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[ATG] AG: Explore call-blocking options to reduce unwanted calls
Start Date: 9/16/2015Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/16/2015
Entry Description

INDIANPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is encouraging Hoosiers who are still receiving unwanted, intrusive phone calls to explore available call-blocking options using a new call-blocking reference sheet offered by the Attorney General’s Office.

Though the state’s Do Not Call list is effective in preventing legitimate telemarketers from contacting people, Zoeller said, it does not stop illegal telemarketers and robocallers who disregard state and federal laws. Unwanted calls remain the top complaint received by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, with 7,500 complaints filed in 2015.

The Attorney General’s Office created its new call-blocking reference sheet to inform the public about available options and encourage development of new options. The non-exhaustive reference sheet outlines different call-blocking applications and information about each option, including who is able to use it, the cost, benefits, weaknesses and how to get it. 

The Indiana Attorney General’s Telephone Privacy Director, Marguerite Sweeney, presented these options and analysis on what types of call-blocking services work best at a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) workshop on the subject today. More information on the workshop is available here.

“My office works diligently to prosecute callers who make illegal telemarketing and scam calls, but our efforts alone cannot stop the problem,” Zoeller said. “A majority of unwanted calls are coming from scam artists, criminals and massive robocall operations overseas. The best way to stop these types of intrusive calls is to block them before they ever reach your phone. Thankfully technology is advancing and more of these options are becoming available.”

At the urging of Zoeller and his fellow state attorneys general, the FCC declared in June that federal law does not prohibit phone carriers from blocking robocalls and robotexts before they reach residential landlines or cell phones. This ruling cleared legal hurdles that some say were preventing the phone carriers from offering call-blocking services.

Zoeller has been urging phone companies that do not currently provide comprehensive call-blocking service to make it available to customers as soon as possible and to take steps to better inform their customers that the service exists. He led 45 state attorneys general in a letter to five major phone carriers in July urging action on call-blocking.

Until more comprehensive services are available, Zoeller urges Hoosiers to explore call-blocking options that currently exist.

Several of the options outlined in the Attorney General’s reference sheet are applications that people can install themselves on their cell phones or internet-based telephone services (VoIP) or are available through their phone contracts, including:

  • NoMoRobo for VoIP;
  • Call Blocker and Call Rejection for Android users;
  • Block this Caller for iPhones; and
  • Various blocking features through service providers.

Some of these applications are free while others are available for a fee. The Attorney General’s Office will update the reference sheet as more services become available.

To sign up for the Do Not Call list, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com or call 1.888.834.9969. Individuals do not need to re-register unless their address has changed.

People who receive an unwanted call or are targeted by a phone scam can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or calling 1.888.834.9969.

Contact Information:
Name: Molly Gillaspie
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: molly.gillaspie@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Government
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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