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Phone companies could owe you money. Here's how to get it

Phone companies could owe you money. Here's how to get it
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Two of the largest national cellphone companies are paying the government millions for bogus charges, and some of that money could be yours. Follow along and I'll show you how to get your share.

The FCC says Verizon and Sprint slipped unwanted charges into customers' bills for years, going back all the way to 2010. The charges were for about $10 each month for so-called "premium SMS services." Basically these are things like horoscopes and flirting tips delivered to customers' phones by text. Just one problem though, the government says the cellphone giants added these charges to bills without the customers' permission. They were charging as much as $168 every year for something some consumers never even asked for.

"For too long, consumers have been charged on their phone bills for things they did not buy,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “We call these fraudulent charges ‘cramming,’ and with today’s agreements we are calling them history for Verizon and Sprint customers.”

The settlement totals a whopping $158 million dollars. While the federal government and states that participated in the investigation will get some of that cash, the bulk of the fines will go to consumers who were hit with the cramming fees.

Next page: See how you can get your share of $158 million
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