Bryan Cohen Aug. 16, 2013, 7:25pm

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) -- Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Thursday a partnership with companies that block spam callers in an effort to help Hoosiers avoid receiving unwanted calls.

Since January, Zoeller's office has received more than 8,600 complaints about unwanted phone calls, more than half of which were about prerecorded calls, also known as robocalls.

While many of the inquiries into the source of the calls come up empty because of Internet-based Voice Over Internet Protocol technology, many of the reported caller ID numbers are being shared with three companies that block more calls for their customers.

"Sharing our database of spam callers with private businesses allows us to help Indiana consumers who pay for additional call-blocking services and are tired of receiving annoying sales calls," the attorney general said in a statement.

"These new partnerships add another layer to the ongoing efforts of my office to cut down on the number of unwanted calls Hoosiers receive."

Zoeller's office shared thousands of spam caller ID numbers with the Kedlin Company, Ooma Inc. and Nomorobo.

Kedlin said the data supplied by Zoeller's office resulted in 35,000 unwanted calls being blocked by its customers during a two-month period.

Ooma offers its customers a community blacklist option to stop telemarketers before they call.

Nomorobo was one of two winners of a Federal Trade Commission public challenge to develop a solution to block illegal robocalls, using technology to blacklist robocalls while whitelisting acceptable callers.

Zoeller said his office is looking to partner with other organizations and businesses that offer similar technology for blocking calls.

Since 2009, the office has obtained 110 settlements or judgments against companies violating the state's telephone privacy laws. The $18.7 million awarded in the settlements or judgments was used to defray the cost of enforcing the state's telephone privacy laws.

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