AG aims to defend consumers from phone bill 'cramming'

March 5, 2012 3:05:59 PM PST
There is a major new effort getting under way to protect consumers from a scam known as phone bill ''cramming.''

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with the Federal Trade Commission, Chicago Better Business Bureau and consumer advocates to warn everyone about the scam.

Hundreds of thousands of consumers and businesses have been hit with bogus charges on their phone bills.

"This is a scam where your telephone number is essentially used as a credit card number," said Madigan. "So, what happens is, a scammer submits charges to your phone bill without your permission for things that you never ordered and you don't need."

Madigan went on to say that $2 billion worth of crammed charges are placed on phone bills each year.

The attorney general is pushing for a statewide ban on third-party charges.

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