Feb 202011
 February 20, 2011  Posted by  Laws

Attorney General Greg Zoeller stopped at Ball State University this week to talk with students about a proposed law that will allow Hoosiers to register cell phone numbers on the state’s Do Not Call list.

The Indiana House of Representatives on January 31 voted 95-0 to approve House Bill 1273 and send it to the Indiana Senate for consideration. Under the proposed law, the Attorney General’s office would have greater enforcement authority over telemarketers who make unwanted solicitation calls to Indiana phone numbers, whether they be to landlines, cell phones or internet-based VOIP lines, that are registered on the state’s Do Not Call list. Additionally, the legislation prohibits the practice of sending text- or picture-based solicitations to cell phones, which often are costly to recipients.

Attorney General Zoeller sought the update to the current law by clearly defining a “residential phone number” to include any Indiana cell phone number used by an Indiana resident at home.

“We have worked hard over the years to ensure that Indiana has the strongest telephone privacy laws in the country and now we want to guarantee those protections to the many Hoosiers who use their cell phones at home to limit disruptive telemarketing calls,” Zoeller said. “Hoosiers who enjoy their privacy have made the Do Not Call list Indiana’s most popular state government program has the added benefit of acting as a warning sign to those on the list. If you get a sales call on a number you know is registered, that’s a red flag the person on the other end is ignoring Indiana laws and it’s probably a scam. And the same goes for text message solicitations.”

House Bill 1273 now advances to the Indiana Senate. Similar wording is also contained in a separate bill, Senate Bill 9, which passed in the Senate on February 8. Zoeller is optimistic that a final version of the proposal will pass both houses of the Legislature and go to the governor’s desk. Zoeller today thanked local State Representative Dennis Tyler, D-Muncie, and State Senator Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown, for voting for the consumer-friendly legislation.

Today Zoeller encouraged students to become early adopters of the Do Not Call List for cell phones if HB 1273 or SB 9 is passed into law. College students, most of whom opt out of paying for an additional landline in their apartments or dorms, are no strangers to loans and credit card debt and may be accustomed to receiving interest rate reduction calls or credit repair offers, many of which are scams or illegal in Indiana. Having the ability to register an Indiana cell phone number on the Do Not Call list will make it easier for students to identify a legitimate call from a fraud.

The legislative proposal would not affect the way the Do Not Call list functions. Hoosiers can sign up or confirm registration by visiting the Attorney General’s website – www.IndianaConsumer.com — or by calling 1-888-834-9969 . A phone number will never fall off the list or “expire”; however it is recommended that, in the event of a move or other information change, to update the registration. In order to provide telemarketers with the most current Do Not Call list, updates are provided on a quarterly schedule:

May 17 June 1 July 1
August 16 September 1 October 1
November 15 December 1 January 1, 2012

As of the most recent second-quarter registration deadline earlier this week, approximately 44,000 additional consumers statewide had signed up. Being placed on the Do Not Call list will eliminate most telemarketing calls, but not all. Under Indiana law, certain groups still may make calls to those on the list including insurance agents, realtors, newspapers and most charities. If a call which does not fit one of these exceptions is received, consumers are encouraged to file a complaint online at www.indianaconsumer.com or by calling 1-888-834-9969

Source: Attorney General Zoeller .

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