Image description: Our very own #AskMarietta talks about keeping teens safe online and being a smart consumer. Check out her interview and tweet her your own questions using the hashtag #AskMarietta.
Wireless carrier AT&T has agreed to pay $105 million dollars to settle accusations that they have been “mobile cramming” since 2009.
Mobile cramming is often unnoticed by consumers, and occurs when companies charge customers additional money for services they have not asked for, such as monthly ringtone subscriptions, wallpapers, celebrity gossip, or horoscope text messages. These charges appeared on monthly bills under “AT&T Monthly Subscriptions” which lead consumers to believe they were paying for AT&T services, and not a third-party fee.
If you believe you are a victim of this unauthorized billing, you can apply for a refund on the Federal Trade Commission's website. Or, you can call 1-877-819-9692 to ask questions or request a paper claim form. Refunds will not be available for at least nine months.
Mobile cramming is not exclusive to AT&T, so know what you’ve agreed to pay for and always keep an eye out for charges that that seem irregular on your wireless bill. These charges may be small—often less than $10, so be aware of what you pay each month, and take note of any change in that amount.
It’s important to be a smart consumer. For more tips on protecting your money and avoiding scams and frauds, order the free 2014 Consumer Action Handbook.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Use these tips to keep your home network secure
The cyber threat is no longer limited to your office network and work persona. Adversaries realize that targets are typically more vulnerable when operating from their home network since there is less rigor associated with the protection, monitoring, and maintenance of most home networks. Home users need to maintain a basic level of network defense.
Recalls are not uncommon. They can occur in everything from food and toys to automobiles. Some recalls are easy to find out about — they’re huge stories broadcast on national news outlets. Others don’t garner much media attention, but they’re still important to be aware of. Make it a habit to check the following places for recall notices, and be sure the products you’re buying and food you’re eating is safe.
•Recalls.gov lists government-initiated recalls from federal agencies.
• NHSTA.gov publishes safety information on vehicles and equipment such as children’s car seats.
• FSIS.USDA.gov lists recalls that involve meat, poultry, or processed egg products.
• FDA.gov lists recalls that involve food, medicines, medical devices, cosmetics, biologics, radiation emitting products, veterinary drugs and pet food.
If you have an issue with a product, you can report incidents and safety concerns with consumer products, or search for incidents reported by others at saferproducts.gov.