New hang-ups over telemarketing calls

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There's a new move tonight to protect you from something that's both illegal and annoying. Lawmakers are trying to cut the calls thousands of us get each year from telemarketers.

"Hello," says Gary Wright into his ringing phone.

When there's a pause, he says "Goodbye." He hates junk mail and junk phone calls.

"As soon as I hear a pause, I automatically know it is going to be one of those calls," he said of the robocalls from telemarketers. "And I would say 50 percent of those are those kind of calls, at least."

It happens with home phones and now cell phones, too. Even though Gary hangs up before the recorded sales pitch, the telemarketer still wins. The caller now knows someone answers Gary's phone and can now sell that number to another telemarketer.

"This is the sleeper bill of the session for consumers," said State Sen. James Merritt of Indianapolis.

Under the bill, now awaiting the governor's signature, if a company buys your number from a telemarketer, it would be illegal for that buyer to use the number if it's on the state's Do Not Call list.

"It'll allow us to globally go after entities that are actually making these phone calls and profiting off them," Merritt said.

Globally, because some of the telemarketers operate overseas. They use technology that makes them hard to trace with phony phone numbers that go back to nowhere.

"I find it annoying, I find it distracting and I think it's rude," said Wright, who is on the Do Not Call list.

Last year, the Indiana Attorney General took almost 13,6000 complaints about telemarketers violating the Do Not Call list. Half of those were robocalls.

So far this year, 2,100 complaints. That's good news. About 400 fewer than this time last year.

Is the new law needed? Wright says it is very much needed.

"You don't want people coming in unless you know they are coming in and to interrupt someone's day like that is very inconsiderate," he said.

To be fully protected by the law you must have your name on Indiana's Do Not Call list.