What to do about cell phone cramming




Posted on October 19, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Sheila King loves to text.

"I got text mail so I could get in touch with friends and stuff like that," she said.

Last month she received a text from 'hot4mobi.com,' offering ring tones and wallpaper.

"I ignored it because it looked like another junk mail, which I get quite frequently," she said.

A month later Sheila got a $19.99 charge on her cell phone bill even though she never agreed or replied to the text.

"I didn't need it, I didn't want their wallpaper, I would have never have subscribed to this had I realized I was subscribing by not subscribing," she said.

Sheila called her carrier, AT&T, and they quickly removed the charges, and the ring tone folks then sent an unsubscribe e-mail. She had not signed up for any of these services.

It's called "cramming," when unauthorized charges end up on your phone. We checked the web and found tons of complaints.

Here's what to look for in Shelia's case: If you get a spammed text from 'hot4mobi.com' or '35719,' delete it. Then call your carrier immediately and cancel it. Other tips, check your bill monthly. Look at the last few pages where it typically lists mobile purchases and downloads. Also, don't give your cell number out for any online offers. AT&T says some cramming victims have been tricked into getting subscriptions.

More information

FTC consumer information 

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