Q: My daughter's cell phone number was charged for a
monthly horoscope service that she doesn't remember subscribing to.
How can I cancel the subscription and prevent this from happening
It's important to understand how easy it can be to
accidentally incur unwanted cell charges. Surveys, sweepstakes
entry forms or 800 number calls to psychics or date lines can make
a phone number vulnerable.
There is also the possibility that her phone could be a
victim of "cramming"-a type of fraud in which third-party
businesses sneak unauthorized charges onto a cell phone bill hoping
they go unnoticed. These fees are often small charges-$2 or $3-and
are added to thousands of statements.
Go over each line of your cell phone bill every month and
identify fees you don't understand. Then follow these steps to
protect your family.
Keep cell numbers private. Kids may be
tempted to give out their cell numbers to vendors who send texts
about special sales or coupons, but they should avoid including
their cell phone number on retail forms and contest
Use parental controls. All of the major
mobile carriers offer some type of free parental management tools,
including content filtering, blocking, time and text
Contact customer care. Block unwanted
calls or text messages to your phones with a simple call to
customer care or by accessing your account online. Some carriers
allow you to block subscription services and phone numbers through
your phone with an easy text message.
Register for Do Not Call. Placing your
phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry can help curb
unsolicited marketing calls and reduce your chance of becoming a
fraud victim. To register, visit donotcall.gov or call (888)
382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. Once
registered, telemarketers have 31 days to remove you from their
Report suspicious charges. If you feel
you have been targeted for nontelephone-related fees, contact the
Federal Trade Commission at (877) FTC-HELP.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
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