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Premium messaging scams
dfo0
Newbie

My current bill has 2 charges on my wife's number for premium messaging services "Pure Luv Alerts"  and "Cellfunz". She swears she never subscribed to them. A quick internet search shows numerous scam reports from others who had the same thing happen. How can these companies get away with this? Can Verizon do anything to prevent it? Do these services have some official business relationship with Verizon? If so you should sever it with the companies that are doing this.

 

PS I've now blocked premium messaging services on both our lines.

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Re: Premium messaging scams
SuzyQ
Super User
Super User

dfo0 wrote:

Yeah, it's too bad I had no idea that these premium services even existed, or that they need to be blocked to keep them from deceiving you, until after it happened.


That's how most of us find out about this - discovering unexpected and puzzling charges for services that you don't realize you "signed up" for.  Then hoping to get a credit applied or eating the $10 once, and putting the block in place so it won't happen again.

 

Some (a few) premium services ARE legitimate things people can and do pay for each month so Verizon doesn't know if it's something you want  or not.

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Re: Premium messaging scams
rcschnoor
Legend

dfo0 wrote:

My current bill has 2 charges on my wife's number for premium messaging services "Pure Luv Alerts"  and "Cellfunz". She swears she never subscribed to them. A quick internet search shows numerous scam reports from others who had the same thing happen. How can these companies get away with this? Can Verizon do anything to prevent it? Do these services have some official business relationship with Verizon? If so you should sever it with the companies that are doing this.

 

PS I've now blocked premium messaging services on both our lines.



There are ways to subscribe to premium SMS services without fully realizing that you have done so. Probably the easiest is through Facebook. By giving Facebook your mobile # and playing some of the endless games available via Facebook COULD subscribe you to a premium SMS service. I am sure that this is listed in the ToS that you have to agree to when you first play one of these games. How many people just click "I Agree" instead of actually reading these agreements? Anytime you give out your mobile # on a website, you are also setting yourself up for the possibility that the website will sign you up for premium SMS. Do you read the privacy policy of any/all websites you visit or give your cell # to?

 

Does Verizon do anything to prevent this? Yes, and you have taken the precaution that Verizon offers to prevent exactly this from happening. I have done this to ALL of the lines on my account.

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Re: Premium messaging scams
dfo0
Newbie

Yeah, it's too bad I had no idea that these premium services even existed, or that they need to be blocked to keep them from deceiving you, until after it happened. I love when dishonest companies use whatever underhanded methods they can to swindle consumers, and then it's somehow our fault for not being vigilant enough. Capitalism at its finest.

 

Also: when I activated the block, VZW said that would automatically cancel any existing subscriptions. Is that really true or do I need to send a "STOP" message to these numbers to make sure?

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Re: Premium messaging scams
rcschnoor
Legend

dfo0 wrote:

Yeah, it's too bad I had no idea that these premium services even existed, or that they need to be blocked to keep them from deceiving you, until after it happened. I love when dishonest companies use whatever underhanded methods they can to swindle consumers, and then it's somehow our fault for not being vigilant enough. Capitalism at its finest.

 

Also: when I activated the block, VZW said that would automatically cancel any existing subscriptions. Is that really true or do I need to send a "STOP" message to these numbers to make sure?



As far as I know, you do not need to send "STOP" and I'm not even sure that it always works if you do. Additionally, as long as this is your 1st billing statement with the charges on it, Verizon will normally just take the charges off your bill.

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Re: Premium messaging scams
SuzyQ
Super User
Super User

dfo0 wrote:

Yeah, it's too bad I had no idea that these premium services even existed, or that they need to be blocked to keep them from deceiving you, until after it happened.


That's how most of us find out about this - discovering unexpected and puzzling charges for services that you don't realize you "signed up" for.  Then hoping to get a credit applied or eating the $10 once, and putting the block in place so it won't happen again.

 

Some (a few) premium services ARE legitimate things people can and do pay for each month so Verizon doesn't know if it's something you want  or not.

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Re: Premium messaging scams
TheSarge18
Newbie

I just had the same problem, found the same text on my wife's phone. Your question is exactly what I was doing a search for. She plays a lot of the Zanga games on FB. I am guessing it came from there.....Thanks for the answers...:smileyhappy:

 

I too have blocked these messages.

 

The Sarge

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Re: Premium messaging scams
TheSarge18
Newbie

I just had the same problem, found the same text on my wife's phone. Your question is exactly what I was doing a search for. She plays a lot of the Zanga games on FB. I am guessing it came from there.....Thanks for the answers...:smileyhappy:

 

I too have blocked these messages.

 

The Sarge

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Re: Premium messaging scams
gwenz
Enthusiast

I suggest that Verizon require a valid phone number posted with any company posting charges to our Verizon phone bills.  At least there would be a contact number available without the Verizon user having to do the "detective work" and go after people using Verizon to scam Verizon subscribers.  We had a Premium Messaging charge appear mysteriously at the same time a phone was upgraded so therefore apps etc were upgraded on that phone.  Since a Smartphone had been added, the extra charge was not as evident since I knew that there would be an additional charge on our bill. 

In our case, the charge was for RingtonesEverywhere,  Verizon would only take off the current month's charge and not the charges back to October so it's up to the Verizon customer to do the dirty work and go after fraudulent  charges added to the monthly Verizon bill.  I trusted Verizon up to this point but will go through my bill monthly - my bad for being a trusting Verizon customer.  Never again!

I will be taking a good hard look at other cell phone providers in the area when our contract comes up for renewal.

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