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Is Your Mobile Bill a Cram Sandwich?

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People have long complained about unauthorized charges — cramming — on the bills for their landlines. The FTC has responded loudly and clearly, bringing more than 30 cases, getting tens of millions of dollars back for consumers, and advocating for reforms to eliminate landline cramming. But fraudsters, trolling for new opportunities to cheat consumers, have found the bills for people's mobile devices to be fertile territory.

In its first law enforcement action targeting mobile cramming, the FTC charged Wise Media with enrolling customers for text message subscription plans without their consent. The result?  Unauthorized charges on their bills for mobile services, which often continued for months on end.  Many consumers never realized they were charged, and those who did were often unable to get refunds from Wise Media. 

Here's how to spot charges that may have been crammed on to your mobile bill:

  • Be aware that phone carriers allow third-parties to place charges on your phone bill.  Read through your mobile phone bill every month. Yes, it's easy to go right to the bottom line, but the only way to be sure your bill is correct is to check the itemized list of products and services you are being billed for, one by one.  If you don’t recognize or understand any of the items or charges, contact your carrier for an explanation.
  • Ask your carrier about services it offers to block third-party charges. 
  • Be judicious when you are giving out your phone number online. This is often how crammers get access to your information.  
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Verizon was and maybe still is good at this. We used to have our land line through Verizon and we opted out of the inside line maintenance. I maintain and re-route as we need. Every 6 months or so we'd notice that the charge was back on the bill. We would call customer service and get "Oh, we're so sorry, we'll take that right off". Yep, until about 6 months later and it would 'mysteriously' show up again. Got tired of Verizon's tricks and then their customer service went to crap so we dropped them.

You should have reported Verizon to the FTC a different way not like this.

And once you stop all phone companies from doing this, then internet providers will do it.... then then ups man will do it....... everyone will be doing it as long as there's money in it. CEOS need to be held accountable. They know this stuff is going on it's just a cost of doing business when they get caught. FCC got 10 million+ dollars back..... but if these companies made 20 million did they really punish anyone

my complained is wireless co. offer plans for seniors, disabled, etc. i jus got disabled with fibromyalgia and have 4 teens to where i need them to have a cell i called wireless co. to see what could be offered and all they could say is sorry u have to stay on plan you are on.... with a fixed income wow i stayed stunned especially working with a competeterfor five years

straighttalk has been double billing prepaid customers beware... walmart shame on you tracphone shame on you they know whats going on ...its me that's a victim this time .

A class action suit should be brought against them for harassment. They are monopolies that should be forced to break up so they can't control everything.

thanks! That goes for cable networks also!

results of ftc suit against cell phone companies allowing side charges on phone bills

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