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 became 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.
In 2014 the FTC settled cramming charges with T-Mobile under the terms of which T-Mobile was required to return at least ninety million dollars 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. Two year later the refunds were sent by the FTC by check, however, many people failed to cash their checks and are now being contacted by email regarding getting their payment by PayPal. The email address being used to send these legitimate refund emails is NoReply@TMobileRefunds.com. If you prefer to get a check rather than a PayPal payment, you should contact the refund administrator at 844-746-4695.
Everyone should review their phone bill carefully even if you are not a T-Mobile customer to make sure that you are not having illegal cramming charges added to your bill. Carefully review your phone bill each month to identify if cramming charges appeared anywhere on your bill. 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. Sometimes the charges appear in sections of your bill labeled “miscellaneous” or “third party charges.”
Receiving unsolicited text messages is often an indication that you are a victim of cramming so if you do receive such messages, check your phone bill carefully to see if these are related to unauthorized charges. Most cell phone carriers will allow you to block charges from third parties for free, which is a good way to avoid cramming.
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