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[ATG] Health insurance agent faces state lawsuit for robocalling Hoosiers
Start Date: 11/15/2013 All Day
End Date: 11/15/2013
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said while Indiana residents welcome lower health insurance rates, agents using robocalls to solicit Hoosiers is illegal and their sales pitches may backfire. 

Nearly 50 consumers filed complaints earlier this year after receiving robocalls or prerecorded phone messages offering affordable health insurance. Zoeller’s office determined the calls stemmed from Andrew D. Ross, a Nevada agent, who has a non-resident license in Indiana to sell insurance.

“With the recent rollout of the federal health care law, the number of callers soliciting discounted health insurance products will likely increase,” Zoeller said. "It’s important Hoosiers know what to look out for and don’t hand over personal information to unsolicited callers who have not been verified.”

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.

Zoeller filed a lawsuit against Ross in Marion County Superior Court on Thursday, for making at least 47 calls between January and May to residents across the state. According to the lawsuit, Ross is accused of violating the Indiana Telephone Solicitation of Consumers Act and the Indiana Regulation of Automatic Dialing Machines Act. The Attorney General’s office seeks civil penalties, investigation and prosecution costs, and to stop the illegal calls. Zoeller said the lawsuit has been forwarded to the Indiana Department of Insurance for their consideration.

If someone gets a call offering health insurance, they can verify the agent is licensed with the Indiana Department of insurance (IDOI) by checking here or by calling the IDOI consumer services division at 800-622-4461. Consumers can file insurance-related complaints by visiting www.in.gov/IDOI.

Zoeller said consumers should be on alert for these types of calls with the recent rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For more information about scams and what to look out for visit www.IndianaConsumer.com/ACA.

The next quarterly deadline to register for the state’s Do Not Call list is Tuesday, Aug. 20. Consumers can register their residential landline, cell, VOIP or prepaid wireless numbers for free by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1.888.834.9969. Individuals do not need to re-register unless their address has changed. 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 with the Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com.

Zoeller said consumer complaints help the Attorney General’s office bring enforcement actions against violators and stop unwanted calls. Since 2009, the office has obtained 124 settlements or judgments against companies that violated Indiana’s telephone privacy laws. The total awarded to the state has been more than $20.5 million. Zoeller said the money collected is used to defray the cost of enforcing the state’s telephone privacy laws.

The Attorney General’s office also shares caller-ID numbers of suspected illegal telemarketers with companies that block spam callers for their customers. Zoeller said that while many investigations into the source of unwanted calls turn up empty due to internet-based technology most of the reported caller ID numbers are now being shared with companies that can use the numbers to block calls for their customers.  

Zoeller thanked Deputy Attorney General Eliza Bradley for her work on the case against Ross and commitment to the Telephone Privacy Section within the Attorney General’s office.

-30-

Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: erin.reece@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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