Phone Slam Scam? Be On the Lookout For This Phone Hack

No, it has nothing to do with slamming down a phone receiver. Hackers–always looking for the latest way to scam the public–have created phone slamming as a recent hacking tactic. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) recently warned consumers about phone slamming on its website. Phone slamming involves fraudulent actions against landline phone user accounts; clear and simple. Phone slamming switches your phone service carrier without your knowledge or permission. Service providers other than the one you signed up for can pirate your account. They know how to hack your service and switch it to theirs. Without knowing it, consumers have a new carrier whose focus isn’t always on great phone service.

The FCC website consumer alert defines slamming as “the illegal practice of switching a consumer’s traditional wireline telephone company for local, local toll, or long distance service without permission.” This practice also includes something called “cramming” according to the FCC is “the placement of unauthorized charges on a consumer’s phone bill.” Many unsuspecting consumers find their phone service accounts both slammed and crammed. Fortunately, the FCC suggests ways to protect against being slammed, and what to do if you have been slammed.

Stop a Slam

– Always check your phone bill immediately upon receipt. Any change in carrier should be followed up with a call to the number they provide to ask for an explanation of the change.

– Be aware of how a carrier can change your phone service legally. FCC rules always require your consent before any company can make a change.

– Consider placing a “freeze” on your phone account that will keep others from making any changes without your consent.

After a Slam

– Call the slamming company and demand they fix the problem. FCC rules state you are not responsible for any charges on your slammed account during the first 30 days.

– Call your original authorized carrier and tell them about the slam.

– Demand to be returned to their service with the exact plan you had before the slam.

– Tell your authorized carrier you will not pay any fees or charges resulting from the slamming company, including switching fees.

Stickley on Security
Published March 28, 2019