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Websites, Text Message Auto-Subscriptions Can Cheat Your Cell Phone Bill

Sat February 07 2009 9:19 am  http://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=5627
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CHICAGO BEARS RADIO -- WBBM Newsradio 780 "Traffic on the 8's"

ALERT! http://www.myiqquiz.com/c266 — DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER!

This unwanted popup can override your popup blocker. The popup changes the size of a new browser window and adjusts the size of the URL address box to a much smaller size and the search engine box at the top of the browser to a much larger size. It may exhibit other behavior to snare you.

Playing with your browser settings is only a minor aggravation compared to what this website can do to your life. Here’s why…

While viewing a website of your choice, you notice a link or a popup connected to a form to take an IQ test or a matchmaking survey or a fortune-telling website. If you fill out the survey or questionnaire and enter your phone number, you are in for some trouble. Usually at some point, you are asked to enter your cell phone number, so that the results of your IQ quiz, the name of your secret admirer, or your astrological destiny can be sent via text message directly to your phone. By entering your cell phone number, you have agreed to start an automatically-renewing monthly subscription to receive a similar text message every month. The cost of this subscription is $9.99 per month (or another amount) and the charge will show up directly on your cell phone bill.

CHARGES THROUGH YOUR CELL PHONE COMPANY
You may have felt safe that online billing for purchases was only possible by submission of debit or credit card information and the click of a “confirm” or “accept” button. Unfortunately, entering your cell phone number can cause fraudulent charges to end up on your cell phone bill. The money-cheating website has a contract with cell phone carriers to bill you directly through your cell phone bill. Many people don’t notice the extra $10 charge … they might assume the $10 extra was due to text message overage.

There are many of these type of ads on MySpace that ask for your cell phone number. DO NOT give these websites or ad forms your cell phone. Don’t forget to tell other members of your family on the cell phone account to avoid these forms that ask for cell phone numbers.

PREVENT THIRD PARTIES FROM BILLING YOUR CELLPHONE ACCOUNT FOR TEXT MESSAGES
There is a way to prevent these types of charges from showing up on your cell phone bill, but it is best to do this BEFORE your number has been released to fraudulent businesses. Many telephone and cell phone companies have a blocking service that prevents third parties from billing your cell phone or telephone account. A slang term for this protection is called CRAM PROTECTION (there are similar scams on landlines that don’t involve text messages). AGAIN: You have to setup your account for cram protection before you give out your cell phone number to the third-party.

Verizon Wireless calls their blocking service, PREMIUM TEXT MESSAGE BLOCKING, which is a free blocking service that prevents any third party from billing your account for automated text message services. It is highly recommended that you call a customer service representative at your cell phone company and request third-party text message “for-pay” blocking. If your service is Verizon Wireless, tell them you want to add PREMIUM TEXT MESSAGE BLOCKING. If you don’t ask for it by the name of the service, be prepared to explain that you are “trying to block third parties from billing your account for text messages” to the cellphone company customer service representatives. They tend to act a little like they don’t know what you are talking about … according to some customer reports. Also, if charges have already started, you need to clarify that you want full instructions on how to block the subscription charges immediately. Some customers are reporting that when they block the third-party text messaging, they can’t subsequently UNSUBSCRIBE to the fraudulent text messaging business and the charges continue. You night have to send an UNSUBSCRIBE message to the fraudulent service first, but check with the customer service representative of your cellphone company for proper instructions.

Here is the Text Messaging Terms & Condition online document from Verizon Wireless as of February 7, 2009.

Text Messaging, Premium Text Messaging, Text Alerts and Instant Messaging

Text Messaging, Premium Text Messaging, Text Alerts and Instant Messaging services require a two-way, messaging-capable phone. Standard text messaging charge of $0.20/message applies to messages sent and recieved in the Nationwide Rate and Coverage Area, except for International Text Messages, which cost $0.25/message sent and $0.20/message received, and which do not use messaging bundle allowances. When roaming internationally, different charges may apply and messaging bundle allowances may not be used; see www.verizonwireless.com/international for more information. Your telephone number will always be sent to the destination, even if you use Caller ID Blocking options for voice calls. Verizon Wireless reserves the right to block unsolicited messages, but you may receive unsolicited messages. In addition toother penalties provided by law, anyone who uses the Verizon Wireless network to send “spam” risks having his or her service terminated and/or his or her messages blocked. The system will attempt delivery of the message for up to five (5) days from the date of receipt by Verizon Wireless. After five (5) days, messages not delivered will be automatically deleted. Verizon Wireless cannot guarantee that messages will be received. Verizon Wireless is not responsible for messages that are lost or misdirected.Verizon Wireless is not responsible for information sent using messaging services. A 160-character limit applies and it includes the email address indicated by the sender, the message content and, if provided, the subject’s call back number. Only160 characters of the message will be received. All remaining characters will be deleted. If your phone model supports Enhanced Text Messaging, a higher character limit may apply and additional messaging features may be available, but message recipient’s ability to receive or view such additional characters and features may vary by phone model, software and wireless service provider. See phone manufacturer’s user guide for details.

Premium Text Charges. Common short codes are five-digit numbers used by thirdparties to conduct Text-based campaigns. Campaigns vary by short code. Opt-inrequirements vary by campaign. To opt-in to a campaign, send a Text Message to theapplicable common short code and follow the instructions, if any. Standard messaging charges apply to Text Messages sent and received via all common short codes. Premium charges apply, in addition to standard messaging charges, to Text Messages sent and received via some common short codes. The amount of any premium charges, and whether they are one-time or recurring subscription charges, will be disclosed at time of opt-in. Premium charges will be included in your VerizonWireless bill. Send the words CANCEL, END, QUIT, STOP or UNSUBSCRIBE to any common short code to opt-out of a campaign at any time. Send the word HELP to any common short code to get information, including details on any premium charges and contact information for the third party sponsoring the campaign, related to acampaign at any time. Some campaigns may be subject to additional terms and conditions. See www.verizonwireless.com for more information.

Unlimited IN Messaging. Unlimited IN Messaging with any other Verizon Wireless customer from within the National Enhanced Services Rate and Coverage Area.Unlimited IN Messaging is not available throughout the Nationwide Rate andCoverage Area.

May require subscription to new Calling Plan. Cannot be combined with any other bundle that includes a Text or Picture & Video allowance. Unlimited IN Messaging appliesonly to Text and Picture & Video Messages sent/received within the National Enhanced Services Rate and Coverage Area from a Verizon Wireless customer’s phone to another Verizon Wireless customer’s phone, and addressed to the recipient’s 10-digit phone number. Monthly allowance and overage rate of $0.10/message sent or received applies to all other Text and Picture & Video Messages sent and received in theNational Enhanced Services Rate and Coverage Area except International Text Messages, which cost $0.25/message sent and $0.20/message received. In addition to messaging charges, sending and receiving picture/video messages, and uploading pictures/videos from phones to Picture Place®, uses airtime that will be deducted from your Voice Calling Plan’s monthly anytime minute allowance or charged at the applicable per-minute rate. If you subscribe to a data plan or feature that does notinclude unlimited data usage, airtime used for these activities will be deducted from your monthly data allowance or charged at the applicable per-kilobyte rate, even if you also subscribe to a Voice Calling Plan.

Basic Messaging Bundle. Subject to Text Messaging, Premium Text Messaging, Text Alert and Instant Messaging Terms and Conditions, and Picture and Video Messaging Terms and Conditions. Standard text messaging charge applies to all messages sent or received in excess of monthly allowance. International Text Messages and PremiumText Charges are not included. Airtime applies for Picture and Video Messages.Text Bundle monthly allowances/overage charges or, if applicable, your Calling Plan’s Text Messaging charges, apply when registering for Text Alerts and for all Text Alerts received. Text Alerts are not included in Unlimited IN Messaging.

© 2008 Verizon Wireless

Here’s more about the popup that tried to snare THE CARDINAL today.

ALERT! http://www.myiqquiz.com/c266

Possibly occurred while visiting Politico.com

Registrant:
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
DomainsByProxy.com
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: MYIQQUIZ.COM
Created on: 15-Aug-07
Expires on: 16-Aug-09
Last Updated on: 01-Oct-07

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration [email protected]
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
DomainsByProxy.com
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

Technical Contact:
Private, Registration [email protected]
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
DomainsByProxy.com
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax — (480) 624-2598

Domain servers in listed order:
NS3.SHOWSERVER.US
NS4.SHOWSERVER.US

The previous information has been obtained either directly from the registrant or a registrar of the domain name other than Network Solutions. Network Solutions, therefore, does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Show underlying registry data for this record

Current Registrar: GODADDY.COM, INC.
IP Address: 64.34.162.37 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-VIRGINIA-HERNDON
Record Type: Domain Name
Server Type: Other 0
Lock Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Web Site Status: Active
DMOZ no listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Web Site Title: IQ Quiz
Secure: No
E-commerce: No
Traffic Ranking: Not available
Data as of: 22-Apr-2008

Source: networksolutions.com/whois-search/myiqquiz.com

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Saturday, February 7th, 2009

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IMPORTANT NOTE: All persons referred to as subjects, defendants, offenders or suspects, etc. are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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