NewsPublic AffairsGovernment / March 19, 2014

State Asks Feds For Help With Overseas-Based Robocalls

Erika Brock - TheStatehouseFile.com

State officials are urging the federal government to take the problem of robo-calls generated outside of the United State more seriously with a resolution slated to be sent to the Federal Communications Commission.

“The resolution calls on the FCC, who is the only entity who can help stop the massive robo-calling from the Voice over Internet Protocol continue to harass the people of Indiana,” said Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

A typical scenario, said Rep Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, is when an international company lies about where they are calling from by using local numbers in the caller IDs and ignoring the state and federal laws.

There are 23 million Hoosiers on the Do Not Call list and in 2013 there were approximately 14,000 complaints from consumers who received unwanted soliciting calls despite being on the list.  Speedy said Senate Concurrent Resolution 16 – passed before the General Assembly adjourned last week – will urge the federal government to do its job to protect the privacy of Hoosiers.

“Because of advancing technology, Hoosiers registered on Indiana’s Do Not Call list are still exposed to scams and automated solicitations. By adapting state law to these new telemarketing methods, we can ensure the Do Not Call list remains current and effective,” Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, said.

The General Assembly also approved Senate Bill 349, authored by Merritt, that updates Indiana’s statutes to prohibit companies from exploiting technology to evade the Do Not Call law and telephone solicitant.

Merritt said the legislation won’t stop all calls, something he’s not sure could ever happen because of continuously improving technology.

“This bill is near and dear to the roll of the office of the attorney general,” Zoeller said in support of the bill.

Erika Brock is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.