At 3:45AM I was tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep, when my iPhone said I had new mail. Groggily, I opened it to find the automated notice that my AutoPay for the wireless family plan had gone thru. The problem was the amount was too high. Unable to sleep, I decided to investigate. What I found were multiple "TXT Alerts" subscriptions. WHAT?!
It turns out one of the "new to me" scams it to send a text message or have a Facebook page say "you can receive TXT alerts on [nutrition] [local trivial] [whatever]". What they don’t say is that each of these alert services are $9.99/month.
I did more digging and found they were on my parent’s cellphone. I also found a lot of complaints about them. I’m sure the scammers hope to hit family plan users and that the charges will go unnoticed. They did in our case for three months. I’m also sure that once one scammer gets in, they sell the number to others. Howe do I know this ? Well, the first two months there was one of these "services". The third month there were two. And had I not caught it, there was already a third "service" on for this up coming month.
Now the good news !
AT&T Wireless Enterprise Service was super easy and helpful. Yes, this is the commendation for good service. They removed the services and credited all the charges retroactively! Third, they have a free service to prevent this from happening. It’s called "Purchase Blocker". It’s an all-or-nothing option that is free. They also have a paid service if you need more control limits such as time periods of calls and TXT messages, charge caps, etc.
So, Parental controls are not just for kids anymore