Ind. AG: Cell phones should be on Do Not Call list

Keith Loria Feb. 22, 2011, 2:42am

MUNCIE, Ind. (Legal Newsline) - Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller spoke on Friday about proposed legislation that would allow cell phone numbers to be added to the state's Do Not Call registry.

In House Bill 1273, Zoeller seeks to update the current Do Not Call law by clearly defining that a residential phone number includes any Indiana cell phone number used by an Indiana resident at home.

On Jan. 31, the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously voted 95-0 to approve House Bill 1273 and send it to the Indiana Senate for consideration. Similar wording is also contained in a separate bill, Senate Bill 9, which passed in the Senate on February 8.

"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."

The proposed law would grant Zoeller's office greater enforcement authority over telemarketers who engage in unwanted solicitation calls to all Indiana phone numbers registered on the state's Do Not Call list.

The legislation would also prohibit companies from sending text- or picture-based solicitations to cell phones.

"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," Zoeller said. "And the same goes for text message solicitations."

Zoeller said that he expects a final version of the proposal will pass both houses of the legislature and reach the desk of the governor for his signature.

Under state law, insurance agents, realtors, newspapers and most charities may still call people on the Do Not Call list.

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