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FTC files suits in war on mobile cramming


The Federal Trade Commission has waged a war on companies accused of “mobile cramming,” and they’ve already begun winning some battles.

A day after it warned carriers such as AT&T and Verizon to crack down on cramming, officials convinced a court in California to shut down many companies that have scammed mobile phone customers into paying millions in deceptive charges.

The FTC has also made a list of things carriers must do to protect their customers.  

 The report warns that mobile carriers must:

• Give consumers the right to block all third-party charges – and remind them of that right throughout their contract

• Monitor third-party companies to make sure they aren't deceiving consumers 

• Require third parties to get express consent from consumers before they bill them

• Clearly identify third-party charges on mobile bills. Additionally carriers must alert customers who wouldn't ordinarily receive bills -- such as prepaid or auto-paying customers -- to third-party charges

• Create an effective way to resolve disputes and refund consumers who are wronged.