Cram Course

Have you been "crammed"? Check your phone bill for "miscellaneous services." That's where the Federal Trade Commission says fraudulent fees are popping up for services that were never ordered or never used. The agency estimates 300,000 businesses have been hit with charges for phantom Internet services from upstart providers. The charges of about $30 show up on your monthly phone bill--much to the chagrin of the Bell companies that handle the resulting complaints.

How can you prevent it? Try reading your statement. Officials say this kind of scam succeeds because the perpetrators are counting on you not to examine your bills too closely.

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