Ringtone Phone Scam

It's a Sunday and you're sitting on your sofa, watching TV. A cool commercial pops in. You're getting the most popular ringtone for free! Sounds great, huh? But before you say, "Gee, thanks! I'd love that," think again. What you may not realize is that you are not getting a one-time deal. By accepting the offer, you may be subscribing to a service that comes with a recurring fee. And then you find yourself a victim of the ringtone phone scam.

To attract victims, third party vendors use popular songs and colorful ads. You may find a link to click or a 1-800 phone number to call for the offer. Either way, you will be asked to provide credit card information to complete the process. After you get the first charge and you realize that you were misled, third party vendors will make it difficult for you to cancel the subscription. So don't let yourself get caught.

Before you fall victim to phony deals, educate yourself about this scheme. You can visit websites such as www.callercenter.com that share reports and complaints on phone scams. Phone numbers used by the scammers are listed there, too. Read the posts and get familiar with how scammers operate. And always remember that when companies promote something as "free", there's usually a catch. They're in for business and profit, not to give out free stuffs. So don't let your excitement get the best of you.

At the same time, always download ringtones from secure websites such as your telephone service provider's. If you want a ringtone offered by a third party vendor, visit their website and check out the terms and conditions. Read their privacy policy, too. Be warned that most companies readily share, discuss or sell information about you with other parties.

If you notice unauthorized charges on your bill, complain to your mobile phone service provider. Have them look into your account in their database and cancel subscriptions you may not be aware of. You may file for a dispute, too, and possibly get a refund.

And most importantly, spread the info! Share a warning to family and friends to protect them against these types of scams. It's never easy to be scammed out of money.
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