Some cell phone customers are getting refund checks from federal government; here’s why

If you ever got texts with your horoscope, celebrity gossip alerts, love tips, or “fun facts” but didn’t sign up for them, you could be getting some money in the mail.

The Federal Trade Commission announced this week it’s sending 22,671 refund checks to cell phone customers who lost money to what’s known as “mobile cramming”—it’s a scheme where someone crams unauthorized charges onto your phone bill.

The FTC says this is the third round of refunds in the case after a settlement with Tatto, Inc.

The refunds are part of a crackdown announced five years ago in which the FTC said tens of millions of dollars in charges were placed on cell phone bills without customer permission.

  • Latest round of refunds = $2,107,156
  • Average check = $92.95

If you receive check , it should be deposited or cashed within 60 days.

Because scams are likely to stem from the scheme, keep in mind, the FTC will not require you to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

Questions? Call FTC’s refund administrator at 888-457-2202.

Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.