FTC cracking down on "cramming" - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

FTC cracking down on "cramming"


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on a little-known practice called "cramming."

The agency says it's getting more and more complaints about third-party companies placing unauthorized charges on consumers' cell phone bills listed under generic titles like "subscription charges."

Consumers can pay for services by having it tacked onto their cellphone bills. But the FTC says, over the years, some companies have taken advantage of that feature, capturing cell phone numbers through websites or mobile apps.

"Malicious software that's downloaded on your phone after you download a app and that gets your phone number and somehow your signed up for some kind of service," Malini Mithal, with the Federal Trade Commission, said.

The FTC filed the first lawsuit in April that directly goes after companies accused of cramming. The agency says Wise Media made millions off of such charges.

The FTC is now pushing for cell phone carriers to offer consumers the option to block all third-party billing.


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