HomeTop StoriesOhio ranks second in Do Not Call complaints; here's how you...

Ohio ranks second in Do Not Call complaints; here’s how you can make a difference

April 17 – Ohioans who are members of the Do Not Call Registry file fewer complaints about receiving unwanted sales calls, but the Buckeye State still ranks second in the nation in complaints per capita, according to recent data of the Federal Trade Commission.

Junk calls are a problem for many Ohioans, said Merrilee Embs, director of public affairs for the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel.

But consumers can take steps to help reduce the number of calls and bring bad actors to the attention of regulators and authorities, including those responsible for illegal robocalls.

“Our secret weapon is consumers – who we urge to continue reporting illegal robocalls so we can disconnect these unwanted illegal robocallers once and for all,” the Ohio Attorney General said. Dave Jost said in a prepared statement last year.

Nearly 9.9 million phone numbers in Ohio are included in the National Do Not Call Registry.

When consumers put their phone numbers on the registry, companies are telling them they don’t want to receive most telemarketing calls, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says.

The FTC says telemarketers and sellers must remove numbers added to the registry from their calling lists at least every 31 days.

But last year, the FTC received approximately 109,125 Do Not Call Registry complaints from Ohio consumers, which was the second-highest number per capita behind only Delaware. Consumers in Butler, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties filed about 9,150 complaints last year.

See also  Attorney General Announces Three Arrests in Child Abuse Investigation Related to Meta

The Federal Trade Commission asks consumers to notify the agency when companies violate Do Not Call rules.

Telemarketers must adhere to certain rules. For example, they may not attempt to sell products and services using robocalls unless Ohio consumers have given the companies their written consent, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel says.

In Ohio, telemarketers are required to provide consumers with their real names, the names of their companies, the purpose of their calls and information about what is being sold, counsel said.

But that hasn’t stopped some companies and telemarketers from breaking the law.

Do Not Call complaints filed by Ohio consumers fell about 22% last year, the FTC says, with complaints falling even more sharply in Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Butler counties.

But Warren County consumers filed 1,200 complaints, a 7% increase from 2022. The FTC received 1,270 complaints from people in Miami County, a 78% increase from the previous year.

Miami County had the eighth most complaints per capita, among Ohio’s 88 counties.

See also  Trump's legal bills are eating up his money. And Biden is spending millions on him.

Officials say Ohioans should remember that adding a phone number to the do-not-call registry won’t stop all scammers from calling. They say consumers should be wary of companies and sellers that use robocalls or ignore Do Not Call rules because it suggests they are scammers or don’t have diligent sales practices.

The Ohio attorney general’s office says it hopes the declining number of complaints reflects its efforts to stop robocalls.

“AG Yost has made it a priority to reduce the number of calls made to Ohioans,” said Steve Irwin, Yost press secretary. “His efforts included pursuing the people responsible for the calls.”

Last month, Yost and seven attorneys general asked a federal judge to permanently ban one of the owners of a massive robocaller operation from working in the telecommunications industry.

The operators initiated more than 69 million robocalls to phone numbers associated with the Ohio area code.

Attorneys general said the Texas-based operation was responsible for billions of deceptive robocalls offering extended car warranties and health care services to people in Ohio and other states.

Later, one of the owners was charged with facilitating illegal and scam robocalls involving Amazon, government agencies, and student loans.

The companies allegedly called people on the Do Not Call registry and “spoofed” calls to make them appear as if they were from Ohio or as legitimate phone numbers.

See also  Spain withdraws its ambassador to Argentina after comments by President Milei

The FTC says consumers who receive illegal robocalls should hang up immediately and not press any buttons or attempt to talk to a live person, as this could lead to more unwanted calls.

Yost’s office says filing complaints about unwanted calls is part of the solution.

Even if Ohio residents put their numbers on the Do Not Call registry, they can still receive legal calls from political groups and some nonprofits. Telemarketers can also still call consumers if they have done business with their company in the past 18 months.

Consumer advocacy groups say Ohioans who no longer want to be contacted should ask these companies to put their phone numbers on their internal do-not-call lists.

Consumers can register phone numbers online in the Do Not Call registry at donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone numbers they wish to register.

Consumers can report potential Do Not Call violations to the FTC at www.donotcall.gov/report.html#step1.

Consumers who receive unwanted calls can complete an unwanted call reporting form at www.OhioProtects.org. That information is forwarded to the Robocall Enforcement Unit, which says it uses the reports to identify trends to protect Ohioans.

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments