Major U.S. carriers put an end to premium text messages

Major U.S. carriers put an end to premium text messages
Acknowledging that they had become instruments used to commit fraud  and rip off their customers, the four major U.S. carriers announced on Thursday that they will no longer charge for premium texts. These are text messages that charge the sender for sending the message and is one of a number of unauthorized third party services known as cramming.

Vermont's attorney general Bill Sorrell praised T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T for the move. While Verizon was not part of the Vermont announcement, it too is following the other carriers. It should be noted that this new policy will not affect premium text messages for charitable organizations while T-Mobile and Verizon will continue to allow them for political campaigns. Sprint has not yet commented on its plans. And in case you were worried, this also has nothing to do with texting votes to reality shows like American Idol, the X Factor or The Voice.

The premium texts are part of one of the most costly malware scams. In this fraud, malware infects a phone which causes it to send out premium texts to a number set up in advance by the crooks. So many people don't understand their cell bill that in many cases a premium text charge goes unchallenged by the consumer who just pays it. Not charging a customer for sending premium texts is a quick way to end this scam.


source: AllThingsD

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7 Comments

1. SavageLucy42

Posts: 211; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

Awesome news!

2. chack_fu

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 19, 2009

About 2 years to late. This is and always been a scam!

3. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

This is great, but I have issue with this statement "The premium texts are part of one of the most costly malware scams. In this fraud, malware infects a phone which causes it to send out premium texts to a number set up in advance by the crooks. So many people don't understand their cell bill that in many cases a premium text charge goes unchallenged by the consumer who just pays it. Not charging a customer for sending premium texts is a quick way to end this scam." It seems to be based on a lack of knowledge and an assumption that consumers pay attention to what they are doing. In my personal experience with dealing with these complaints, I'd say there is about a 1 in 20 chance that it could be there incorrectly, much less be a result of fraud. A lot of these premium services are misleading, but do follow their legal requirements necessary to give customers prior notice before signing up that they wwill be charged. A lot of people will blindly put their phone number in on a website or put their phone number on facebook then get a PMG from a facebook "app". Actual fraudulent ones are quite rare I can assure you.

5. V3TTOO

Posts: 27; Member since: Nov 29, 2012

I think the scams they are talking about are the apps with malware from sideloaded apps or 3rd party markets, aka not the Google/Apple app stores.

4. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

More like five years too late. Some of these carriers were in on this too, make no mistake about it. Probably why Verizon wasn't praised, they were deep in it...go dig a little, theres proof all over the internet.

6. mcshank

Posts: 47; Member since: Apr 24, 2013

What Proof? I work for Sprint and Premium Messages are a problem that alot of people bring about themselves. There are free ones such as Bank alerts, red box, etc. Then there are charged ones that you can see almost anywhere. You see them on TV commercials like the old Jamster commercials or online where they want you to enter your phone number. Carriers dont make Crap from these, most of the times they lose money when they block them as they cant get refunded from the company that charged it. All it takes is for YOU to read your damn bill and call in or go into a store and ask questions. WTF do you think customer care is for? They help fix issues & answer questions.

7. W.P._Android_in_that_Order

Posts: 208; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

About time. Like it was said above, this has been such a huge scam and should have been stopped sooner. I do like that they are still allowing charity giving though.

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