Scammers Stealing From Your Phone Bill


How they do it, and what you can do about it.

Businesses of all sizes are becoming increasingly frustrated with scammers who add suspicious services and charges to phone bills. It’s important for business owners to understand how these scams work, and how to resolve them.

How it works

This type of scam—known as cramming—occurs when a scammer cons an employee into agreeing to questionable services, such as a free directory listing or enhanced voicemail. In some cases, permission is not obtained at all.

The scammer then uses a third-party billing company to place charges on the business’s phone bill for the new services. Sometimes, the business’s phone provider even gets a percentage of the service fees.

The additional charges often go uncontested, especially if they are relatively small. The owner might not notice the increase, or assumes it reflects a new tax or surcharge.

What to do about it

Take a close look at phone bills, watch for new charges and take action against suspected cramming.

Contact the third-party billing provider listed on the bill. Be firm: ask what the charges were for and request they be refunded and discontinued.

If you are unsuccessful, contact your telephone provider for assistance in removing the charges. You can also file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the attorney general.

Socket can help, too. Let us take a quick look at your phone bill to check for third-party charges. It’s free, and there’s no obligation. Call us at 1-800-762-5383 to find out more.