After an extended wait, the FCC plans to issue a ruling this week that may put an end to robocalls, scam text messages and telemarketing calls to home phones. Unwanted calls and telephone harassment continue to be the most common complaint received by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, reaching more than 13,000 filed complaints last year.
One of the central points in the proposed rule would allow phone carriers to enable a call-blocking option that would screen robocalls before they reach landlines. Previous rules prevented phone carriers from providing this service despite Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s request to update it in the past.
As a result, Zoeller is also urging Hoosiers to call or email the FCC and request that the agency approve new rules and protect telephone privacy rights.
“Because most phone scams and robocalls originate overseas, it is very difficult for states to put a stop to this harassment despite our continued efforts,” Zoeller said. “I am calling on all Hoosiers to let their voices be heard and put pressure on the FCC to fix these outdated rules.”
The Indiana attorney general encourages everyone to sign up for Indiana’s Do Not Call list, which can be done by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-888-834-9969. Unless an address has changed, telephone carriers do not need to re-register.
As stated by Zoeller, some additional tips to avoid getting scammed by an unwanted caller include:
• Don’t let a telephone solicitor pressure you to make an immediate decision
• Ask for a caller’s contact information and tell them you will call them back. Verify that the number they gave you is connected to a legitimate company by doing your own research.
• Do not wire money or make payments over the phone unless you have independently verified the caller.
• Hang up on recorded message calls or “robocalls.” Don’t press any numbers.
If targeted by a phone scam from an unwanted caller, individuals can file a complaint with the attorney general’s office by going to www.IndianaConsumer.com or calling 1-888-834-9969.