Mt. Vernon Register-News

July 18, 2012

Illinois among few states passing anti-cramming laws

Associated Press


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has become one of the few states in the country to ban a telephone scam known as "cramming."

That's when third parties charge unneeded or unwanted services on a landline telephone bill. Consumer advocates say often times customers don't even know they're being charged.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed four consumer-related bills into law Wednesday. The anti-cramming one goes into effect next year.

Vermont passed a similar law last year.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office has filed 30 lawsuits against companies that commit the fraud, but new companies pop up quickly.

She says that consumers can often give out their phone number to third party companies unknowingly, like by entering an online drawing. Those companies then use telephone bills like a credit card to charge for services.