Jul 31 2014

The FTC's Fight Against Mobile Cramming

Millions of smartphone users are stuck paying unauthorized charges on their cellphone bills, and the Federal Trade Commission is doing something about it.

In a report released this week, the FTC lists several steps that “mobile carriers and other companies should take to prevent consumers from being stuck with unauthorized charges on their mobile phone bills, an unlawful practice known as mobile cramming,” according to the agency.

The FTC suggests that a clear process be established for people to dispute unauthorized charges, similar to the process for disputing bogus charges on a credit card statement, reports The New York Times.

Instances of mobile cramming will likely increase as more consumers use their smartphones to buy goods and services, but today the full scope of cramming is unknown. Last year, three cases brought by the FTC against mobile crammers led to more than $160 million in judgments, the agency said.