BBB warns consumers to check bills to avoid getting 'crammed' - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

BBB warns consumers to check bills to avoid getting 'crammed'

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Your phone bill comes every month, but do you ever look at that bill? Not doing that may be costing you a lot more than you know.

"Cramming" is the term for unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges placed on your phone bill.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it's investigating T-Mobile amid allegations it "crammed" customers for hundreds of millions of dollars by charging $10 fees for premium texting and celebrity gossip updates their customers never asked for.

"And most of the time, they like to do it in little, small increments," said Kathleen Calligan with the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee.

According to the BBB, the most common cases of "cramming" are done by hackers.

"Scammers hack into databases all the time of telephone providers, they get our information," Calligan said.

And the BBB says scammers haven't forgotten the fact that you can charge something to a telephone bill.

So why are so many consumers missing these bogus charges?

Experts say it has to do with how we pay our bills these days. Instead of looking closely on paper, bills are paid online.

"We don't want paper anymore, in fact, we're encouraged not to get a paper bill," Calligan said.

While it may be time consuming, experts say taking a close look at your statement is the only way you can stop "cramming."

"It makes me want to go home and look at my bill and see what all is in there. I know it's like 14 pages long, that's probably why I don't look at it," said consumer Brad Meibers.

You need to check for the scam right away. Otherwise, it might be too late.

"You never get your money back that you've paid all those months. Never, ever have I seen that," Calligan said.

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