Premium text scams sneak onto phone bill

Don't Waste Your Money

Most of us feel our cell phone bills are too high.

But how carefully have you gone over your bill the past few months? It turns out you could have hidden charges on it that you shouldn't be paying.

What's This Charge?

Steve Orth noticed his cell phone bill getting higher and higher in recent months, so he called his carrier to see if there was any way to lower it.
That's when he learned he was paying almost $20 a month for a "premium" texting service he knew nothing about.

"One of the sales representatives pointed out to me that I was receiving a third party charge," Orth said. "And she asked 'are you aware you have a 3rd party charge?' And I said what's that?"

What it Is

3rd party or "premium text" scams are becoming one of the biggest complaints about cell phone services, according to the tech blog CNet .
Once you are signed up for premium texting, you are billed every month until you notice it.
Steve never spotted the charges that he said were "somewhere in the vicinity between $10 and $20 a month. And I checked my own records and its been well over a year I've been receiving this."

According to CNet , these mystery charges can be added to your bill when you:

    -Text a special number to get sports alerts
    -Participate in a TV game show
    -Vote in a competition using your phone
    -Give your cell phone number to participate in a survey.

And if you start receiving strange texts, Steve learned, don't just delete them.

Steve said "I would receive these benign texts from time to time,such as "congratulations you've earned 1,000 points toward". And I'd get to the "congratulations you've earned" part and I'd delete it."

Instead, he should have contacted his carrier and ask that they be blocked, or texted back "STOP."

So check your cell phone bill carefully every month.  If you don't, you could be hit with hidden charges you miss month after month.  

So don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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