Attorney General Madigan: cell phone “cramming” a growing consumer threat

By WEEK Producer

MGN online

June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill. – Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging the Federal Trade Commission to address the growing problem of cell phone “cramming”.

Madigan said wireless cramming is poised to become a major source of consumer fraud, much like it did on land line phones before Illinois became the second state to ban the practice in 2012.

A recent study shows that during a two-month period in 2012, 60 percent of third-party charges of Vermont residents were “crammed”.

Cramming happens when third-party vendors add charges to phone bills for bogus products or services, such as celebrity gossip items, horoscopes and joke-of-the-day offerings, that consumers and businesses never requested and never used.

Because the charges are unauthorized, consumers rarely, if ever, detect the scam, allowing the scammer to illegally profit for months at a time.

For more information on how to protect against phone bill cramming or to report being scammed, contact Attorney General Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotlines:

Chicago 1-800-386-5438
Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607