February 05, 2014

By Marci Carris

At Sprint we know customers appreciate the flexibility and convenience of purchasing third-party mobile content – such as weather, sports, alerts, trivia or subscriptions - and paying for them through their monthly wireless phone bill.  But no one wants to pay for things they didn’t purchase. “Wireless cramming” refers to instances in which a wireless customer asserts that he or she did not authorize the third-party content charge that appears on his/her monthly wireless invoice.
The Better Business Bureau has recently issued an alert about a current cramming scam that can add unauthorized charges to a wireless consumer’s monthly wireless bills.  The scam has been named the “one ring” scam because victims’ phones often ring only once before the call is disconnected. If a victim tries to return the call, they are charged a high international call fee plus a fee for the duration of the call. The BBB is advising consumers when in doubt, don’t pick up or call back. If you don’t recognize an out-of-state telephone number or area code on your caller ID, ignore it. Once the caller hangs up, you can always put the number into a web search engine to see if it is actually someone you need to call back.
Sprint does not tolerate wireless cramming, and we are continually reviewing, revamping, and improving our comprehensive safeguards to prevent, detect, and address any such instances. We also engage in customer outreach and education about how to help to prevent against unauthorized third-party charges.  And we advise our customers to carefully review their monthly invoice.
If you think you may have been the victim of an unauthorized charge associated with a call or text, you should contact Sprint customer service.

Editor’s Note: Marci Carris is Senior Vice President, Customer Management and she leads a team at Sprint that works around the clock to identify and prevent fraud.