All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

FTC strikes at 'cramming' mobile scammers

17 Apr 2013

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has begun a legal effort to take down firms which use deceptive and fraudulent tactics to overcharge mobile users with premium services.

The FTC said that it has filed suit against Wise Media LLC as well as two additional individuals who are charged with using a practice known as 'cramming' to charge users for premium services without their knowledge or permission.

According to the FTC, the company would use deceptive or in some cases completely unauthorised access to sign mobile users up for services such as SMS horoscopes and other 'spam' text content without their prior approval.

The Commission alleges that the company also used deceptive labelling and identification on bills in order to prevent users from spotting and reporting the unauthorised charges. Users who asked to be removed from the service were also reportedly still charged the monthly fees.

"The concept of 'cramming' charges on to phone bills is a not a new one," said Edith Ramirez, chairwoman for the FTC.

"As more and more consumers move to mobile phones, scammers have adapted to this new technology, and the Commission will continue its efforts to protect consumers from their unlawful practices."

The use of premium-dialling tools and tricks has become an increasingly common problem for users as the transition to smartphones continues in the consumer space. Shady vendors have crafted thousands of applications which abuse user permissions in order to sign up subscriptions for the unwanted premium services.

Several such applications have been spotted bypassing access controls on popular mobile download services and in some cases are also circulating on unauthorised third-party marketplaces.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Mobile Software
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Work location poll - office, remote or home?

Where do you spend most time working on your primary work device?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
LG G Flex 2 hands-on review

CES 2015: LG G Flex 2 video

A closer look at LG's latest curved-screen smartphone

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Beacon technology: what are the opportunities and how does the technology work?

This paper seeks to provide education and technical insight to beacons, in addition to providing insight to Apple's iBeacon specification


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Software Developer - C# / C++ ( ASP.Net ) - Cambridge

Software Developer - C# / C++ ( ASP.Net ) Are you...

IT Project and Service Manager *Airport Systems* Heathrow

Project Manager, Service Manager, IT, Software PrinceII...

Senior Software Engineer in Test

About the job my client is looking to hire a Senior...

Contract Global Architect, software & global essential

Chief Global Architect, Contract, c £ 900 - 1100 per...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.