Quinn signs law against 'cramming' phone scam

November 30, 2009 4:41:14 AM PST
Illinois has a new law designed to protect consumers from a phone scam called cramming.Governor Quinn signed the bill into law Sunday to amend the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act.

Cramming happens when scammers put unauthorized charges on phone bills. Most involve voice mail and internet access charges.

The new measure gives the state more enforcement powers and broadens penalties.

"We think that this will not only have a big deterrent effect to the extent that this scam continues, we're confident Attorney General Madigan will be able to put an end to it because of this new law," said David Kolata, Citizens Utility Board.

Experts say the scam relies on people not paying close attention to the charges on their bills.

"Cramming is just another name for fraud. It's a scam that must end, that should end and we believe with the extra protections in here including strong third party verification and disclosure and enhanced ability when you are crammed to know who you should call to solve the problem, we believe all these provisions will lead to a dramatic reduction in cramming," Kolata said.


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