FTC Nails $1.2M Mobile Cramming Settlement
After swindling money from customers, the operator of a mobile cramming scheme has settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $1.2 million in assets.
Andrew Bachman, one of the defendants in the organization, will be forced to turn over the contents of numerous bank accounts, two luxury cars, shares in a number of startup companies and multiple luxury watches. While the settlement also includes a monetary judgment of more than $97 million, it was partially suspended because of Bachman's inability to pay.
The settlement is part of a complaint the FTC filed against Bachman in December 2013.
Bachman, and other defendants in the FTC's complaint, charged mobile customers monthly fees for subscription services that included love tips, fun facts and celebrity gossip. This process is known as mobile cramming. Customers were deceived into giving their cell phone numbers and were then enrolled in the services without their knowledge.
Additionally, the crammed charges appeared on customers' bills with confusing names such as '77050IQ12CALL8663611606' and '25184USBFIQMIG.'
Often, customers didn't notice the additional charges, but those that did found it nearly impossible to get a refund.
In late July, the FTC released recommendations that mobile carriers can implement to help combat the problem.