INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Hoosiers should be wary of calls and door-to-door solicitors offering home security or alarm systems.
More than 150 consumers from across the state recently filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office after receiving unwanted calls, including robocalls, offering home security systems. Zoeller’s office tracked the illegal out-of-state calls to Justin Ramsey, owner of Loyal Marketing, LLC, and subsequently filed a state lawsuit.
“Consumers should be cautious when receiving an unsolicited call or knock at the door from a home-security salesperson,” Zoeller said. “High-pressure or deceptive sales tactics are often used by scammers to convince you to buy an expensive alarm monitoring contract or replace your current alarm monitoring company. Hoosiers can usually expect an uptick in these types of solicitations leading into spring.”
A Hamilton County Superior Court judge awarded the state a Default Judgment against Ramsey which included $4.375M in civil penalties after the defendant failed to respond. Zoeller said the judgment marks the second highest total amount awarded to the state in a case involving telephone privacy violations, and his office will aggressively pursue what is owed to the state.
Zoeller said unscrupulous solicitors may make you a limited-time offer and pressure you to make a quick decision. Consumers should be on alert for offers of free security systems which are often attached to pricey, long-term system monitoring contracts. A salesperson may also tell consumers that their current security company has gone out of business or was purchased by the salesperson’s company, or may even use scare tactics by mentioning a rash of burglaries in your neighborhood.
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 advised Hoosiers that legitimate telemarketers will not call those numbers registered on the state’s Do Not Call list and that those who are on the state’s protected list should treat any unsolicited call as a scam and hang-up immediately.
The next quarterly deadline to register for the Do Not Call list is Tuesday, Feb. 18. 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 thanked Deputy Attorney General Eliza Bradley for her work on this case and dedication to the Consumer Protection Division within the Attorney General’s Office.