6 On Your Side Answers: How to avoid unauthorized charges on your cellphone bill

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – More and more of the millions of people who have cellphones are noticing and complaining about unknown charges.

Louise in Knoxville asks: “I noticed a charge for horoscopes that didn’t authorize. What is this about?”

If your cellphone bill seems a little high this month, you might be a victim of wireless cramming. It’s the practice of unauthorized charges on your mobile phone bill for services that were added onto your cell phone without your consent.

A new report by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee says that wireless cramming is costing Americans hundreds of millions of dollars, and is widespread across the industry.

Charges that are “crammed” onto customer bills come from third party providers. Typically, it happens if you respond to some kind of ad offering to let you download a song, for example, or get some other freebie.

After consenting by way of text message, you may find yourself enrolled in a subscription service that hits you for a monthly fee.

In the state of Vermont, a survey by the Attorney General’s office there discovered that 60 percent of respondents reported that the third party charges on their cellphone bills were unauthorized.

Be careful to whom who you give your mobile number, and don’t confirm anything with a vendor by text message until you are 100 percent sure you know what you’re getting into.

Be on the lookout for fraudulent charges on your bill and don’t be afraid to call your cellphone company and demand a change.

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