Phone cramming, a predatory practice that’s been around for almost 30 years, is on the rise in the U.S. Since then, it has grown to a multibillion-dollar business, preying on millions of innocent Americans.
The insidious problem of crammed charges on phone bills is often hidden from plain sight to the consumer. For example, these charges are often camouflaged with official sounding names of phone bill providers. Several victims wrote letters to DailyFinance, complaining of outlandish charges on their phone bills.
One such victim (whose name is anonymous) said that her mystery scam was titled, “long distance access charge.” Another victim said she was being charged $19.95 for “distribution services,” and an additional $61.15 for “general services.”
Seemingly legitimate companies continue to add charges to unknowing phone subscribers, and these crammed charges are difficult to pinpoint on a crowded phone bill.
One victim said a fictitious company named USBI has been cramming his phone bills since the year 2000, overcharging him a grand total of $3,000 during that period.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), consumers are required to agree to any charges incurred on their phone bill. But the problem is that phone crammers have come up with a workaround in which they sign up potential customers under false pretenses.
For example, phone crammers often call customers, forcing them to agree to extra charges on their phone bill without even knowing the full details of the transaction. After a quick phone call from a fast-talking telemarketer, the victim is inadvertently charged an additional $50 on his or her phone bill.
When it comes to dealing with phone crammers and unwanted charges on your phone bill, the best route is to contact your phone service provider directly in order to resolve the problem. If that doesn’t work, try contacting the FCC for further resolution.
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