Another settled for a .9 million judgment, he says. If you don’t recognize a charge, call your phone company for an explanation, Pozza says, and request a refund for anything you didn’t authorize.
Some phone companies also allow you to block third-party billing. When it finds a pattern of “cramming,” it can take action, says Pozza.
You could be a victim of “cramming.” Many phone companies allow you to pay for third-party services by having charges added to your phone bill. But sometimes scammers attempt to have phantom fees added to those bills, says Duane Pozza, an attorney in the financial practices division of the Federal Trade Commission.
Also, criminals favor payment via wire transfer or anonymous online payer networks, he says.
The solution: The best defense is preventive, says Savage.
Another variation: A text “alert” from your bank or cellphone company that your account’s been frozen. But with a scam, that link leads to a look-alike site that thieves use to harvest personal information, says King.
The solution: Skip the link, and just log in to your account as usual, he advises.
The tipoff: When banks freeze a card for suspicious activity, the cardholder usually has to initiate the call, King says.
Hang up, and dial the number on the back of your card.The scam: Your utility company calls: You’re behind on the bill.Pony up your credit, debit or prepaid card number now, or it gets disconnected.In this one, the “cable company” (or some other utility), wants to give you a great price on a service upgrade or new equipment (such as a DVR or deluxe entertainment package).But you have to pay for it now with a debit, credit or prepaid card.If you are (or have already been) hit by this scam, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaints Center.