Come January 1st, Illinois residents should no longer see unexpected third party charges on their landline phone bills. Governor Quinn signed a new law that prevents the practice of "cramming" in Illinois. Illinois is now the second state to do so, but it does not cover cell phone bills. The Citizen's Utility Board is hoping the FCC will address that issue.
Many people didn't even know they were being charged for items they never ordered, like hyped up voice mail, more likely e-mail, and ID theft insurance - all items showing up on people's bills unsolicited. CUB's Jim Chilsen says alot of these charges are the result of scammers hiding their software in some popular downloads.
If you spot a suspicious charge on your cell phone bill, call the cramming company to dispute the charge if the company's number is on the bill. Call the cell-phone company. Inform it that you're disputing the charge and you're only paying the undisputed part of your bill. Make sure you agree what that undisputed amount is, and record the time of the call and the full name of the person you talk to. If you still don't get any satisfaction, file a complaint with the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. You can call her Southern Illinois office at 1-800-243-0607, or click the link below.