- Q: What is a robocall?
A: A “robocall” is an auto-dialed call that delivers a pre-recorded message.
- Q: Are robocalls legal?
A: What most people mean by a robocall is an unsolicited and unwanted auto-dialed pre-recorded message call that is most likely illegal. However, some auto-dialed pre-recorded calls are legal. Under Indiana law, the following pre-recorded calls are permitted:
- Messages from school districts to students, parents or employees.
- Messages from a caller with whom you have a current business or personal relationship.
- Messages advising employees of work schedules.
- Messages that you knowingly or voluntarily requested, consented to, permitted or authorized.
- Messages preceded by a live operator who obtains your consent before the message is delivered.
- Q: How big is the robocall problem?
A: It is estimated that Americans receive billions of robocalls every month.
- Q: Why do I still get robocalls when I am registered on the Do Not Call list?
A: Do Not Call lists were intended to stop legitimate telemarketers from calling people who do not wish to receive telephone solicitations. Many robocalls today are scams and shady solicitations from callers who don’t care about Do Not Call laws. They believe that they can operate without being caught.
- Q: Why are robocalls difficult to stop?
A: Robocallers use technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) and Caller ID Spoofing to hide their identities and locations from law enforcement. Also, many calls originate overseas, where it is difficult to enforce state law.
- Q: What are the Indiana statutes that deal with robocalls?
A: Three Indiana statutes touch upon robocalls:
⦁ Telephone Solicitation of Consumers Act (IC 24-4.7), also known as the Do Not Call law
⦁ Regulation of Automatic Dialing Machines (IC 24-5-14), also known as the Autodialer law
⦁ False and Misleading Caller Identification Act (IC 24-5-14.5)
- Q: What is the Indiana Attorney General’s Office Doing about Robocalls?
A: The Indiana Attorney General’s Office investigates every complaint we receive about an unwanted call, and we enforce the applicable statute whenever we locate a viable target. In addition, the Attorney General is working with other states and federal agencies to find and implement solutions to the robocall problem.
- Q: What can I do when I receive an unwanted robocall?
A: We recommend that you take the following steps:
1) Be cautious when providing your number on internet websites. Offers for prizes or “free” gift cards are often used to harvest telephone numbers for robocall solicitations.
2) Register your telephone numbers on all available Do Not Call lists. While it will not stop illegal robocalls and scams, it lets legitimate telemarketers know that you do not wish to receive telephone solicitations.
- Indiana Do Not Call list: visit https://www.indonotcall.org/registrations/new or call 1-800-382-5516
- National Do Not Call Registry: visit www.DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222
3) File a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s office. We investigate every complaint, and each complaint adds to our knowledge of telemarketing trends and scams.
- Indiana Attorney General complaint: https://indianaattorneygeneral.secure.force.com/TelephonePrivacy
- To assist our investigation, listen to the call long enough to learn the subject matter and other details about the call. Also, note the caller ID number and any telephone numbers mentioned in the message. If the caller leaves a message on your answering service, save it for our investigator to review. You can also file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
4) Explore call-blocking and other options available at the following links:
- FCC: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwanted-robocalls-and-texts
- FTC: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0548-blocking-unwanted-calls
- CTIA The Wireless Association: https://www.ctia.org/consumer-resources/how-to-stop-robocalls
- USTelecom: https://www.ustelecom.org/robocalls-action-center/
Note: The Indiana Attorney General does not endorse any product or service. The above links are provided for information only.
5) When you receive an unwanted call
- If you don’t recognize the number–don’t answer. Legitimate callers will leave a message.
- If you do answer, don’t press any numbers. Pressing numbers leads to more calls.
- If you plan to file a complaint about the call, then listen long enough to obtain the subject matter and any details that might help our investigation. Also, note the caller ID number and any numbers mentioned in the message. If the caller leaves a message on your answering service, save it for our investigator to review.
- Q: What if I have a question that was not answered in these FAQs?
A: Email us at DoNotCall@atg.in.gov