This post is to warn the CU community of a text scam that I have been dealing with for the past few days.
On Dec. 23rd I received 3 quick texts from 94408:
1. Brain Cool IQ Pun Facts billed @ $9.99/mo. Msg&Data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help. Enter UR password on the website to continue.9595
2. Welcome to brain cool iq! For help call 18668611106 $9.99/mo for 3msg/wk. Reply help for help Reply Stop to cancel Msg&Data Rates May aply
3. Guess what? The Hydra, which is related to the jellyfish can grow its body back in a couple of days if it is cut in half. For Help call 18668611606
On January 20th. I got another text.
Braincooliq fun facts billed at $9.99/mo will renew on 1-23-2012. Reply help for help reply stop to cancel Msg/Data rates may apply. 1866--for help.
My immediate response was STOP.
Three days later, the 23rd I received another 2 quick texts.
1. Guess what? The reason why flamingos are pink is because they eat shrimp which have a red pigment. For help call 1866--
2. Brain Cool IQ: Fun facts has billed @ $9.99/mo. Reply help for help, reply stop to cancel. Msg/Data rates may apply.
I lost it and replied:
Quit F*&#ing texting me. STOP.
They responded that I in fact, had already subscribed.
I went to pay my Verizon bill and found out that I had been charged the additional $9.99. I went to a retail store and tried to have the charge removed and the rep said that he couldn't, but he took my phone and blocked further premium SMS texts from getting to my phone.
I called verizon customer service twice and had the charge(s) removed because I "disputed" them.
It disturbs me that this is completely legal for companies to subscribe you to a "service" without your knowledge/permission and then your phone/data company (who I would assume takes a cut for processing and collecting the fee) tells you there is nothing they can do about it.
What I've learned from my conversations with Verizon reps is that there is really no way to prove that you didn't sign up for these "services" and that I could have entered my phone number somewhere online that I didn't read the fine print. Bull.
I was billed on Dec. 23rd--the day of the first three texts. Then again on Jan. 23rd, the day I received the second "fun fact" about flamingos.
Sorry about the rant, but 10 bucks a month for something I didn't sign up for is a tough pill to swallow.
Block all Premium SMS (Verizon customers through MY Verizon)
Reply STOP immediately. I didn't because I figured that any acknowledgement of the unwanted texts would opt me in. They will likely still text you and charge you, but maybe you can get Verizon to credit your money back.