Deciphering the Deals: Combatting unauthorized charges on your phone bill

In the Ultimate Couponing workshop, we go over ways to prevent yourself from being scammed while using the internet to find deals.  For every reputable coupon and survey site, there are at least 10 bad ones.

Some of these sites take advantage of your registration by selling your email address to spammers.  Others take it further by selling your phone number to a third party.  In some instances, your phone number can actually be billed for services, otherwise known as cramming.

These services will often be disguised as a voicemail or email service, and fees can range from $2.99 per month to $49.99 per month.  We all know how hard a phone bill can be to read, so it’s a good idea to compare each new bill with a prior month.  These charges are not difficult to remove, IF you’ve not yet paid for them.  Simply call your phone company and let them know it’s an unauthorized charge.  You also need to call the third party to have yourself removed from their billing.  The third party’s number will be listed on your phone bill.  What if you’ve already paid it?  Some phone companies have a policy that states they will automatically credit your account for all ‘cramming’ charges.  You should also contact the third party to attempt to get a credit made to your account.

How can you prevent a ‘cramming attack’?

  • Don’t use a site that requires you to enter your phone number to print coupons.  If you can’t avoid it, use your area code in front of 555-0100.  This is a designated fake phone number.
  • Steer clear of those sites that require you to fill out surveys or skip advertisements in order to print your coupons.  These have notification of third party sales hidden somewhere in all of those advertisements.
  • If you find a coupon on a site such as Couponbug or Eversave (both require surveys and phone numbers), check for that coupon somewhere else.  Many coupons have a print limit of 2 per computer, so it doesn’t matter where you find it- it’s going to be available somewhere else.
  • Check or the A Full coupon database for another link to print that coupon.
  • Call your phone company to inquire about a third party block.  Many companies offer this at no additional charge.  Having his block in place prevents anyone from charging services to your phone bill.

Remember, attention to detail is everything.  You should always pay attention to each bill you receive, regardless of the type, to avoid being overcharged due to a scam or error.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>