How to Beat a Mobile Cramming Scam

Have you checked your mobile phone bill lately? See any charges for random text messages you get? Not reading your statement with an eye out for fraudulent charges crammed onto your bill can be a costly mistake.

A recent case settled by the FTC claimed that Tatto Inc., a company that creates and sends celebrity gossip, trivia, and horoscope text messages to phones, crammed a $9.99 monthly “Premium Text Messaging Services” subscription charge onto people’s phone bills without their knowledge or consent. Although many people ignored the text messages as spam, the charge still was on their bill. Worse yet, when they detected the charges and reported them to their phone carrier, or directly to Tatto, Inc., many customers couldn’t get adequate refunds for the months of fraudulent charges they hadn’t noticed.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to detect and avoid cramming charges on your mobile bill:

  • Check your phone bill each month. It’s easy to ignore a billing statement after you’ve set up automated online payments. But taking time to read your statement online or the bill in the mail will help you detect fraudulent charges, and save you money.
  • Treat websites that ask for your mobile phone number with caution. Phony websites advertising free prizes (think Justin Bieber tickets) in exchange for your mobile phone number, or other personal information, could be setting you up for a cram.
  • Consider a block on third-party charges. Many phone carriers offer third-party blocking service for free.
  • Know your mobile phone carrier’s policy on refunds for fraudulent charges. Some carriers have a 60-day period for refund requests. Even if you’ve detected a years’ worth of fraudulent charges, the phone carrier may offer to refund only a part of it.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of cramming, contact your phone carrier first about the charges, and file a complaint with the FTC.

Blog Topic: 
Scam Alerts, Technology

Leave a Comment

Commenting Policy

Este es un blog moderado; revisamos todos los comentarios antes de publicarlos. Esperamos que los participantes se traten respetuosamente entre sí y que traten con respeto a los demás bloggers. No publicaremos los comentarios que no cumplan con nuestra política de comentarios. Si un comentario incluye un enlace a un sitio comercial, quitaremos el enlace y publicaremos el comentario. Sólo editaremos los comentarios para quitar los enlaces comerciales.

No publicaremos:

  • spam ni cometarios no relacionados con el tema del blog
  • comentarios que contengan lenguaje vulgar, ataques personales o términos ofensivos dirigidos contra grupos específicos
  • ofrecimientos de venta o promociones
  • comentarios que contengan información que sea obviamente engañosa o falsa
  • comentarios que contengan información personal, como por ejemplo, domicilios privados

Los comentarios enviados a este blog se convierten en material de dominio público. Para proteger su privacidad y la de las demás personas, por favor no incluya información personal. No use este blog para reportar el fraude. Si desea puede presentar una queja. Si tiene preguntas sobre la política aplicable a los comentarios, por favor contáctenos.

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a
user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act
authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online
comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s
(FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer
user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the
FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles
information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.