INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a lawsuit against an Indiana company that acted as a gateway into the United States for robocallers in India, the Philippines, and Singapore.
The Indiana company, called Startel Communication LLC, was owned and operated in Evansville by Wanda Hall and Abhijit Chowdbury.
These robocallers allegedly made more than 4.8 million calls to Hoosiers, as well as hundreds of millions of calls to other states across the country. The robocallers operated a variety of scams which included the IRS and Social Security Administration imposter scams, legal action or arrest scams, computer support scams, Apple support scams, and Amazon subscription scams.
“Hoosiers are sick and tired of being harassed by illegal and unwanted robocalls, and Kathy and I are two of them,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Just as I promised, we will stay on the offense in our efforts to protect Indiana consumers and bring these people to justice.”
The lawsuit is part of Rokita's crackdown on providers that knowingly profit from robocalls. The lawsuit also includes two companies out of California, Piratel LLC, and VoIP Essential LLC. Both companies knew Startel Communication LLC was sending robocalls, and they each were paid more than $100,000 to look the other way.
More than 780,000 Hoosiers that were called were on the federal Do Not Call Registry and over 605,000 were on the Indiana Do Not Call list.
Attorney General Todd Rokita offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card or crypto-currency (Bitcoin).
- Look out for prerecorded calls from government agencies you were not expecting. Typically, the IRS and SSA do not call people.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, do not provide any personal information and end the call.
- Contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-888-834-9969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Add your number to the Indiana Do Not Call List by clicking here.
- File a Do Not Call or Text complaint by clicking here.