FTC cracking down on “cramming” charges on cell phone bills

The Federal Trade Commission is acting against companies “cramming” consumers’ cellular phone bills with repetitive charges for unwanted services.

According to a local ABC News report, the FTC has announced it is recovering more than $52 million from companies which have secretly charged consumers through their cell phone bills for services like enhanced text messaging, video streaming, identity protection, and other things regulators and consumers alike believe are scams.

In some cases, consumers could be unknowingly charged large amounts of money in their phone bills. Many consumers don’t thoroughly check their phone bills and the companies offering these services bank on them glossing over the charges thinking they’ve gone over allotted time or data constraints on their calling plans.

The FTC believes hundreds of thousands of consumers have fallen prey to these companies, including Billing Services Group, which faces legal action from the agency over “cramming” charges. “Cramming” describes adding unnecessary and unwanted charges onto a bill without notifying consumers who may have inadvertently signed up for a service.

The report suggests consumers carefully review their cell phone bills on a monthly basis to make sure they’re also not falling prey to “cramming” charges.