A legal settlement is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Vermonters who have been victims of telephone "cramming."
Now, Attorney General Bill Sorrell is leading 44 other state attorneys general in a new cramming case.
Nearly 13,000 landline customers in Vermont will receive a share of the $900,000 settlement from 27 companies and 11 individuals who will have to pay up. Checks will be sent out in early December.
Cramming is when third parties charge telephone users for monthly services they didn't ask for. Landline cramming was banned back in 2010. But now Attorney General Bill Sorrell is taking on cellphone cramming. After a survey to find out how many people may be affected, Sorrell determined it's a huge problem that must be addressed.
"Approximately 60 percent of those Vermonters said, who had those third party charges on their cellphone bills said, didn't know it was there, never authorized it," said Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General. "Eighty percent of those Vermonters had no idea that third parties that charge for third party services could appear on one's cellphone bill."
Sorrell is asking Vermonters to check cellphone bills for any unusual charges and to ask their mobile carriers to block all third party charges.
Sorrell will be joining state attorneys general from across the country to work with large cellphone companies to find a solution. Anyone who suspects they may be a victim of cramming should contact the Consumer Assistance Program immediately.