Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Better Business Bureau is warning cell phone uses of a texting scam that could lead to fraudulent charges on their accounts.
According to the BBB’s Minnesota and North Dakota branch, some customers have reported receiving texts from a number of different SMS addresses.
The messages advertise that users will receive entertainment updates and be billed $9.99 per month, unsolicited. The texts have been reported on multiple carriers, such as Sprint and AT&T.
Angela Keegan Benson recently received text messagesfrom the number 99716 with news updates on celebrities.
“They were about Kim Kardashian and Tim Tebow,” she said. “It looked like it was trying to be a news feed that was sending me texts about pop culture stuff.”
Then, she noticed a text that talked about charges.
“I went online and checked my bill and saw this cryptic fee for $9.99 for messaging rates,” said Benson.
So, she called AT&T who took the charge off. The company also assigned her a code that she must enter if she does want to subscribe to text feeds.
“No matter what you do, even if you do nothing at all, you are still being charged $9.99 on your cell phone bill,” Dan Hendrickson, who is the communications director for the Better Business Bureau.
The billing agency was identified as “Silicon Investments.”
The BBB says people who receive any similar messages report them to their carriers, and to immediately dispute any charges that appear on their monthly bills.
“We have no idea how these consumers are being contacted. It sounds like these messages are going out widely,” said Hendrickson.
Because this scam is so new, many consumers may be have been charged, but just haven’t received their latest bill.