State sues medical alert company for unwanted calls

By Olivia Ober
The Statehouse File

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed a lawsuit and obtained a temporary restraining order against a Florida company accused of illegally calling more than 660 Hoosiers registered on the state’s Do Not Call list.

Safeline Alert – called also Elite Information Solutions– illegally called 620 numbers, all registered on Indiana’s Do Not Call list, the attorney general’s office said. The list is a free service aimed at protecting Hoosiers from receiving unwanted calls from telemarketers.

The calls, which offered customers medical alert devices, were made between June and August of this year. Zoeller said his office received more than 540 complaints in which Hoosiers said they received an automated message or robo-call. These calls violate Indiana’s Auto-Dialer Act.

“In this case, the attorney general’s office successfully received a temporary restraining order to help stop Hoosiers from receiving any more of these unwanted calls,” Zoeller said. “These actions should send a strong message to those businesses violating the state’s strict telephone privacy laws.”

Officials at Safeline Alert could not be reached for comment.

The complaint filed in Marion County alleges the company violated the Do Not Call list and Auto-Dialer Act – and that the company did not obtain a certificate of authority from the Indiana Secretary of State in order to conduct business.

Safeline, according to the company’s website, offers products including medical alert devices and monitoring services.

The Attorney General’s office now seeks civil penalties, consumer restitution, attorney fees and permanent injunction against future calls.

Since the state created the Do Not Call law in 2002, the Attorney General’s office has obtained more than $16.8 million in penalties and costs after obtaining 296 settlements with or judgments against various telemarketers.

“Our office acknowledges that our Do Not Call law is not impervious to those who intend to deceive Hoosiers and break the law,” Zoeller said. “However, our commitment to enforcing the state’s statutes remains strong and we will continue to seek new ways to stop these calls and prosecute violators.”

The next quarterly deadline to sign up for the Do Not Call list to protect against unwanted calls and text messages is next Tuesday and the list will be updated Oct. 1. Individuals do not need to re-register unless their address has changed.

Olivia Ober is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Correction: This story has been corrected from its original version.
Due to a source error, the name of the company accused of making unlawful calls to Hoosiers was not correctly identified. The name of the firm is Elite Information Solutions. TheStatehouseFile.com regrets the error.
To read previous corrections, please click here to go to our corrections page.
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