Scam of the day – December 7, 2012 – Cell phone cramming increasing

On my Scam of the day of April 2, 2012 I warned you about increases in the scam of cramming.  Now it appears the problem is worsening to a point where it is estimated that the cost of cramming nationally is estimated to be as high as sixty million dollars.  Cramming is the act of putting unauthorized charges on your telephone bill..  These charges may be a one time phony charge or, more commonly, they may turn into a regular monthly charge on your phone bill  Telephone bills today are so complicated, long and full of fine print that many people  do not bother to read their bills.  Landline phones have long been a target of scammers for cramming, but the problem is increasingly focusing on cell phone users and their bills.  We are our own worst enemy when it comes to cramming because unknowingly many people authorize the charges when they enter a sweepstakes or  download a ringtone or other “free” service that carries with it buried within the fine print an agreement for the crammed charge.

TIPS

There are no free lunches so if you are going to receive something free or entering a contest, make sure that you read the fine print, as boring as it may seem so that you can make sure that you are not signing up for a continuing service for which you will be charged.  Carefully go through your cell phone bill each month and look for charges that you don’t recognize.  Often these charges may appear characterized as “miscellaneous charges and credits” or “member fees.”  If you find such fraudulent charges, contact your wireless provider and have the charge removed.