working to identify ways to better trace illegal calls, prosecute violators and combat caller ID spoofing.

Why so many calls? Scammers don’t follow the law so they don’t filter out phone numbers registered on Indiana’s Do Not Call list. Caller ID spoofing technology allows them to disguise the source of the call to evade investigators and prosecution. Companies and scammers can use autodialers to send out thousands of phone calls every minute at a low cost.

What can you do if you receive a robocall? Hang up immediately. If possible find a way to block the number. Do not press a number to get off the list. Pressing a number confirms the scammers called a working line and they can sell your information. 

Answer an unwanted call from a live operator? Write down as much information as you can, including the name of the telemarketing company, the location from which they are calling, the name of the person calling, the phone number and the product or service they offer.

Report these telephone privacy violations to the Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint online at www.indianaconsumer.com or by calling 1.888.834.9969. Also, tell your family and friends what to do if they receive an unsolicited call or text. You could save them from becoming a victim of a scam.