THAT COST YOU!
Recently there have been reports of unwanted SMS (Short Message Service) texts showing up on cell phones, and the recipient being billed for them. Here’s one exactly as received:
From: 99716 TXTALTSNOW:You?ll receive Entertnmnt Alts.$9.99/mo billed to cell; 3 msg /wk. Reply HELP for help, STOP to cancel. Msg&Data rates may apply.
In one case the recipient didn’t reply, but filed them away. The Sprint bill arrived with 5 separate charges for $9.99ea. Sprint, when called, helpfully blocked the associated SMS numbers and cancelled the charges.
For ID purposes:
- Statements had different SMS addresses 60822, 55033, 36713 and 99716.
- These appear to originate from something named “Silicon Investments”.
A line item in the bill looked like this :
Digging afterwards at www.smswatchdog.com and running SMS text address 99716 through the system, it appeared from the consumer input that:
1. The SMS texts began in December and have continued into 2012.
2. Many people are getting hit
3. It’s happening to multiple carrier services (Sprint, AT&T, etc)
4. Replying STOP is a waste of keystrokes, you still get charged
5. Best way to combat it : Call your mobile service ASAP and dispute the charges.
Equipment affected: The cell phone does not have to be a Smart Phone. It simply must be able to receive texts.