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Mobile cramming

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Definition Edit

Mobile cramming is "the unlawful practice of placing unauthorized third-party charges on mobile phone accounts."[1]

Overview Edit

"Mobile cramming occurs when consumers are signed up and billed for third-party services, such as ringtones and recurring text messages containing trivia or horoscopes, without their knowledge or consent. Third parties either obtain consumers' phone numbers and falsely claim that the consumers have signed up for services and authorized charges, or use deceptive means to obtain consumers' mobile phone numbers — such as by offering free prizes — and then begin charging consumers' phone accounts for recurring third-party charges for purported services unrelated to the offer. These charges often are difficult to locate in phone bills, and many consumers do not notice them or do not understand that such charges are associated with an item unrelated to their phone service. Further, many consumers do not even receive the supposed services for which they are being charged. Mobile cramming thus harms consumers and also undermines the use of carrier billing as a legitimate payment option."[2]

FTC actions Edit

The Federal Trade Commission has filed several actions against alleged mobile crammers, including:

References Edit

  1. Mobile Cramming: A Federal Trade Commission Staff Report, at i.
  2. Id.

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