For years I have been warning you about the dangers of cramming. Cramming is the name for putting unauthorized third party charges on to a consumer’s telephone bill without the knowledge or approval of the consumer. This has long been a problem with landline phones and in recent years has become a major problem with cellular service. There are many ways that these unauthorized charges make their way to a victim’s phone, sometimes, consumers actually unknowingly sign up for premium texting services that may be for things such as flirting tips, horoscopes or celebrity gossip. Whatever the source of the charges, they are fraudulent and typically cost about $9.99 per month and continue to appear for months without end.
As I reported to you in December of 2014 when it occurred, the FTC settled cramming charges with T-Mobile under the terms of which T-Mobile would pay refunds to affected customers. According to the term of the settlement, T-Mobile was required to contact all of its present and former customers who were subjected to cramming and inform them of the refund program and claims process. Now, more than two years later, the FTC is finally sending about 20 million dollars to the victims of this scam. Check out the tab at the top of this page entitled “FTC Scam Refunds” if this settlement affects you for more information about receiving your check.
If you were or are a T-Mobile customer, you should carefully review your phone bill to identify if cramming charges appeared anywhere on your bill and follow the procedure indicated by T-Mobile to make a claim. Even if you are not a T-Mobile customer you should always carefully review your phone bill each month to make sure that there are no unauthorized charges. These charges often appear with vague descriptions so if you don’t recognize any charge, you should contact your provider to explain the charges to you.