BBB Investigation: Legion Firearms misses the mark with consumers

ID-1008377Temple-based company racks up complaints about non-delivery of custom-made firearms

Gun enthusiasts have reported waiting as long as a year to receive the custom firearms they ordered from Temple, Texas-based Legion Firearms.

Legion Firearms is located at 1901 Ramcon Drive in Temple, and is licensed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The business maintains a website at http://legionfirearms.com/ that includes a store for various firearms and promotes a firearms training course.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin has received several complaints about Legion Firearms. The business resolved one complaint, stating the consumer’s product had been shipped. However, the company has not resolved the remaining complaints and some of their customers may be out thousands of dollars in promised products. Complainants are located throughout the U.S.

BBB left messages with Legion Firearms by phone and email about its pattern of unanswered complaints, but the business has not responded.

Paul Narowski of Fort Polk, Louisiana said he paid Legion Firearms half down, or $1,489.54, for a custom-made LF-10D rifle in November 2013. He said the business quoted him a lead time of eight months. He said the business did not deliver the rifle he ordered as of July 1, 2014 and has only given him unfulfilled promises.

“In March 2013, I placed an order with Legion Firearms,” Narowski said. “I was serving in Afghanistan and was saving money to buy a rifle when I got back. They proposed six to eight months till I would get the finished product. In March 2013, I put down half as a deposit.”

Narowski said he maintained contact with the company, which gave excuses at first. “They were saying some big box companies had cornered the market for some of the parts they needed,” he said. Narowski said at some point his phone calls to the business began to go straight to voicemail and he stopped hearing back from the company.

Reed Payne, owner of a gun shop in Idaho Falls, Idaho, said he met Legion Firearms representatives at a January 2013 gun show in Las Vegas and pre-ordered over $10,000 worth of guns. He said he has since received two guns, worth $4,767, but estimates he is still owed $5,800 worth of merchandise.

“They kept saying ‘two weeks, two weeks,’” said Payne. “I pre-paid $10,577.46. It took almost a year to get one gun. I’ve gotten two guns since then, worth $4,767. I’m still owed $5,800. I keep getting excuses. They said they can’t give me my money back. They owe me two or three guns. I told them I’d take whatever they can give me that’s worth what they owe me. The sad thing is, they make nice rifles. They make one of the nicest rifles you can buy, but you’ve got to take better care of your customers than that.”

While the rules for purchasing and shipping firearms may be well-known to many gun enthusiasts and firearms dealers, they are somewhat complicated for those less familiar. Federal law does allow firearms to be shipped to customers in other states, with certain conditions, however.

According to online information provided by the ATF, federal law prohibits licensed firearms dealers from shipping directly to customers in other states who are not licensed firearms dealers. However, the dealer may ship to a licensed dealer in another state, which can act as an intermediary for an unlicensed customer.

In addition, The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) has “contiguous state” provisions that allow an unlicensed consumer to purchase a long gun from a neighboring state, as long as the purchaser’s state allows it and as long as the sale is legal in both states. A 1986 amendment to the GCA allows unlicensed consumers to purchase long guns in non-contiguous states if the consumer meets the dealer in person to accomplish the transfer and the sale complies with laws in both states.

When buying merchandise online, BBB offers the following advice:

  • Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, charges made on a credit card can be disputed up to 60 days after the purchase.
  • Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online order process, there should be a final confirmation page or an email confirmation. Print and save any receipts for future reference.
  • Know your rights. Federal law requires that orders made by mail, phone or online be shipped by the date promised or, if no delivery time was stated, within 30 days. If the goods aren’t shipped on time, the shopper can cancel and demand a refund. There is no general three-day cancellation right, but consumers do have the right to reject merchandise if it’s defective or was misrepresented. Otherwise, it’s the company’s policies that determine if the shopper can cancel the purchase and receive a refund or credit.
  • Do your research. Check the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org before making a purchase to see its BBB rating, complaint history and any advertising-related issues.
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BBB Investigation: Consumers allege Consumer Financial Freedom takes upfront payment for credit repair services and doesn’t deliver

ID-10034353Consumer Financial Freedom, also known as New Beginnings Credit Repair Solutions, claims on its website www.creditrepair4life.org that it will “guarantee a better credit score.”

However, consumers have complained to Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin, that the San Antonio-based credit repair business takes upfront payments and delivers no service. Consumers also allege the business gives excuses at first when they inquire about lack of activity on their accounts, then stops responding to calls and emails.

As of July 22, 2014, the business has failed to resolve or respond to nine complaints. BBB has contacted the business by email, postal mail and telephone, but has received no response. All nine of the unresolved complaints were judged to be serious in nature by BBB because the business took payments in advance and services were not delivered after an unreasonable delay.

A search for the company’s phone number found directory listings for business names Consumer Financial Freedom and New Beginnings Credit Repair Solutions that listed Christopher J. Jaramillo as principal. Consumer complaints received by BBB referred to Jaramillo as the owner.

A BBB investigator found advertising in an online classified site for the Laredo, Texas area that claimed the company is able to raise a consumer’s credit score “100-325 points Quickly ($276 permanent credit repair).” The business’s website lists 8000 I.H. 10 West
San Antonio, TX 78230 as its address. Some consumers have stated they met with Jaramillo in their homes.

A BBB investigator called the business and was told negative items could be removed from his credit record. The business quoted a price of $275 for one person, $500 for a couple to perform this service.

At age 25, Natasha Trevino tells BBB she was hoping to improve her credit score so she could one day buy a house. After making a cash payment of $200 to Christopher Jaramillo, she thought she was on her way. However, after several months of excuses from Jaramillo and meetings where he failed to show up, she says she then realized the business was doing nothing to help fix her credit.

“I wanted to buy a house at some point,” Trevino said. “I wanted to set myself up and start digging out of the hole. It was disappointing.”

Trevino said she found the business in an online classified site. She was told her credit would be repaired within three to four months. “He said he would have negative things removed from my credit report. I met with him in November 2012. I kind of figured out after month four that he wasn’t going to do anything.”

Norieko Whitehead of San Antonio said Jaramillo took her payment of $339 and performed no services. “He took my money and offered to provide services I never received,” she said.

Whitehead said she contacted Jaramillo after 30 days and tried to find out if he had worked on her case, but he only sent her some receipts from the post office. “I waited another 30 days and checked,” she said. “There were never any disputes filed. I was trying to purchase a house and I needed a couple of points on my credit score.”

The Federal Trade Commission has these tips to recognize a credit repair offer that could be a scam. Stay away from any company that:

  • insists you pay them before they do any work on your behalf
  • tells you not to contact the credit reporting companies directly
  • tells you to dispute information in your credit report — even if you know it’s accurate
  • tells you to give false information on your applications for credit or a loan
  • doesn’t explain your legal rights when they tell you what they can do for you

Additionally, BBB recommends consumers:

  • Start with trust. BBB Business Reviews on credit repair, debt consolidation, and debt elimination companies are available online for free at bbb.org.
  • Beware of inflated offers. There is no easy fix for debt problems. Beware of credit repair companies that make inflated offers and claim to fix your credit report quick and easy with little to no explanation or with little or no fees associated. There’s probably a hidden catch.
  • Seek help from a nonprofit credit counseling center: Credit counseling centers can provide guidance for little or no cost. Visit www.nfcc.org for the location of the nearest center.
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Don’t get bugged by harmful pests this summer–tips for hiring the right exterminator

It happens every summer: warmer temperatures bring out bugs you don’t want in or around your home. It can be more than just an annoyance, especially in Texas, which is at risk of mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile and chikungunya.

Your BBB generally sees an increase in consumer inquiries for pest control businesses during these summer months as people try to prevent invasive and potentially harmful bugs. It’s important to be sure you hire a company you can trust. Nationally, Better Business Bureau received more than 4,000 complaints regarding pest control services in 2013. Most alleged work not being completed according to signed contracts, billing issues or unmet guarantees.

Keep the following advice in mind before hiring a pest control service:

Research the company. Check any pest control company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org before signing a contract. Look at the company’s rating, how it has responded to customer complaints and any advertising issues use checkbbb.org to find a local BBB Accredited pest control service.

Compare prices. Solicit bids from at least three different pest control companies before making a decision. BBB provides a free Request a Quote service to make it easier to gather estimates from local BBB Accredited Businesses.

Ask about safety. Because pesticides and pest control products could be dangerous to touch or inhale, be sure to ask the company about the safety of the chemicals they use. Let the company know if you have pets, children or sensitive plants as that may impact the products they select for your home.

Check for licensing and insurance. Make sure the company meets state licensing requirements by verifying with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Also, be sure to ask for proof of the company’s insurance and coverage for any potential property damage or personal liability.

Get it in writing. Make sure all guarantees are clearly stated in writing with details about the service agreement. Be sure you understand what the company will do if pests continue or come back after treatment.

Carefully review your contract. Be sure you fully understand the nature of the pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.

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‘Gray market’ purchase might not be the bargain you thought

ID-100259641Beware: the good deal you found online could be a “gray market” item. That’s right, I said gray market. Not black market.

Gray market goods refer to legal goods which are sold outside normal distribution channels by companies which may have no relationship with the producer of the goods. Say someone makes a trip outside the country and sees a product being sold for a cheaper price than in the U.S.

That person might buy up a bunch of that product and sell it online at a profit. Gray market products aren’t illegal–but there is a catch: They might not have a warranty or be eligible for repairs or other services from the company that produced them.

I got to find out what gray market was years ago while working at a business that relied on nice, expensive camera equipment. Taking one camera in for repairs, we learned that the company wouldn’t repair it because it was a gray market item. Someone had found it online for a good price years before, but it was intended for sale in another country.

Because of that, we ended up having to buy an expensive lens, followed by an expensive camera–instead of paying for what could have been an inexpensive repair job. In the long run, the “deal” ended up costing us more money.

Your BBB offers the following advice for consumers who want to avoid purchasing gray market items:

  • Check to see if the price is unrealistically low. While there are good deals to be found online, beware of a brand name product that is being sold at significantly below the manufacturer’s price.
  • Carefully inspect the merchandise. Make sure it is in working order. Gray market goods may not be factory-fresh, having gone through the hands of several third parties. Check to see whether the manual and other printed material is in English.
  • Ask about repairs. Gray market merchandise will most likely not be eligible for repair at a manufacturer’s authorized service center. Ask where service will be done and whether repairs will be performed according to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Use a credit card. A credit card allows you to dispute charges for a purchase of gray market merchandise that was misrepresented at the time of sale.
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Don’t leave your furry friends in the wrong hands

Going on a trip? Someone has to look after your critters while you’re gone. One handy solution is to board your animals in a local kennel. If so, it’s important to find one you can trust.

Nationally in 2013, BBB received over 400 complaints last year against pet day care, boarding and kennel facilities. Complaints allege problems with billing, as well as concerns about the treatment of their pet. Some owners allege their pets were severely dehydrated, malnourished or covered with fleas, ticks and even maggots after staying with these facilities. A few even allege their pet became extremely ill from their brief stay at certain kennels.

Your BBB advises pet owners looking to board their pets to take these precautions:

  • Ask for recommendations. Turn to friends and family members who own animals for recommendations on where they take their furry friend. Additionally, check out any recommendations at bbb.org to see their BBB rating and history of complaints.
  • Personally visit the facilities. Check for cleanliness and note the overall safety of the kennel and cages. If your pet is prone to running away, ask about steps the kennel takes to make the facility secure.
  • Ask about interactions between animals. Some kennels let animals play together while others keep them separate at all times. Make sure the facility requires that all entering pets have proof of immunization. Also ask about its policies regarding flea and tick control.
  • Take notice of the staff. Ask about the background and experience of company staff and take a few moments to see how they interact with the other pets that are being boarded.
  • Thoroughly read the boarding agreement. Verify it includes the feeding and exercise schedule, as well as pick up and drop off hours. Some facilities offer bathing, nail trimming and immunization as additional services. Make sure these and any other additional fees, like medical emergencies or other care, are included in the agreement.
  • Have a backup plan. Make sure you have a local friend, family member or veterinarian you can trust in case of emergencies.

 

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Midland man falls victim to the ‘grandparent scam’–don’t let this happen to you!

ID-10043587I miss my grandparents. They were always ready to help out when we got in a bind. It makes me so angry when I think of someone ripping them off. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will not think twice about taking advantage of a grandparent’s generous nature.

One of the nastiest tricks con artists can play is the so-called “grandparent scam.” In this scam, a caller impersonates the victim’s grandchild and pretends to be in some kind of trouble where he or she needs a lot of money quickly.

The scam artist convinces the victim to wire a payment, which is gone forever. Meanwhile, the real grandchild is safe and sound. We’ve talked about that scam in the past on WatchYourBuck. It’s pretty persistent.

Your BBB got a call yesterday from a man in Midland who got taken by this scam and lost $2,000. There’s probably no way he can get his money back now, so at this point he just wants to spread the warning so others won’t fall for the same scam.

Last Thursday, he got a call from someone who said, “Hi, Grandpa.”

“I didn’t recognize the voice,” he said. “But that’s what my grandchildren call me–not Grandfather, but Grandpa. He said, ‘Do you know who this is?’ Then I made a mistake. I said my grandson’s name and he said, ‘Yeah, it is.'”

The fake grandson said he had been celebrating a friend’s upcoming wedding and had been drinking. The “grandson” said he took the keys away from his friend, who was too drunk to drive, drove the car himself and got into an accident.

The friend supposedly had a broken femur, while the “grandson” had a broken nose and split lip. The police took the “grandson” to jail for DUI, but–good luck–the friend’s father was a lawyer who had spoken to the judge and could get the charges dismissed for $4,000. The “lawyer” had pitched in $2,000 and he only needed $2,000 more.

The fake lawyer got on the phone with the victim and convinced him to go to a CVS and purchase a $2,000 Greendot card, then call back. “My landline would not complete the call. My cellphone did. It was a strange area code. I called and he said it was a secure number at the courthouse. I gave him the scratch-off number from the card. He asked me to verify the address and phone number and he would FedEx me some court papers.”

The scammer did indeed send a FedEx package with some papers–with the information the victim had given over the phone. And that was the last contact the victim had with the “lawyer.” “I kept hoping it was not a scam,” he said.

Finally, he started to think he’d been had and called the grandson’s mother. “She said my grandson was at work, but she had seen him recently and he had not been in a wreck. He had not missed work or been in jail.”

After that, he called the police, who were unable to help. He filled out a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and called Better Business Bureau to warn others about the scam.

BBB offers these tips to avoid becoming victim to a grandparent scam:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Don’t let a potential scammer push you into sending money before you verify the situation.
  • Be skeptical. Ask questions only the grandchild could know the answer to, without revealing too much personal information yourself. Ask the name of a pet, a favorite dish or what school they attend. Your loved one should not get angry about you being too cautious.
  • Verify information. Check with the parents to see if their child is really travelling as they say they are.
  • Don’t wire money. Never use a transfer service to send money to someone you haven’t met in person, or for an emergency you haven’t verified is real.
  • Stay private. Check your privacy settings on all your social media sites. Scammers often make their stories more believable by trolling for information on Facebook, Twitter and similar sites.
  • Know where to turn. If you fall victim to a scam, report the incident immediately to local police and your state Attorney General’s office.
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FTC cracks down on Florida-based payday loan scheme

scam imageOf the scams that make my blood boil, payday loan scams are near the top of the list. People who are desperate for cash end up losing what little they already had.

Meanwhile the scammers get to live it up on other people’s money. And it’s so hard to track them down or really know who you’re dealing with if they rip you off.

The Internet is still a risky place when it comes to this type of scam, but at least one group of alleged payday loan scammers is out of the game thanks to the  Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Operators of a payday loan broker scheme based in Tampa, Florida agreed to settle FTC charges that they falsely promised to help consumers get loans, then used the consumers’ financial information to take money from their bank accounts without consent.

Defendants Sean C. Mulrooney and Odafe Stephen Ogaga, and five companies they controlled, allegedly told consumers that 80 percent of all applicants received loans within an hour. According to the FTC, the defendants did not lend any money and there’s no evidence they helped anyone obtain a loan.

The defendants allegedly used financial information collected through its websites to withdraw $30 tens of thousands of consumers’ bank accounts, without authorization and without providing anything of value.

The settlement imposes a $6.2 million judgment and requires Ogaga to surrender nearly all his assets, including: $50,000 in cash and proceeds from the sale of his 2011 Rolls Royce Ghost, 2007 Lexus LS460, and 2006 Ferrari. Once Ogaga surrenders those assets, the rest of the judgment against him will be suspended. The judgment against Mulrooney is suspended due to his inability to pay.

The defendants are forbidden from:

  • marketing or providing any credit-related products or services, including loans, prepaid credit cards, debt-relief services, and credit repair services;
  • collecting, selling, or buying consumers’ personal and financial information, except in order to process a specifically authorized transaction; and
  • processing transactions using remotely created checks or remotely created payment orders.

In addition to Mulrooney and Ogaga, the complaint named Caprice Marketing LLC; NuVue Partners LLC; Capital Advance LLC; Loan Assistance Company LLC; and ILife Funding, LLC, formerly known as Guaranteed Funding Partners LLC.

BBB offers the following advice when looking for a personal loan:

  • Be careful where you put your information. Beware of applying for online loans through unfamiliar businesses or websites. Many of these online application sites are run by scammers or by people who sell your information to scammers.
  • Don’t pay advance fees. Understand that any business operating by phone and charging insurance or other fees in advance of making a loan is operating illegally.
  • Verify the address. Do not do business with anyone who cannot give you an address that you can confirm as legitimate.
  • Read the contract. Read any contract carefully and make sure you understand all requirements before entering into any agreement.
  • Don’t get tricked by “official-looking.” Official-looking loan documents and sophisticated looking websites are easy to copy or fake. Just because a business appears legitimate, doesn’t mean it is.
  • Do your research. Find an Accredited Business using BBB’s Member Pages, and check out the company’s BBB Business Review before purchasing anything from a website.

To check out a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org. Find other news story topics by visiting our Press Release News Center.

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7 tips for picking the right storage unit

ID-100219757Sometimes you just don’t have enough room for all your stuff. You might be transitioning from a house to an apartment, or maybe you’re moving to a house that isn’t ready yet. Self-storage units can come in very handy in situations like those.

They can also come with problems–you don’t want your valuables to wind up lost, damaged or stolen, or hard to access when you need them.

Your BBB urges you to make the best choice when you rent a storage unit. Before signing on the dotted line, BBB recommends consumers consider these 7 factors when selecting a storage unit:

  1. Cost. Obtain a written estimate. Costs to consider may include a deposit, monthly rental fee, storage preparation and fees for extra options such as electricity, pest control and insurance. Ask about the fees, how they are to be paid and by what date.
  2. Size. Ask what storage units and sizes are available based on your needs. Ask if there is a maximum weight limit for unit contents and if you are able to pack your belongings in the entire unit from floor to ceiling.
  3. Climate. Keep in mind the general climate and whether your belongings might be subject to mold and/or water damage. If so, you may want to consider an environmentally-controlled unit.
  4. Insurance. Make sure your items are insured from theft, fire or other damage. The storage facility may provide basic insurance or you can choose to purchase insurance from an alternate source.
  5. Safety. Ask if the facility has surveillance cameras on the property and if a system is in place to restrict access.
  6. Access. Ask if there arehour restrictions that determine when you can access your unit. If so, make sure it works with your move schedule. Also, get as much contact information as you can to reach someone at the facility in case of an emergency, both during and after business hours.
  7. Contract. Get everything in writing, including; the size and location of the unit, whether the unit is climate controlled, term regulations, insurance coverage and the payment schedule. Make sure the facility has provided you with several different ways to get in touch with you, either by home phone or cell phone in case there is ever a problem with your unit or your payment.

To find a list of local Accredited storage unit facilities, visit checkbbb.org.

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Want to save gas? Don’t fall for additives that promise big savings

ID-10058494After commuting to work, visiting friends and family and driving around on the weekend, the gasoline bill can get pretty expensive, especially with the price of gas these days.

If only there were a magic substance you that would make your car run longer on a tank of gas…

Unfortunately, there isn’t any magic bullet for your gasoline budget. Your BBB warns to be skeptical of gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives.  Common sense is the way to go if you want to save money.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can evaluate some products to determine whether they’ll significantly improve or hurt fuel economy. However, they cannot say the type of effect a product will have on a vehicle over time because they do not test durability. Emission control systems in today’s cars are complex. Often they are capable of alerting drivers to problems and these additives may cause malfunctions or issues.

To avoid being scammed, watch for these red flag phrases:

“Improves gas mileage by XX percent.” The EPA has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage after evaluating more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices. Ads that tout savings of a specific percentage are likely fabricated.

“My car gets an extra 4 miles per gallon. This product is great!” Testimonials from satisfied customers will often have exact numbers, but it is very difficult to test for precise changes in gas mileage after installing a product that claims to save gas. Many variables affect fuel consumption, including traffic, road and weather conditions, and the car’s condition—these factors make it close to impossible to attribute gas savings to an additive.

“Federal government approved.” Gas-saving products for cars are not endorsed by any government agency. An ad may be able to claim is that EPA has reached conclusions about possible fuel savings by testing the product or evaluating the manufacturer’s test data. If the seller claims that its product has been evaluated by EPA, ask for a copy of the EPA report, or check epa.gov for information.

BBB recommends these free or low-cost steps to save on gas:

  •  Clean out your trunk. Don’t carry what you don’t need.
  •  Slow down. Every five miles per hour over 60 costs you a quarter extra for a gallon of gas.
  • Find the least expensive gas stations. Saving a few cents can go a long way. Use a mobile app or website tohelp you find the closest and cheapest gas station.
  • Turn off your engine. If you’re parked and waiting, turn your engine off to save on fuel.
  • Keep your tires inflated. It is important to keep an eye on your tire pressure. For maximum efficiency, be sure tires are inflated to the recommended level.
  • Make your next car purchase a fuel-efficient one. If you’re in the market for a car, it’s important to consider fuel economy. Assuming gas costs $3.50 per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles a year, a car that gets 30 miles per gallon (MPG) versus one that gets 20 MPG amounts to over $4,000 in savings over 5 years. Visit fueleconomy.gov for gas mileage estimates and other information for cars dating from 1985.
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FTC alleges T-Mobile let customers get crammed

ID-100128578Last week, the Federal Trade Commission charged cell phone provider T-Mobile with making big bucks from premium text services that in many cases its consumers never authorized–a practice known as cramming.

The FTC alleges in its complaint that T-Mobile USA received 35 to 40 percent of the total amount charged for subscriptions for content that typically costs $9.99 per month, such as celebrity gossip, horoscopes and flirting tips.  The FTC alleges that T-Mobile in some cases kept billing customers for services offered by scammers for years after it was aware of signs that the charges were not authorized.

The FTC alleges that T-Mobile’s billing practices made it hard for consumers to find out that they were being charged. The complaint states that the online T-Mobile bill did not show customers that they were being charged by a third party or that the charge was part of a recurring subscription. The charges were listed under Premium Services, but could only be seen after clicking a separate heading, “Use Charges.” After clicking, consumers still could not see individual charges.

The complaint also alleges that the full T-Mobile bill, which could be longer than 50 pages, made it nearly impossible to find and understand third party charges.

Here’s how to reduce the chances of paying charges crammed onto your bill without your knowledge or permission:

  • Read your mobile phone bill each month – line by line, and page by page. Don’t ignore the billing statement you get in the mail or through an automated online payment system. You should know your baseline monthly bill. Taking time to read every page of your statements can help you detect potentially fraudulent charges, keep surprise charges to a minimum, and save you money.
  • Consider a block on third-party charges. Many phone carriers already offer third-party blocking service for free. You just have to ask.
  • Ask your mobile phone carrier for its policy on refunds for fraudulent charges. Some carriers have a 60-day period for refund requests, and many have a policy of partial refunds for fraudulent charges you detect – no matter how long the cramming charges have occurred.
  • If you have a prepaid phone plan, check that you’re not losing pre-paid minutes to pay for unauthorized third-party charges. Stay on top of how many calling minutes you have, and make sure that minutes don’t go missing due to deductions unrelated to your regular phone calls. Check your accounts online or call the number your carrier gives you for account access.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of cramming, contact your phone carrier first about the charges, then file a complaint with the FTC.

 

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