1-10-22 Monday News 2 P.M.
Following a year of successful actions against robocallers, Attorney General Todd Rokita said today he will continue his aggressive leadership in protecting Hoosiers from such annoying and illegal interruptions.
“We in Indiana took the fight to robocallers in 2021,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Hoosiers are sick and tired of being harassed, and that includes Kathy and me. Beyond being a nuisance, robocalls are often aimed at scamming would-be victims out of their hard-earned money. We will stay on the offensive to protect Indiana consumers and bring wrongdoers to justice.”
In October, Attorney General Rokita filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against an Indiana company that allegedly acted as a gateway into the United States for robocallers in India, the Philippines and Singapore. The robocallers allegedly made more than 5 million phone calls to Hoosiers and hundreds of millions of calls to other states.
In August, Attorney General Rokita, as part of a coordinated multistate action, called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to shorten the deadline for small telephone companies to use required anti-robocall ID authentication technology. In November, the FCC followed the recommendation and shortened the deadline
In March, Attorney General Rokita, in another coordinated multistate action, stopped a massive telefunding operation that bombarded Hoosiers with more than 12 million deceptive charitable fundraising calls. Associated Community Services (ACS) and related defendants agreed to settle charges that they duped generous Americans into donating to charities that failed to provide services they promised.
In February, Attorney General Rokita’s office coauthored a winning brief in the case Lindenbaum v. Realgy, in which a federal appeals court ensured Hoosiers were protected by federal telephone privacy laws that a district court had ruled unenforceable from 2015 to 2020.
Further, Attorney General Rokita revolutionized his office’s investigations by working with the telecommunications industry and implementing new technologies. These include YouMail robocall-tracking software and a ZipDx program for filtering, sorting and drilling down into data collected through the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database.
“An investigation that would have taken years now takes weeks,” Attorney General Rokita said. “The members of our Data Privacy and Identity Theft team have been excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars by efficiently and effectively handling cases. Hoosiers get a tremendous value from a relatively small staff.”
Partnerships with other states and federal agencies for joint investigations and enforcement actions have proven steadily productive, Attorney General Rokita added. Now, consumer complaints can lead to the prosecution of millions of violations.
Throughout 2021, Attorney General Rokita has continued Indiana’s role as a leader in telephone privacy. This includes coordinating a monthly call on privacy issues with all 50 states, different federal agencies and several international agencies.
Working with industry partners, Attorney General Rokita is also actively pursuing ways to stop robotexts before they become a bigger problem.
Attorney General Rokita offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, neither the Internal Revenue Service nor the Social Security Administration make phone calls to individuals.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately terminate the communication, and do not provide any personal information.
- Contact our Consumer Protection Division at 1-888-834-9969 or email@example.com.
- Add your number to the Indiana Do Not Call List at https://www.indonotcall.org/
- File a Do Not Call or Text complaint here: https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer-protection-division/file-a-complaint/do-not-calltext-complaint/